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When I fish a new place and am trying to locate fish, I always start with Gulp on a jig head.
Same, but for me they are normally under a popping cork to mitigate against our oyster beds. Popping cork always seems like a good search bait for me in our murky water. Gulp shrimp on 1/8 or 1/4oz jig or actually the Storm Coastal 360GT with a small smear of procure (shrimp, inshore, squid, damn near anything).

The Storm Coastal 360GT may be the best value out. You can get 4 bodies and a jighead for like $3-4. The tail is jointed like the more expensive vudus and the Storms hold up better than the Gulp shrimp. Just need to add a bit of scent. I've caught Flounder, Trout, and Reds with them under a popping cork.
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Do you use a popping cork with the noisy beads? I hear so much for and against the beads. I had a fly fisherman tell me that Redfish don't like the noise and it will spook them, but the last red I caught was on a popper with beads and a live shrimp lol.

Also sometimes it's hard to gauge the depth and set the cork right and that can be kind of a pain so I tend to just free line the shrimp instead, but I should use corks more often I keep hearing about how good they work.
 

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Do you use a popping cork with the noisy beads? I hear so much for and against the beads. I had a fly fisherman tell me that Redfish don't like the noise and it will spook them, but the last red I caught was on a popper with beads and a live shrimp lol.

Also sometimes it's hard to gauge the depth and set the cork right and that can be kind of a pain so I tend to just free line the shrimp instead, but I should use corks more often I keep hearing about how good they work.
Not sight casting in a foot of water but yes for locating fish in deeper water a loud cork is killer. I didn’t want my son to be dependent on corks and all that nonsense so he was raised slinging tails on a jighead with no cork and does just fine.
 

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I use corks with my anglers - but mostly with beginners to keep them in the game -and not snagged up on the bottom... Once you learn how to work a jig (bucktail or leadhead with your choice of plastic or Gulp tail) you won't need that cork (except on days when the water is murky enough that a fish might need to bump into a jig to find it...).
 

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Every one of these, and about ~15-18 more reds over the course of 4 trips last fall was caught on a popping cork. The one laying beside my shoe (I'm a size 11) was caught throwing the cork into about 3" of water, and the red took the bait the second it hit. I actually thought the cork had went under on impact and caught an oyster bed. The popping cork produces where I'm at. I lost 4 more that were probably this size as well for various reasons (had a few freshwater VMC jig heads bust on a trip which is when I switched to exclusive heavy saltwater rated jig heads.)
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I use corks with my anglers - but mostly with beginners to keep them in the game -and not snagged up on the bottom... Once you learn how to work a jig (bucktail or leadhead with your choice of plastic or Gulp tail) you won't need that cork (except on days when the water is murky enough that a fish might need to bump into a jig to find it...).
Exactly why the cork works so well here in NC in the ICW. That's most days! That's also why I use either Gulp shrimp or some Procure. Popping noise, plus scent, and either a New Penny/Chart tail or White/Neon shrimp has been what has helped the reds, flounder, and trout find my bait.
 

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So crazy how corks work so well in different locations for redfish. People are typically laughed at if they use a cork here in west central. I typically power fish to eliminate water and then jigs when in active zones.
 

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I used to use the DOA shrimp a lot and those worked pretty well, but that was like a few years ago, for some reason they don't seem to work as well anymore so I stopped using them. Maybe the fish got used to them lol.
popping cork with berkley gulp on a jighead it 2 -5 feet of water
 

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I think I just need to get some of those slotted corks so it's easier to adjust the depth, then just make a long mono leader and adjust as needed moving the cork up and down rather than cutting and re tying everything.

What I really need is a few more rods, one set up for lures and another for live bait.
 

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Here's a quicky solution to using or not using corks... Almost all of my light to medium rods (I'll have four on my skiff when customers are not tossing flies...) are set up with a doubled line, then about two feet or a bit less of 30 or 40lb leader (mostly fluoro), but that's never enough if you need to switch to a cork... and jig setup.... I've learned to clip off the lure, slide the cork onto the existing leader then add a second section of two or three feet using a Slim Beauty knot with a jig or leadhead at the terminal end... That splice has tag ends that are cut down to 1/4" or a bit longer and as a result that nice cork can't slip down towards the lure - they way they tend to do if not brand new...

Works really well on a medium strength rod when I'm pretty sure we're in redfish country - but not scoring since the sight-fishing shots just aren't happening.. Either the water is too murky to spot fish -or the opposite is true - the water is nice and clear and we're not seeing the first red (and I'm hoping that they're just not up really shallow...).

Like most have noted - those corks work and work really well in the right circumstances... The plus for me comes when I have absolute beginners aboard, folks that have never used a rod before or are still very much beginners... Take that cork rig use it with bait and an Owner Mutu light 2/0 circle hook - and we're talking the closest thing possible to an "automatic" rig. I have them keep that rod pointed at the cork and simply say - when it disappears, keep pointing at where it was and wind like crazy... The circle does the rest...

When the cork is not needed (or no longer working... ) it's a simply matter to clip off that extra leader length, remove the cork, then tie a lure back on that rod... By the way I try my best to make sure that only one angler is using a cork until it begins to outfish every thing else, the way it will when the speckled trout are in numbers and the cork gets bit every cast...

Be a hero.... take a kid fishing...
 
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