Croaker basics

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Capt. Robert Brooks,, will be rigging live croaker on his customer’s hooks by the end of May, his “go-to” bait.

“With the water temperature climbing, the baitfish get so bad they will wipe out a shrimp on a hook real quick,” says Brooks. He only uses shrimp from December through late March. “Croaker is my choice for trout fishing through August.”

How does Brooks rig the croaker?

Freeline the croaker using a 4/0 Mustad croaker hook. He uses a 2 foot long shock leader, 30 lb. test with 30 lb test, clear, Berkley Trilene Big Game on his reels.

“Hook the croaker right above the anal fin so he can swim around and stay upright. He won’t be upside down or sideways in the water. Pop your line about every 15-20 seconds, reel 2 or 3 cranks to get the slack out of the line. Repeat the process over and over”

One of the reasons why croaker are summer favorite baits is their hardiness if they are rigged correctly.

Brooks favorite summer croaker fishing spots include the visible sand pockets in the grass on the flats along Traylor Island, Quarantine Shoreline and Mud Island in Aransas and Redfish Bays. “Give each spot about 20-25 minutes before you move…give the fish enough time to move in. With the spring tide coming in there will be a lot of trout on the flats.”


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