Breaking into Some New Ground: Giant Reds Under the Corks

Today we enjoyed some world class giant redfishing on the Neuse River.  We are so fortunate to be able to have these giant drum in our home waters, but we are really fortunate to be able to catch them a variety of ways.  Today we tried fishing some popping corks, a technique for catching these old drum that has always been one of my favorites for speckled trout and smaller drum but has been developed over the last couple of years mainly by Capt. Gary Dubiel on the Neuse River for catching the big ones.  Folks, it works.  I spent all of 15 minutes trying it around some fish and we hooked up.   I used a concave faced Cajun Thunder cork with a 2.5 foot shot of 50 pound Jinkai leader and a 1/2 ounce heavy guage wire jig head with a 6″ Z-Man SwimmerZ in Blueback Herring.  We got the fish to the boat in relatively short order on a TFO 7′ Inshore Series MH action spinner coupled with a Shimano Spheros 4000 spooled with 20 pound braid.    We hooked another one not 5 minutes after releasing the first one and landed it fairly quickly.  The main reason why we were able to hook the second fish so quickly is that I was using my trolling motor to chase down the fish, not my big motor.  This is a key point that folks must understand if they are going to try this.  DO NOT motor in and around these fish.  Approach your fishing area by drifting in from the windward side, making as little noise as possible.  After catching those two fish the wind switched and kicked up on us and that was the end of our cork bites.  We did catch a few more on bait, but I think I can speak for all of us by saying that our minds were fixated on the cork fishing we were doing earlier in the morning.  Pretty cool stuff going on this drum season!

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