The Best Live Bait Rig For Spring Fishing


What has been your go-to live bait rig for spring fishing for any species?

Do you ever use a slip float on your bait rigs?

Slip floats are extremely effective for drifting live bait through current or sweeping around a point.

If you want to catch more fish using live bait this spring, then you need to check this out!!

Best Live Bait Rig For Spring

In the spring, live bait is an effective way to catch a lot of fish.

This time of year, lots of bait is starting to move and migrate with the warm weather, and having a rig that you can effectively use for all of the different types of bait such as mullet, shrimp, and mud minnows are crucial and will save you lots of time.

Additionally, the slip float allows you to quickly cover water and different depths efficiently to find fish fast.

Slip Float Rig Setup

Depending on your preference, a 10-lb braided line or a weight around that will work best with this setup.

Above the slip float system is where you will tie your nail knot.

The nail knot keeps the entire system in place and intact so it does not fall down the line or cause issues.

Moving down the line, it is recommended you use roughly a 5mm glass bead to protect the slip cork.

Next, comes the slip float itself.

Slip floats around 8 inches will work best for inshore saltwater fishing applications.

It is important to use a brightly colored cork that you can see from a far distance.

After the slip float comes another bead and then a snap swivel connecting your leader and mainline.

The purpose of the glass bead below the slip float is to protect the base of the float from hitting the swivel or weight on the line.

In addition to protecting the slip float, the glass beads also create a low rattle that can add attraction to the system.

As far as knots go, a clinch knot is all that is needed to establish a strong connection to the swivel.

On the other end of the swivel is where the weight is attached and usually, 3/4 oz. should suffice but it may vary depending on where you are fishing.

Once the weight is tied on, you can tie your leader line to the end of the weight.

Leader Line & Hooks

We recommend you go with 20-lb monofilament as your leader line and that can be secured to the weight using a simple clinch knot.

You do not need more than 10 inches of leader line.

Moving down to the hook, the same clinch knot is perfect to attach the hook.

You do not want to use a loop knot with this system.

The most important aspect of the rig is the hook itself.

A 1/0 Gamakatsu bait hook is the #1 choice for this system.

It is a super sharp and sticky hook that clings to fish during the fight and is easy to detach upon release.

A 1/0 hook will catch all sorts of species from sheepshead to redfish and more.

Best Live Bait Rig For Spring [VIDEO]

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If you plan on fishing with live bait this spring, try using a slip float rig system.

Remember, with this system, there are chances for your line to tangle up or get twisted in multiple areas so it is important to try to keep the slip float as streamlined as possible.

This is one of our favorite ways to fish with live bait in the springtime!

Do you have any more questions on the best live bait rig for spring fishing?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about the best live bait rig for spring, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Gerden Clark
1 year ago

I tried to find information on the knot you called a “nail knot” but couldn’t find anything that would move on the line. Could you direct me to a video of that knot being tied?

Ken Lemmond
1 year ago

Grew up using this rig very effectively in my are of SE Georgia. However, Once I migrated to braided line I noticed the knot that I had used my entire life was no longer adequate. After losing several large Tripletail because the knot slipped through I changed the main line to sinker knot to a double uni knot and the problem went away. I love using braid main line but it is very slippery. If you tie braid directly to your terminal tackle and use an improved cinch knot you are going to experience problems when you get the right fish on.

Matthew Stevens
1 year ago

That slip cork rig was my bread and butter when I lived in your area. Now in Texas where we don’t have those huge tide swings a poppin cork is king now. Still use the slip float at the jetties and when using corks for reds in the lake.

Ken Lemmond
1 year ago

In my area these slip corks have been replaced by a slip type popping cork invented by a local guide. They are called the Harper Super Striker and are the hottest thing around. Now, we have the best of both worlds.

Matthew Stevens
1 year ago
Reply to  Ken Lemmond

Will have to check those out.


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