We know you may have heard or even read a lot about this rig, but we have received a few requests on info
for Drop-Shot rigging, so keeping with our promise, here is what works for us.
While fishing the clear deep waters of Bull Shoals Lake in 2000, it was the first time we saw the “Drop-Shot Rig”. It looked like a reversed Carolina rig to us or a variation of an old crappie technique, called by some controlled depth fishing.
We had, as many anglers, thought a Carolina rig allowed our bait to float behind the sinker, when in fact they were dragging along behind the sinker.
With the drop-shot rig the weight or sinker is attached at the bottom giving you the advantage of adjusting how far the bait is off the bottom where the fish are and keeping it in the strike-zone.
This versatile rig puts the weight below a small plastic lure so your bait is suspended off the bottom and not hidden in weeds or rocks or getting snagged. When rigged correctly for best action and hook sets, the hook should ride with point up and stand out perpendicular to the line.
The key is to tie on a hook with a Palomar knot by running the line in the point side first, leaving a long tag end of 24- 48 inches or so hanging, then hold the hook with the point up and lastly just run the tag line through the hook eye from the top. Now attach your weight to the tag line and you will see as you raise the rig up the weight will cause the hook to stand out and be perpendicular to the line.
The length of the tag line or where you set the sinker depends on how far up from the bottom fish are suspended. If you are not sure how far fish are suspended, just try starting with 18 - 24 inch.
There are specialty drop-shot weights, some with quick change line eyes but most any will work fine. In fact, we find a simple split shot crimped on works great and cost less. The good thing about this is usually it is the weight that hangs up and if it does, just give a tug to release it and re-rig a new sinker.
Speaking of weight, you will get some line twist when using a fixed weight. Just reel up slowly when retrieving to minimize twist. If you find this a problem, there are fully swiveled weights available.
For baits, you can use almost any you want such as 3-4 inch grubs, flukes, worms or paddles tails. Head or nose hook your bait for a natural look or action and if in heavy cover or weeds, it can be rigged weedless.
Many anglers do not realize all the things they can do with this versatile and effective rig.
- Cast it out, let it sink to bottom and slowly drift across structure while lightly lifting or shaking rod tip.
- Can be vertically jigged with a slow hop. Nothing like fishing vertically for keeping a bait in the Strike-Zone for long time periods.
- You can drift or drag sinker up onto points and down other side.
- Drop to a slight slack & work bait in place with rod tip.
- Can be used for bedding bass, pitch it in and shake it.
- Use a streamline sinker to penetrate cover such as weeds, weed edges, weed pockets or openings and you can even set the lure to be fished just above weeds.
- Fished along bluff ledges, deep holes and rock beds.
- You can rig 2 baits or use a jig as the weight.
- And even use live baits when crappie fishing over brush so the weight gets hung up not the hook.
This rig can be fished in clear water or stained waters and is effective throughout the year even though right now during summer to fall and into winter can be good. In clear water, keep moving the bait and since you have control of the action of your bait, twitch it and bring it alive for a more natural presentation.
If you wish to drift, we find it best with mild winds to keep more control and avoid fishing too fast.
As for gear, we use a spinning outfit with 8# Low Vis line, 1/4oz weight and Octopus style hooks in size no. 2, but you need to experiment with what works best for you.
Strikes feel like added weight or a tightening sensation and the rod starts getting heavy or the line moves to the side. It is not necessary to give hard hook set with this rig.
It will catch fish because it is a natural presentation that is easy to use if you just fish it slowly.
This is a great finesse rig for high pressured water and is no doubt a versatile and effective way to catch fish so GIVE IT A TRY and add another tool to your box of tricks for fishing.
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Till Next Time GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING