Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

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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"Thanks David I'll try that stands to reason."
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David, aka, "McScruff" commented on dick tabbert's photo
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"I like to wrap ice dub between the legs to separate them. It also gives that little sparkle that is so nice."
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dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
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2ToneLeggySpider

"Thanks McScruff. I wanted long legs I just have to tie them in better more separation."
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"Its the eyes John the eyes."
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A tenkara inspired fly.Tied on a #16 Kahle hook, the severe bends make it look very "buggish."It's tied 'gujo kebari' style, with stuff hackle like a dry fly. Yellow floss and some black and white highlights give it a somewhat different appearance.
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"I tie the legs 2-2.5x the hook shank length. Looks good Dick"
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