Crazy Flats Rig

Crazy Flats Rig

Flats fishing rigHere are two articles on the same subject--my "Crazy Rig" for fishing the flats.  First the Florida Sportsman Magazine version, then mine, which has more details.

 
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Website Created by Keith Kalbfleisch
Copyright © 2001 Saltwater Adventures of Central Florida. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/20/12.

Florida flats rig

 

Captain Keith’s Crazy Flats Rig

Fishing rig for Florida flatsIn my continual search to find ways for my clients to catch fish on the flats, I found that one of the most difficult parts of flats fishing for neophytes is casting the light lures that our trout and redfish in central Florida seem to like.  In addition, I needed something that not only would cast well, but also could be worked slowly, was weedless, could handle windy situations, and was easy for my clients to use.  I mentioned an idea to a fishing buddy of mine, Dennis Badzinski, a very experienced bass fisherman, and he said that a variation of what I was thinking has been used by bass fishermen for years—a Carolina rig.  While the idea is similar, this rig is modified for light-tackle use in shallow water for spooky fish and does a great job of fooling wily redfish and seatrout on our flats.

Another great advantage to this rig is that I can fish small lures when the fish are keying on small baits like minnows, small shrimp or small crabs.  I have even used flies successfully with this rig! 

To make the rig cut two pieces of fluorocarbon (I use 15-20 lb) that are each 2 feet long.  Tie the first to the tag end of your line using a double uni-knot.  If you are using braided line (I use 8-lb braided), wrap 8 times rather than six with the braid.

Fishing rig for Florida seatrout

Then halfway down the first piece of leader tie another double uni-knot with the second piece of leader.

Fishing rig for Florida redfish

Now put your favorite hook for your jerkbait on the end of the first piece of leader.  Here you can also use a fly.

Easy casting flats rig

Now slip a bullet-style worm weight onto the end, followed by two brass beads.  The beads give a subtle “Click” that attracts without spooking the fish.  A simple knot at the end keeps the beads from sliding off.

 Crazy rig

Now work the rig like you would any jerkbait, twitching it along the bottom.  You will find that the lure will run higher than the sinker, presenting your lure in a natural, attractive fashion—even in a stiff wind!

Florida Crazy flats rig 

While the lure is being presented first, the sinker rides behind giving attractive puffs of mud and a soft sound.  The overall rig is 3 feet long—a bit longer than most leaders used for flats fishing, but I find that the bit of extra line outside of the tip allows my clients to get a slightly longer cast.

 

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Catch florida reds