As a full time fishing guide, one tool that has helped me catch more and bigger inshore fish has to be the tool of sound. It can be top water lures, glass beads, glass rattles tubes, popping and rattling/clicking corks. When used correctly these noisy tools can get the fish to not only come to you but also turn on the bite! Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you put some numbers and/or quality fish on the end of your rod!
Top water lures: Have you ever wondered why some top water lures make different sounds then others. If you learn how to use these different sounds, you will have more success catching fish using top water lures. Take MirrOlure’s line of top water lures She Pup, She Dog and the He Dog; this line of top water lures emits higher frequency sound. So what does this mean to you the fishermen? Here is what I have found with higher frequency top water lures. I like to use these for Speckled trout, Striped Bass and larger ,upper slot>, Redfish. It is also a great lure to cover water quickly. If I need to find fish in large and shallow area, this is my go to top water. The higher frequency sounds can be herd further away. Higher frequency lures are also great for dirtier or stained water fishing.
How bout’ the Top Dog, Top Dog Jr. and Top Pup; this line of top waters emits a low frequency sound. I really like these lures for Redfish when I know there is a good chance there are some Reds on a flat or shallow. I’ve got one of these tied on! This is also good for clear to very clear water; the lower frequency seems not to spook fish in shallow waters. I tend to work this line of top waters a little slower; to let the fish come to me.
Popping and rattling corks: These are two great noise makers for use with live bait and artificial lures. I really like rattling or also called clicking corks, they are easy for any one to use and be successful with. The real question is when do you use them and how? I’m going to start with my favorite; the rattling cork. Most high quality rattling corks are made with titanium wire and brass beads, this is very important! The titanium is strong and very flexible; the brass beads are very loud. My favorite is the Saltwater Assassin Kwik Cork. This cork is loud and built very well! (See photo)
I like rattling corks for Redfish, Speckled trout and Striped Bass. When I’m fishing for Redfish with a rattling cork, I like to put a small live mullet or Menhaden under it. When using it with live bait, I cast it up too grass lines or drop-offs on the edge of a flat or oyster rock. Any where Reds might be sitting or cruising through. The rattling cork is a great tool for finding fish in an area. It also works well with a shrimp pattern soft plastic lure under it, for Speckled trout and Redfish. My favorite shrimp pattern lure under this cork is a Berkley Gulp ghost shrimp. These are good when you can’t get live shrimp or you would like to fish with artificial bait in a shallow area. One trick to this kind of fishing is; not to fish to deep. If you fish the lure to far away from the rattling cork; it will be hard for the fish to find the lure, remember the fish are coming to the sound of the cork. This is very true in stained and dirty water applications. I fish my lures twelve to twenty-four inches under the cork and fishing waters that are no more then four feet deep.
Popping corks have been around a long time and are still catching fish! So when do popping corks work and what for? I prefer popping when the water is very still and/or very clear. The popping cork is more of a subtle sound maker, which I believe is better for fish that are more sensitive to there, surroundings, i.e. clear, calm and shallow water scenarios. I mostly use live bait under popping corks. It seems to work better for me and my charters. I know guides who use artificial lures with good success under popping corks. It’s just not for me.
In the last few years I have seen lots of new noise makers for lures, some you put in the lures others you put in front of the lures. I use both but for different kinds of fishing scenarios. Glass tubes are great for use in soft plastics, like shrimp patterns. We know that shrimp make a clicking sound with there body when they are trying to get away from a predator. So it would only make sense that a shrimp that makes a clicking sound is more likely to get eating by the predator. This also goes back to the rattling cork and the lure under it (shrimp). The other noise maker is the one that goes on the line or leader that is tied to the lure. I really like the combo of a brass bullet weight and one or two real glass beads between the brass and the hook or lures. (See photo) It’s very important that you use real glass not plastic beads; this will make all the difference in the sound! This set up is great for deeper water fishing for Redfish and Striped Bass. I like to use this rig when fishing soft jerk shads like Berkley Gulp and Powerbait jerk shads, rigged with a bass worm hook.
Give some of these tips a try. Try some different top water lures than the ones you always go too. They might just help you find more and/or quality fish than you thought were in an area. Have an open mind and let the (tool) of sound work for you!