At this time of the open water season, we are dealing with very warm water temperatures and the fishing always slow down at this time of the year. Over the years I have employed a rig that has grown in popularity called the “Drop Shot Rig”. This rig includes a pencil style weight with four feet of leader with a hook that protrudes out from the line and presents a bait that is well off the bottom. Here are some insights to get the feel of this fine way to catch fish during midsummer.
Many manufacturers make a swivel and hook combination that ties directly to your line about four feet up from the bottom of the line. On the bottom I use a half ounce pencil sinker. The hook protrudes directly out from the line and allows you to place a plastic bait which sticks out directly forward. This simple set up allows you to present a bait that is off the bottom and high up right where the fish are this time of the season.
I drag this bait right along the side of the boat and don’t do anything until I “mark” fish on my electronics. When I see fish, I twitch the rig and make the bait look like it’s in peril. The twitch triggers walleyes, northern pike and largemouth bass. Any type of vibrating action you can put on the bait works well.
At this time of the season, there are tons of baitfish out there and plenty of eating opportunities. Many predators will not go down for a bottom hugging bait at this time of the year but they will strike a bait that is directly in front of their nose. The drop shot rig places that bait right at the same level they are inducing strikes time after time. Pretty hard to resist a bait inches in front of your nose and twitching like it’s in peril. You can also adjust the drop shot to higher levels if you choose by simply moving the hook connection. I like the level of four feet above the bottom in most circumstances. Whatever depth the electronics say the fish are at, make the level the same on the drop shot.
To become a better angler, mastering the drop shot rig is crucial to success especially during the hot summer months of August and September. Once you get the hang of it, it will be a major part of your repertoire.