Outdoor Articles

Drop Shot Rig Made Easy

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in General Fishing

Have you ever wondered what the big deal is about using a drop shot rig? Is it that significant? Is it just another fad that people will talk about for awhile? You don’t have to wonder any more .It is a great and effect way to fish for many fish not just Bass and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It just depends on how far you want to take it. There are several pieces of tackle out there specifically made for drop shot rigs. They make special sinkers call drop shot weights .Their nothing more than a little round ball of lead with a place to tie to. They make special hooks made to stand out from your line to keep you soft plastic perpendicular to you line which in essences keeps the bait off our line. One thing I’ve found is neither is necessary. As a matter of fact the special hooks that stick out from your line tend to catch weeds more often.
Rigging a drop shot rig for Bass can be as easy as tying in a number two hook for soft plastics and leaving a tag end of about eighteen inches. It’s been suggested that using a Palomar knot is needed. I have found just about any good knot will work. I happen to like the improved clinch not myself. It’s best to use a hook that doesn’t have a turned in eye like a common bait holder hook. The point of the hook tends to turn back into your main line. Using a hook with a straight eye or a turned out eye works best. The nice thing about it is that just about everyone already has a hook in their box that will work. Now what to do with that eighteen inch tag line. Well that’s where the fancy drop shot weights would come in. Again they definitely aren’t needed, as a matter of fact. One of my favorite things to use is split shot number four or larger preferably round split shot not the type you can re-open. You can use either but the round shot is less likely to get hung up on bottom weed growth. If it does catch weeds with a subtle snap of the rod the weeds tend to come off. This allows you to keep your line in the water more instead of having to reel in to take the weeds off. It’s nice when you need to add weight. Rather than having to buy more than one size weight all you need to do is add another split shot. Now you have a rig with a sinker on the bottom and a hook eighteen inches up.
I’ve found the presentation shines in so many ways. Fishing in Muskegon Lake for Bass the deep weed edges and deep points or sunken islands can be very productive. I usually use a Fry Assassin made by Bass assassin lures simply hooked at one end. For the most part the hook just sticks through to the other side of the plastic so it’s almost weed less. I like these because they hold up well and can be used effectively for skipping docks because of their weight. Saves on having to inventory two separate baits for two separate applications. Any 4 to 6 inch plastic worm will work. On Muskegon Lake watermelon is always a good color when you’re targeting the area outside the main weed line. Where you have patchy weed grows about 12 inches high. You can drag your sinker though the weeds but the hook is free of the weeds and in the strike zone. The weed growth is twelve inches high you have an eighteen inch length from your sinker on the bottom to you hook above. Your bait is approximately 6 inches above the weeds. You can always increase your dropper length to keep you bait above the weed growth. I’ve found that it’s better to have the bait to high than to low. Being above the fish is always a good strategy whether Walleye fishing of going after pan fish.
When fishing deep points and Islands this really shines as well. You can add an ounce of weight or more if needed to effectively feel bottom. You want to be able follow subtle to major depth changes with little to no slack in the line. You want to be able to stop your bait with a tight line at any time and just twitch it. You’re able to add weight as needed and because it’s below the actual bait. The fish won’t feel the extra weight and it doesn’t effect the action a soft plastic has by it self in the water. You can effectively twitch your rod tip shaking the bait in place the same with a ½ ounce sinker as you can a 1 ounce. Not only does it work well with being able to stay in touch with the bottom. It works well to keep your bait from being caught by the bottom or visual covered by subtle structure such as wood or rock. When around wood and rock it works best to lift your weight up and set it down instead of dragging it on the bottom as you try to cover an area. The lifting action prevents your bait from being caught by edges of structure and essentially snagged. By lifting it and setting it down you tend to pick it up form one piece of structure only to set it on top of another .
The basic concept works so well in so many situations. I have used a similar technique targeting Steelhead on the Muskegon River. Contrary to common belief when the Steelhead are in the holes especially before they spawn .The fish aren’t to line shy and will commit to a strike from some distance. In this situation the fish aren’t affected by tying the hook to the main line without a leader. When fishing bright colored spawn bags and or bright yarn balls. The fish will hit this with no hesitation. I use this method specifically in the fall. When the leaves are falling they tend to settle and almost create a blanket on the bottom of the holes. This is right when the Steelhead fishing in the Muskegon River is getting good. When you cast a typical rig consisting of a 24 inch leader and trying to bounce the bottom you will spend more time cleaning leaves off your hook than anything else. When your hook is tied inline and it’s above your weight. Even if your weight catches leaves more often than not your bait stays off the bottom and clean of junk.
If you haven’t already tried to utilize Drop Shot rigs I suggest you keep these techniques in mind as you can tie up an effective rig with hooks and sinkers that most fisherman already have as part of their collection.
Learn more about fishing West Michigan and specific techniques at www.michiganfishguide.com.

Last Cast Charters
Captain: Ernest Miller

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