“I started fishing with corks while I was perch fishing in lakes and ponds around my house when I was growing up,” chuckled Kerry Audibert. “And when we fished at my family camp, they all fished with corks unless they went outside to the rigs. Corks attract fish with their splash and their rattle.
“More important, you can cover more water more effectively with a cork than by fishing tight-line, I feel that speckled trout are suspended most of the time. You can adjust a cork to whatever level in the water column the fish are in by trial and error.”
And he said they work pretty much all the time.
"They are versatile in almost any conditions," Audibert explained. "Topwaters, suspending lures, Carolina rigs or tightlines are only useful under certain special conditions - ledges, oil platforms, etc.
"Even in those situations, I can use a sliding cork. I see more times that only a cork will work than any of the others. And a cork will work under more conditions than will other methods. No doubt you will catch the biggest fish on hard plastics, on topwater, but you won't catch as many fish. I can definitely also catch big fish under a cork."
Audibert is particular about his corks, but in a strange sort of way; he prefers generic corks.
"Most brand-name corks come with metal shafts through them, and you have to tie on to both ends of the cork," he said. "If you want to adjust your depth, you have to re-tie the cork."
His has specifics on the corks that he prefers:
• Snaps: The corks must be clip-on style. They can easily be removed from the line, and adjusting depth is less time-consuming than having to retie with other corks.
"Time is critical on the water," he stressed.
• Rattles: The noise helps draw the attention of fish. Buy corks with rattles.
• Shape: Audibert strongly prefers oval-shaped corks. He feels that chugging corks can scare more fish with their noise than they attract, although he allows that they might be useful in rough water. Also, chugging corks either have sticks through the center of them that tangle the line or they must be tied on the line.
• Color: In a word - orange. They are definitely more visible, he said, than lime green both in low-light conditions and the sunlight.
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