I'm pretty stubborn in my fishing habits for the most part. Especially during the Summer months. This time of year, I tend to gravitate to pitching Sheepshead jigs tipped with live Shrimp almost 90% of the time. The problem with this is when I'm faced with bigger charter groups. Fishing jetties on the bottom with jigs as you could imagine generates a lot of snags. I recently decided to switch it up a bit and go back to an old school system, Slip Corking.

The advantage of using Slip Corks is 3 fold. 1) This takes snagging near completely out of the picture, and 2), It gives a live Shrimp a much more natural presentation. 3) Another major benefit Cork fishing has over jig fishing is it's inherent ability to cover more ground. Not only that but in a way that's less intrusive, IE, by having less of a boat presence spooking the fish. The boat is positioned up current while the floats ride down current up to a hundred feet or so. This is especially true in shallow water applications.

There are other factors that contribute to the effectiveness of fishing corks over bottom fishing. When jig fishing, you have to cast across the current to reach the rocks and then work the jig back across the all while holding bottom. There can be a couple of problems in this situation. The biggest arises when currents are intense. You lose significant control over the bait with a steady cross current putting pressure on your main line. In this situation, you lose control over the jig and this results with your bait not staying in the strike zone effectively. Or alternately, the current causes the jig to ride too high in the water column.

So, based on the above assessment, how does a Slip Cork get around this problem? First, boat positioning when fishing corks greatly favors heavy current fishing. It does so because instead of casting across the current and having to fight it, your float will instead use the current to fuel it's movement.The current goes from being the hurdle, to being the advantage.

Anchor the boat up current at the depth you intend to fish. Then set your bobber stopper to that corresponding depth. After that, put the reel in free spool and let the current carry the float. Setting for the correct depth can take a bit of tinkering. Here's how I go about it. I start off setting the bobber stopper at roughly a foot shallower than what my bottom machine is showing. So if my Garmin shows a depth of 10 feet, ill set the bobber stopper to 9 feet. The idea is that the bait will hover just over the bottom while the bait drifts. One can only estimate how many feet you have the bobber stopper set to and that's where the tinkering or adjusting comes into play. If the bottom I'm drifting is rocky, Ill often set the depth shallower than a foot, up to 3 feet potentially, depending on the size of the rocks or bottom peaks. Keep in mind that most of the time, having your depth off by a foot or two wont necessarily alter the effectiveness of your presentation. Especially when fishing jetties.

Pay attention to your bottom machine. more times than not, your bottom machine is painting a clear picture of where you should be setting you rigs depth. If you're seeing fish hovering in the column 5 feet off the bottom, try setting the depth of your bobber stopper to that depth. The bottom machine is an invaluable tool and this couldn't be more true then when it come to fishing Slip Corks.

There were a lot more photos from successful trips however, the sites new format doesn't allow me to post so many. I picked some pictures from more recent trips.


  • lpowerslpowers Posts: 130 Deckhand
    Thanks for the update Steve! Any regrets from switching to the new boat layout?
  • DoradoDreaminDoradoDreamin Posts: 1,979 Captain
    Great info and thanks for the report.  I love to do that especially for sheepshead.  
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,821 Captain
    lpowers said:
    Thanks for the update Steve! Any regrets from switching to the new boat layout?

    No regret at all. The only small annoyance is the lack of lower deck space. Other than that, the boats really nice.
  • BottomBumpinBottomBumpin Posts: 1,095 Officer
    thanks for sharing Capt!  I dont do allot of Jettie fishing but have always wanted to try more slip floats for the same reasons you mention but then I somehow loose interest when we pull up and go with the jig.... I think I bought a few a couple of summers back and they are still in the wrapper.. hahaha..  gotta give it a chance... thanks for the reminder!
  • livebaitlivebait Posts: 642 Officer
    Beautiful boat. How much leader do you use and do you ever use a small BB weight just above the bait. Thanks.
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,821 Captain
    livebait said:
    Beautiful boat. How much leader do you use and do you ever use a small BB weight just above the bait. Thanks.

    Ty. I use 2 feet of leader and a 1oz egg weight.
  • 220BAHIA220BAHIA Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    Hi captain. Thanks as always for the tips. What swayed you to the 23 ft. Instead of the 26 ?
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,821 Captain
    I went with the 23 because it drafts less and the boat has lower overhead clearance allowing me to get back into Pablo Creek. The 23 is also significantly lighter giving me longer trolling motor battery life. After that Sea Hunt, I vowed never to go that heavy again. I also never go offshore so the 2300 is the perfect boat. She handles up to 4 passengers very well. The boat surprisingly handles rough water better than my Sea Hunt did. She scoots pretty quick too. She tops out at 60mph. I still need to work out the prop though. Shes topping out at 5400 rpm's.
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 7,144 Admiral
    Great post!

    Especially the part about getting "stubborn" am I guilty of that!!

    Back when we were 40+ year ago......slip rigs were seen way more often, and jigs, except with some form of very basic plastic ( Trout Tout, Stingray.... ) hardly ever got a natural bait put on them.

    You remember Sea Hawks tolled south of the Fuller Warren with a trailer of a jig? How many fish caught that way I can't say but a bunch. And today........if anyone is doing it I've not seen them. But it'd surely still work.......and it's the right time of year.

  • redbone440redbone440 Posts: 95 Greenhorn
    Ben, what in the world is a Sea Hawk?  Some kind of heavy spoon?
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 7,144 Admiral
    Ben, what in the world is a Sea Hawk?  Some kind of heavy spoon?
    You are pulling my leg? 

    Odd you ask too as just this afternoon I was going through a couple of tackle boxes gathering up stuff I have not used in forever and actually had the LAST Sea Hawk I own in the pile to go........and then for some reason put it back. Though I'll never toss it again I bet.

  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,821 Captain
    That might be a little before my time there Ben lol. It always surprises me looking at the old wooden lures that used to kill the fish back then. You wouldn't think they'd work but they **** sure it.
  • Cracker Jack 45Cracker Jack 45 Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    I used to catch some trout in the spot you are talking about back in the 1970`s near where the new artificial reef is located.  I had the red and yellow  and the silver and blue Seahawks.  I think it was a lead head with a wooden body.
  • livebaitlivebait Posts: 642 Officer
    Pulled a Mann's Jelly Grub behind the Sea Hawk. South of the Fuller Warren and in front of St. Vincent's were very good . That was mid-70's. Another good place was the marker out from where Epping Forest is now. Used to troll for a while and then bottom fish for "Virginia croakers". 
  • redbone440redbone440 Posts: 95 Greenhorn
    Thanks Ben for posting that pic.  No, I really didn't know what the Sea Hawk lure looked like.  I guess they haven't been manufactured in many years?
  • andrewthe1andrewthe1 Posts: 684 Officer
    sea hawk looks like the predecessor to the "gotcha" plugs!
    we need more internet money
  • livebaitlivebait Posts: 642 Officer
    Look up Richard Owen Porter/Porter Bait co.
  • SlackerSlacker Posts: 1,472 Officer
    gotcha still works, we used to pull seahawks and salty dogs
  • ladderslugladderslug NocateePosts: 206 Deckhand
    Great report and advise Capt. Love the new boat. 
  • ragincajun92ragincajun92 Kingsland GaPosts: 430 Deckhand
    Awesome report and something I do a lot. That new boat is sweet looking 

    Reelintension Go Pro Videos (plz like and subscribe)
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