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How to Rig a Live Croaker

How to Rig a Live Croaker

Big speckled trout find these morsels to be irresistible! This is how to rig a live croaker.

Once upon a time I was into live bait, but these days I’m more of an artificial guy.

But that doesn’t mean I think live bait doesn’t work!

Many times live bait has outperformed artificial lures, and bringing some is known as having an “insurance policy”.

Even though I can’t remember the last time I bought live bait, I do want to show you how to rig live croakers.

How to Rig a Live Croaker

Live croakers are like crack for big speckled trout.

I loved fishing with them around the rigs in Breton Sound, especially if I could get them near the structure between the pilings with a Carolina rig.

The sudden *thump* of a big speckled trout always made it worth the effort (and cost) of fishing with live croakers.

Through the Back

I will rig a live croaker by putting a 2/0 or 3/0 Kahle hook through his back.

Quick Note

If you’re not familiar with these numbers, then you should read my blog post about hook sizes.

Hooking the croaker through his back gives him freedom of movement and doesn’t “drown” him.

Putting the hook through his mouth could keep him from moving his gills and getting good oxygen.

rigging croaker through his back

Tips

  • Don’t hook him near the edge, he could be easily ripped off.
  • But don’t go so far down that you go through his guts.
  • He could die faster, and speckled trout prefer him to be live.

Through the Nose

You may want to switch it up if you are fishing in a strong current.

Hooking the croaker through his nose will keep him from spinning.

A croaker doing cartweels in the water isn’t a good presentation, right?

rigging croaker through the nose

Tips

  • Go through the bottom jaw, across the mouth, and through the nose.
  • Going through the boney part of the nose ensures the croaker isn’t easily ripped off the hook.

Conclusion

It doesn’t take a lot of skill to put a hook through a small fish.

But knowing how to do it correctly, and in what conditions, makes for a well-educated inshore angler.

After all, there is a lot to be learned about fish behavior when fishing with live bait.

Tight lines, y’all.

About the Author Devin Denman

Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana’s coast. He loves alligators but is terrified of cockroaches.

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