Uribe said he particularly values the Carolina rig’s ability to float a bait just over the deep grass in which summer bass often lounge.
RIG IT RIGHT
As Uribe explains, the floating property of a monofilament leader is essential to this elevated presentation.
He will start with 40-pound Sunline SX1 braided main line and add 6- to 8-feet of 10- to 12-pound fluorocarbon leader before the swivel to guard against the persistent abrasion threat common to bottom dragging.
“When you’re Carolina rigging, if you’re not getting hung up, snagged up or getting your line frayed, that means you’re not fishing right,” Uribe said.
As for terminal leader length, Uribe wants enough length for his bait to clear deep summer grass that is often standing a yardstick or more off the bottom. Around any type of heavier cover, he will tie on a shorter leader, as this allows his rig to quickly pass over the obstruction, giving him direct connection for the hook set.
Weight size depends on depth, but for grass, Uribe likes a bullet weight for easier clearance. For beads, he suggests plastic over glass, as the latter can fracture under intense bottom bumping and cut your line.
Mah’s tackle tip: “I like to use the smallest hook (offset round bend) I can get away with; because it allows the bait to act a lot more naturally than it does on a really heavy hook, which will sink that bait to the bottom.”
Uribe said the summer bait ruse is simple — just mimic bluegill and crayfish. For this, creature baits like the venerable Zoom Brush Hog or the Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver fit well.
“In the summertime, as those fish are transitioning and those water temperatures are rising, they don’t want a lot of movement, but they want the bulk,” Uribe said.
Mah’s a big fan of lizards, which rise well behind the C-rig weight. His other fave — a Big Bite Baits Trick Stick.
“A stick bait can be a subtle alternative,” Mah said. “What I like is that you don’t lose what’s special about a weightless stick bait. When you lift that Carolina rig weight and then let it hit the bottom, that stick bait is still able to fall and subtly glide as if you were throwing it on (an unweighted Texas rig).
“When you really work a Carolina rig, you can give the weight a big pop and the bait just glides and falls behind it. There are times when the bait will actually fall in front of the weight. When you give that weight a big