Rigging Live Mullet In Strong Current & Heavy Structure (Carolina Rig)


Do you fish areas with heavy current and structure?

Bridges, jetties, inlets and passes can hold some really nice fish, but in order to catch them, you need to get your bait down to the strike zone and keep it looking natural.

One of the best ways to do that in these situations is with a Carolina rig.

I recently went out with Capt. Jud Brock of EasternAngling.com where we fished an inlet and caught a lot of really nice redfish.

Since we get a lot of questions about how to rig live bait, I convinced him to show us how he does it.

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • How to tie a Carolina rig
  • How to make modifications for it if you’re targeting redfish vs. trout
  • How to rig baitfish when fishing heavy current
  • And more

Check out the video below.

How To Rig Mullet On A Carolina Rig [VIDEO]

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How To Tie A Carolina Rig

A Carolina rig has five parts:

  1. Weight
  2. Bead
  3. Swivel
  4. Leader
  5. Hook

Here’s how to tie this rig:

Step 1: Slide the weight over your main line

The weight will depend on how deep you’re fishing and how heavy the current is.

Ideally, you’ll use just enough weight to keep your bait on the bottom.

Step 2: Slide the bead over your main line

The bead will protect your knot from getting roughed up (and possibly broken) by the sinker and keep the swivel from getting jammed up in the sinker.

Step 3: Tie your main line to the swivel

Step 4: Tie your leader to the swivel

The length of leader should be about 1-2 feet.

If you’re targeting trout, Capt. Brock recommends using closer to two feet, but if you’re targeting redfish he recommends using leader about a foot long (or even shorter).

Step 5: Tie your hook to the other end of the leader

The size hook will depend on the size bait you’re using (not the size fish you’re targeting).

And to see which knots to tie for each of these connections, check out this post about the best fishing knots in every situation.

How To Rig Baitfish In Heavy Current

Your main goal for rigging bait in any situation is to make it look as natural as possible.

If you’re fishing with baitfish in heavy current, the best way to do that is to hook them through the lips.

In the video at 1:56 you can see how hooking fish in the tail make them spin and look about as unnatural as possible.


redfish on carolina rig

If you’re fishing in strong current and structure, using a Carolina rig is a great option.

And when you’re hooking your baitfish, be sure to hook it through the lips to keep it hydrodynamic and looking natural.

If you want more tips on how to rig live bait and catch trophy fish, check out our new course, Underwater Bait Forensics.

We rig every type of bait in every type of condition, show you what it looks like underwater (that’s where the clips at 1:56 in the video came from), and show you the best ways to rig them to catch more fish.

Learn more about Underwater Bait Forensics here.

If you’re in North Carolina and want to book a trip with Capt. Brock, you can reach him at EasternAngling.com, check him out on Instagram @judbrockfishing, or tune into his podcast, the Eastern Current Fishing Podcast.

And if you know someone who wants to catch more big trout, redfish, and flounder with live bait near structure, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

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1 year ago

Is it best to let line out through the sinker so the bait drifts with current when you have it hooked through the snout or keep it tight with the swivel at the sinker and the bait swimming into the current?

Mark Tauscher
1 year ago

How much weight do you recommend for the slip sinker.


1 year ago

Hey! I’ve got a question. When fishing live bait is it better to have the current coming at you with the bait behind the boat?


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