How to Rig and Fish a Carolina Rig
Perhaps second to the Texas Rig, the Carolina Rig is the most popular plastics bass fishing rig in use today. For that matter, it has been highly popular for some time, and for good reason. It is easy to rig and highly versatile. It can be used in situations where the texas rig may not be as effective.
The rig can be modified a bit to reflect the various stages of the bass movements. The three stages you should rig for are the pre-spawn and spawn, the post-spawn, and the warm and weedy months. The basic rig entails a setup with the following components starting with what goes furthest from the terminal end of your tackle: (1) Sinker, (2) Bead, (3) Two-Way Barrel Swivel, (4) Leader of varying length and test, and (5) Hook which size and type will depend on application. The soft plastic you use and the way you hook it on (weedless , exposed hook, etc.) are highly flexible and that is one of the advantages of the rig.
Look for gravel points in the pre-spawn and post-spawn. Here try making your presentation to an area you feel is holding fish. Hold your rod at a 10 o'clock angle. Retrieve slack. Now bring your rod tip to 12 o'clock. Lower back to 10 o'clock, retrieve slack and repeat. Remember you are fishing, not just retrieving. Make your bait do something to entice a strike.
When you make a transition to the weedy brushy areas, your tactics will be a bit different. First, consider rigging your worm weedless. That means embedding the hook in the plastic and checking every cast or two to make certain the hook is not protruding. Keep in mind what's occurring in the brush or weeds. The weight is coming over the structure and then descending to a landing point. Often these transitions are when strikes will occur. If not, wait for the rig to settle and perhaps give the rod tip a wiggle. Again, fish the bait, don't retrieve it.
Keep your gear relevant to the kind of fishing you are doing. Your weight should be the minimum necessary and the line should reflect the size of fish and amount of structure. In weeds and structure, you may find you need relatively heavy line (14+ monofilament).