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I recently read about and have been looking at doing more drop shot rig fishing. I have talked to a friend who highly recomends it. Is this a good tactic for spring or should I wait till summer when the fish are a little deeper? I know this is a old tried and true method, but I haven't done much and will be testing it out on my boat more this year. What's the better bait to use with the rig? What do you all think? Give me some tips, I would appriciate them.

Tags: bluegill, drop, fishing, shot

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I fix one rod with a drop shot - use Gamatsuko size 6 or 4 Mosquito or their pre-tied drop shot rig. I like to tie my own with 2 lb flourocarbon. Area where I fish has lots of weedbeds and rock/gravel beds, so I started dro[p-shotting to keep from getting snagged.

The hook has to ride with the point up. A Palomar knot is essential, and invariably I tie one on upside down before re-learning the right direction. ( You can simply reverse the flourocarbon leader, if this happens). I attach the 4' to 6' leader to a swivel, tied to standard Fireline or Suffix braid.

I always use a piece of Gulp, or Crappie candy, or powerbait in addition to the piece of nightcrawler, earthworm, or meal worm or even a small minnow. If the bait gets stolen and the rig is bobbing or slowly retrieved lots of fish will still hit it. ( Monster bass ate a clear purple half ince grub on 2 lb test last season. Big surprise!).

I use the lightest possible weight to hold the float in place. A splitshot or small rubber core sinker may do it on some days. Sometimes, if I know the depth and can adjust the float depth accordingly ( slip floats work well for this), I will have a small slurpie jig or tiny marabou jig tipped with Berkley waxie or powergrub as the end weight.

Results seem best for reluctant bites when there is the lightest weight or a little "bow" in the leader under the float.

Sometimes I use a woolly bugger or fly rod cricket as the "weight", again tipping it with a soft bait scent attractant, perhaps even squirting a little Berkley crappie attractant. Key is to be patient eough to let it fall ever so slowly after the caset. Lots of interest on the way down!

Key is to keep in contact with the float itself. A 7" foot light/med action rod can lift line above the water's chop. If a fish taps, you want to be able to feel it. Windy days can play havoc with this system though.

And oh, I drop shot in shallow water, but particularly close to concrete walls and dock pilings.
This used to be called a catfish rig, it works with every kind of soft plastics and live bait. I have some fishing buddies that use flies.

This is such a fun rig to fish, an the dropshot rods out now makes excellent bluegill rods.
Great idea ! Saw something on drop shottin' in In-Fish., a couple yrs ago for small mouths and thought...maybe.., but haven't yet tried it, for Bluegills. Can set your depth when near bottom, and likely to just lose weight if snagged, not lure/hook/bait. steve b
Drop shotting is a great deep water tool for big Gills......Big Bluegill member "Blackhawks" uses this technique with great success......hopefully he'll chime in on this discussion when he's done with the NAIFC tourney this weekend.
One of the guys I went to school with turned out to be a bluegill fanatic. One time he heard I had caught some decent gills so be bugged me to take him with me. Finally he talked me into it, and he ended up fishing this small lake every day until he couldn’t catch any more big bluegills.

It was a hard lesson and one I have almost learned over and over again. Anyway about five years later this guy calls me up and asked me where I was catching the giant gills he had heard about. I wouldn’t tell him, so he started following me hoping I would lead him to my fishing spot. A Dick Tracy he was not and I was on to him within a mile and led him on a wild goose chase until I decided to lose him.

I got another call a few weeks later and the same guy offered to buy me lunch and I agreed. At lunch he told me about his discovery on how to catch big bluegills in deep water. Drop shoting wasn’t even in any fishing dictionaries, but that is what he was doing. He used ice fishing rods with a spring bobber. At the end of his line was a bell sinker. A foot from the bell sinker he ties a loop in his mainline and attached an ice fly to the loop about 1 ½ inches long. He added a second ice fly a foot above that.

Big bluegills can be extreme light biters so this technique worked best when it was calm. He tipped the #14 ice flies with a wax worm and dropped the bell sinker to the bottom and reeled in just enough line so the spring would be slightly bent and waited. At the slightest twitch or bend he would set the hook and the fight would be on.

In those days it was difficult to fine light leaders, so we used clear sewing thread which has less than a one lb breaking point.

No I didn’t give up my new hot spot and I thanked him for the tip and told him if it worked I would consider it payment for the first fishing spot I gave him.

I have used this method a few dozen times and it works very well except I sometimes use even smaller ice flies. The other little trick I used was to thread on a wax worm and use my scissors to cut him in half because he wouldn’t fit all the way on the small hooks. I caught a lot more fish because of that and it has often helped me catch more fish through the ice. The cut however must be clean.

I don’t use the drop shot method much today for bluegills because I like to move around more and it takes a lot of patience. Any way if you have a lake that has big gills and you know of a good break between 15 and 30 feet give it a try on a calm day and you might be surprised. A good starting point is the nearest break next to a spawning area.


I can't remember if I caught these drop shot fishing, but I have caught many like this using the technique. This bluegill might be a copper nose, I can't rememgber.


