On the other fishing pages I've talked about the types of fish present, the baits, tackle, and locations to go. On this page, I describe two of the more specialized rigs and the basic knots you should know to fish the area.


The Sliding Sinker Rig can be used to fish live or dead bait on the bottom for a variety of fish species, from redfish and almost any of the other Indian River Lagoon species to freshwater catfish. The first step is to make a monofilament leader using about 24 inches of monofilament line, a swivel, and the hook of your choice, with the line test and hook size based on the targeted species. I usually use about 20 lb. test mono and #2 hook when using live or dead shrimp and a #1 hook when using live finger or cut mullet. For freshwater catfish go with the #1 hook.

Step 1. Tie the swivel to one end and the hook to the other end using improved clinch knots (below).

Step 2. Slide an egg shaped sinker onto the fishing line from your pole.

Step 3. If the hole in the sinker is big enough to slide over the swivel on your leader (you don't want this), slide a stop bead onto your line after the sinker. These beads are available in most tackle stores.

Step 4. Tie your line to the swivel on the leader you just made using an improved clinch knot.

Step 5. Bait and fish.

NOTE: The leader can also be used without a sinker or even with a float. I usually only use this if fishing for snook and tarpon. and I increase the line test to at least 30 lb. test and use a 1/o size hook.


The Improved Clinch Knot is a real basic used to tie flies, hooks or lures to the end of the line whether fishing in freshwater for bass and bluegill, or in the lagoon for reds and trout. In the lagoon I also use it for making the leader described in the sliding sinker rig instructions. When surf fishing I also use it to tie pyramid sinkers at the bottom of a surf rig below the dropper loop(s) for the hook(s).

Step 1. To tie it, just put the end of the line through the eye of the hook or lure about eight inches, then while holding the line on both sides of the hook with one hand, twist the hook or lure about eight times. Then put the end of the line through the little loop of line just above the hook and route it through the upper loop you just formed.

Step 2. Pull the line leading back to your pole to tighten.


This is a basic surf fishing rig used at Playalinda Beach for pompano and whiting, as well as some of the other species. While many people use this two hook rig, I usually just use one. Not for any particular reason other than I'm usually in too much of a hurry to get a line into the water. I haven't ever felt that I was at a disadvantage with only one hook.

I usually use the smallest pyramid sinker that will keep the rig on the bottom with my line tight enough to feel a strike. As mentioned on the surf fishing page you normally dont have to cast very far out. Start with a one ounce sinker and move up if need be.

The basic instructions for making this rig are contained below under the Dropper Loop instructions as this knot is specific to this rig (at least it's the only time I ever use it).

The knots used for this rig include, (refer to the "expertly" drawn and labled diagram. the letters corespond to the location of the knots);

A; dropper loop (below)

B; end loop (below)

C; improved clinch knot (above)

When fishing for bluefish, you can make smaller drop loops without using the end loops and attach snelled hooks described onthe surf fishing page to these.


The Dropper Loop is used to attach one or two hooks above a pyramid sinker when surf fishing for pompano or whiting. Smaller versions about 3 inches in diameter can be made to attach wire snelled hooks for bluefish.

To make a drop loop, after attaching a pyramid sinker to the end of your line using the improved clinch knot above, Grab a section of line about 1 foot above the sinker with your right hand and another section about 1 1/2 feet above your right hand with your left.

Step 1. bring them together so that the line between your hands form a loop.

Step 2.Then using your index fingers to keep a small separation between the lines twist the lines around each other three or four times and put the loop you have formed between the separation at your index fingers.

Step 3. Using your third hand, (mouth, big toe, whatever) keep the loop from pulling back through the separation while using your real hands to pull outward, tightening the knot.

Step 4. The resulting loop should be about 6 inches in diameter. Grab the base of the loop (near the knot) between you thumb and index fingers and run them outward along the loop compressing it. Once you have found the true end of the dropper you are ready to make the end loop (below) to attach the hook.If you wish to make a two hook rig, repeat steps 1-4 about 12 inches above the first dropper.

If you made smaller droppers to attach snelled hooks for bluefish, you can now attach these by running the loop through the loop on the leader, then running the hook and entire leader through the monofilament loop.


The End Loop is used to keep the larger drop loop somewhat compressed while you fish.

Step 1.Bring the end of the drop loop around and over the rest of the drop and through the resulting loop. dont tighten it but position the new loop so the knot will be about 2 inches from the end.

Step 2.Put the end through the loop again.

Step 3.Hold the dropper on either side of the knot and pull apart to tighten.

To attach the hook, run the end of the new end loop through the eye of the hook, then pull back over the hook so the the entire hook goes through the loop and then pull tight.


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