By Terry Scroggins

One of the classic summertime techniques for offshore fishing is a Carolina rig. Making long casts with a 1-ounce weight allows me to cover water and locate the areas where fish are holding.

A lot of people think of this as a technique for hard bottom, but there’s probably no better technique for fishing deep grass like hydrilla and eel grass. That big weight will attract the fish by stirring up the softer bottom where the grass typically grows.

The other important benefit of a Carolina rig is that it allows your bait to float over top of the grass. On average, I want my leader to be about 4 feet in length. As far as baits for my Carolina rig, I’ll use a 5-inch YUM Dinger or a 10 1/2-inch YUM Mighty Worm.

Now, here’s a tip for effective presentation: A lot of people think you want your bait to float up in the water column with a Carolina rig, but if you’re using a lift-and-drop retrieve more traditionally used when throwing a jig or Texas rig, you’re getting that bait into the strike zone just fine.

When you lift your rod to move the bait, lift it fairly quickly so you pull your bait up through the water column. If you have a bait that sinks like the YUM Dinger, it will shimmy back down.

If you drag the rig really slowly in what’s commonly considered the Carolina rig retrieve, the bait just scoots across the bottom, but if you pick it up quickly and make that bait shoot up through the water column and then let it shimmy down, you’ll get more action and catch more fish.

One more thing, consider a non-traditional weight when fishing rockpiles or brush that snag a traditional egg-shaped weight. A Lindy No-Snagg Sinker is banana-shaped with a needle-like rod sticking out the bottom. This weight skips and hops right through and over those snags.