Summer redfish, trout on Big Lake love lure fished under popping corks

A live shrimp fished under a popping cork can get you plenty of action from redfish in Big Lake this month. (Photo by David Brown)

Look for a calm day and clear water to tempt redfish, speckled trout on the beachfront

If you pass a boat on Big Lake, chances are you are going to see at least one popping cork rigged up, most likely several. Whether it is a $100,000 boat or a $5,000 boat, you are going to see some corks. They are effective at catching fish, period.

Lately, there has been an undeniable buzz on social media about the Four Horsemen Cork. According to the website, it was created by a couple of fishing guides from south Louisiana. One thing I do know; tackle that is created by fishing guides has got to catch fish. It is their livelihood.

According to Brian Windsor, who guides on Lake Calcasieu, they are a “game changer.”

“They are heavier and much easier to cast farther than most of the other corks out there,” he said. “They are really loud and have a very distinct, solid sound when you pop them.”

Beach fishing

Windsor (337-884-9748) fishes both soft-plastic and live shrimp under the cork, depending on how the fish are biting.

“I like both the Matrix Shad or a Down South Lure under them,” he said.

It is undeniable how enjoyable it is to watch a cork go under. If you were brought up fishing, most likely a cork was introduced an early age, whether it was for bream or speckled trout. If you are fortunate enough to catch the conditions right, the gut between the first and second sandbar outside of the Cameron jetties is hard to beat for slinging those corks. There needs to be a special emphasis placed on the right conditions. Calm to slack winds are a necessity for being able to fish the beach by boat, and also for water clarity. Strong southerly winds keep the water close to the beachfront silted up and dirty. An incoming tide will assist in bringing in cleaner, prettier trout green water as well.

Look for baitfish

As always, when cruising the beachfront, it is important to keep your eyes open for schools of baitfish or shrimp being chased to the surface. Mud boils can also be dead giveaways for redfish. Diving seagulls and pelicans are also excellent indicators for baitfish and predatory activity.

There are two common errors I see on a regular basis when it comes to fishing popping corks. First, these corks are made to be popped, so pop them. So many times, I will see a cork cast out and left there to sit or just slowly reeled in. Pop that rod tip and make some noise; it is not going to break. Second, keep your slack in. When that cork goes under, and it will, if there is too much slack when you go to set the hook, you will most likely either miss the fish or end up with a very poor hookset and a fish that has a much better chance of coming off. Reel your slack in after you pop the cork and while the cork moves in the current or while your troll or drift. Avoiding these couple of simple errors will result in your cork going under more and better hookups.

For information on fishing Sabine Lake or Lake Calcasieu with Capt. Adam Jaynes, visit

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