When fishing inshore waters for striped bass, bluefish, speckled trout and snook, I use a rig that combines the effectiveness of live bait with the explosiveness of a popper. To make the rig, push a No. 3 barrel swivel through a 3/4″ length of 5/8″ diameter foam popper material (available at fly shops) and attach a hook (sized appropriately for the bait) to one end of the swivel with a stainless split ring. Tie your line to the other end of the swivel and put a live shrimp, crab, eel or small baitfish on the hook. Cast it out, twitch it a couple of times and hold on tight.
– George Harris, Rockport, Maine