Regular bluegill

Thanks Musky Mod....you have a great memory. Yes, this is one of my favorite methods for panfishing and it works extrememly well. I am still tinkering with it but I keep it fairly basic: I use a braided line (4 lb) and a very small barrel swivel. I tie on a fluro leader (app. 4 - 6 ft. long of Berkly Vanish...2 or 4 lb.) and use a size 6 - 8 aberdeen hook (palomar knot). I typically use crawler chunks at 1.5 - 2" long and thread the crawler all the way up the hook shank and try to keep the end of the crawler chunk horizontal with the hook shank. I also use plastic tails (Little Atom Wedgees) tipped with waxies. Once again, keep the plastic tail horizontal with the hook shank. I use a small drop shot weight attached to the bottom of the leader (I buy the type where you can easily remove the line so you can adjust the depth of your hook). I always tight line this presentation and with the braided line, you'll feel the hits. This season, I am going to purchase some Tungsten jigs that have the holes through the center of the jig head and try attaching those with a Palomar knot. Like I said before, this is one of my favorite Gill rigs, especially when working bottoms that have humps, etc. because your bait is always at a set distance off the bottom without having to adjust a slip bobber, etc. I cast it out and do a real slow retrieve and twitch the rod tip real slow so that the crawler "tail" flutters. I was using a St. Croix 6.5' UL rod last season. This year, I am going to try a 7 or 8' UL rod with this presentation.
can we see a close up picture of how to tie this rig or HEY Even a Video? Im going to a lake in the spring of the year that has some huge gills in it. I Know I could catch plenty off the beds but Ive got a feeling that theres gonna be bigger fish on some beds in the deeper water. I wanna drift fish this rig like a winter crappied rig and see what it turns up. Im bouncin in the chair im so excited and its still 4 months from now!

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John Sheehan commented on Josh Neugebauer's group Bass Fishing
"good trick to keep the guard from unraveling!"
12 minutes ago
Mark Sleeper commented on Josh Neugebauer's group Bass Fishing
"Hi John they are 3/0 they work great, only thing I do  is use clear goo uv on the wire weed guard where it is wrapped on the hook"
2 hours ago
John Sheehan commented on Josh Neugebauer's group Bass Fishing
"Also again I get line twist using rubber worms so I now tie a barrel swivel and use a 2 foot leader ,it eliminates line twist ."
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John Sheehan commented on Josh Neugebauer's group Bass Fishing
"Hey Mark , I was just checking out those Mustad W37754R .They look great , do you use 1/0 or 3/0? "
2 hours ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
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Netted hybrid striper

"When I use to bass fish John there were quit a few times I would catch 2 bass on a crank bait. I think that the bass grabs the lure and it excites the rest of the fish and they attack it to a feeding frenzy sort to say.."
2 hours ago
John Sheehan commented on dick tabbert's photo
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Netted hybrid striper

"I hope to see a tandem catch of yours in the Future on those jellies of yours.One time I caught two Bass on one Bill Norman 1/4 oz. Crankbait .That was so weird ,the fight was very strange . Long time ago in October ."
2 hours ago
dick tabbert left a comment for Vince Miller
"Welcome Vince to Big Bluegill. I am also a member of Big Bluegill wanting to welcome you and to share some of what goes on here at the site. This is a site with loads of information where we can learn and enjoy in what we like doing best, fishing.…"
2 hours ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
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Netted hybrid striper

"John no way John 2 10 pounders the rod and line would truly be over taxed."
2 hours ago
Mark Sleeper commented on Josh Neugebauer's group Bass Fishing
"nice pic's"
2 hours ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
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Netted hybrid striper

"Yea John now you know my train of thought. Checked out the line John it is 4lb test. The best part is I caught it on an ESP rod IM6 6"6". I bought it just for the purpose of fishing light line. So when I'm using 4lb test an a…"
2 hours ago
John Sheehan commented on Josh Neugebauer's group Bass Fishing
"Yes David, Where  Weed edges  and Rock come together at sharp drop-offs . We seemed to always get some fish doing the line we did for that Wayway smallie .We've caught LM and SM Bass, Pickerel  and Trout ."
2 hours ago
Profile IconVince Miller and Barron joined Bluegill - Big Bluegill
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David, aka, "McScruff" commented on Josh Neugebauer's group Bass Fishing
""Discernible" structure might be the better term."
2 hours ago
David, aka, "McScruff" commented on Josh Neugebauer's group Bass Fishing
"The Waywayanda smallies... Were trolling over any particular structure?"
2 hours ago
John Sheehan commented on dick tabbert's photo
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Netted hybrid striper

"Two hybrid 10 pounders !!Imagine that fight Dick!"
3 hours ago
John Sheehan commented on dick tabbert's photo
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Netted hybrid striper

"I see Dick ,thanks .Yes that would be great if you rigged them tandem and caught two of these guys at the same time ! That would be outrageous!"
3 hours ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
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Netted hybrid striper

"John I use fluorocarbon line.  I only cast out about 10' I was on my dock. I made 2 jigs up just for that purpose I thought I might have to tie on 2 to get a longer distance but it was my 1st cast so I didn't get that far I only had…"
3 hours ago
John Sheehan commented on dick tabbert's photo
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Netted hybrid striper

"Do you use braided line or mono? Sorry for all the questions Dick ,just trying to figure how you get that small jig out there more than a few feet!"
3 hours ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
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Netted hybrid striper

"I'll have to check it John it was either 4 or 6 lb test I'll run out and check it out after I get back from the post office in town."
3 hours ago
John Sheehan commented on Josh Neugebauer's group Bass Fishing
"A few smallies from two different lakes ."
3 hours ago

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