Top 3 Ways To Rig Live Croaker & The #1 Mistake To Avoid

Croaker is an awesome bait for big redfish and trout!

But you need the most natural presentation if you want a big fish to strike.

So in this new video, you’ll see the top 3 ways to rig a croaker.

Check it out!

Top 3 Ways To Rig Live Croaker [VIDEO]

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I really like to use Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hooks (Inline Point) in the 2/0 size for croakers.

And rigging the croaker freelined will give the baitfish the best presentation.

If there is current or deeper water, you might need a weight so always keep conditions in mind!

Fishing In Current With Croakers

The best way to hook the croaker in current is through the top lip of the fish.

They can still open their mouths and breathe to prevent them from dying quickly.

The fish will sit properly and flow nicely as the current flows around it.

#1 Mistake In When Fishing With Croakers In Current

The biggest mistake made by anglers is to put the hook in the back of the fish.

The fish will die because the current ripping will restrict movement.

This affects a croaker’s ability to breathe or act naturally.

Fishing In Shallow Areas With Little To No Current

There is a sweet spot to hook the fish right before the last dorsal fin in the back of its body.

Place the hook right above the lateral line and below the spine to avoid paralyzing the fish.

This type of rigging allows croaker to comb the bottom of shallow water with little to no current.

They will be able to move around and find the game fish for you!

You also could put the hook through the nose of fish.

It won’t kill fish but will keep it stationary in the water with limited movement.

Fishing A Croaker Under A Popping Cork

Rig the hook in the tail right above the lateral line and below the last dorsal fin.

The croaker will want to swim down to the bottom.

After popping it up with the cork, the croaker will swim back down attracting a lot of action and attention to itself.

This will catch the attention of a big trout or redfish and induce a strike!


These 3 ways to rig croaker allow you to be prepared for a variety of situations to target big trout and redfish.

And keep the conditions in mind before you rig to ensure the most natural presentation of the bait.

If you have any questions or suggestions on these rigging techniques, let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who uses croakers to catch big fish, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Vic Weinstein
1 month ago

In a prior video on hooking mullet it’s recommended hooking through BOTH lips. You advise just the upper lip and explain why. Should this apply to mullet as well?

Jerry Dexter
1 month ago

Thanks for the Video and the Information!

michael smith
1 month ago

What about the popping cork in high wind and current?? Thanks

Dave Frymier
1 month ago

How do you catch these things, Wyatt? I just went back and checked Cpt Deeks’ live bait catching course and he is silent on this fish. Perhaps he’s south of their range … or maybe what he calls a pigfish is actually a croaker?

Anthony Leopper
1 month ago

Great video. Im catching croakers on fish bites and using them live for bait, so these rigging techniques will help me use the right setup.

Timothy Cox
1 month ago

Great Video and explanation!

kerry moore
1 month ago

Great info Wyatt, artificial croaker may have made his last video. LOL
Curious to know your opinion with regard to circle hooks vs. kahle or croaker hooks and if there is a general preference of water depth when fishing with croaker.

Jesse Angel
1 month ago

Good Evening, Great Video! I catch this things like crazy. I never knew you could use them as bait. Can you use them as cut bait as well?

John Doe
1 month ago
Reply to  Jesse Angel

yes, you can use them as cut bait….but, live is best….save the ones that die and then use them as cut bait.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Doe


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