This simple rig catches walleye, panfish and trout like crazy—and you’re not using it!


How to catch almost any fish that swims on a drop-shot rig


Gord Pyzer

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you know that drop-shotting has exploded onto the bass-fishing scene. So many bass anglers now drop-shot, in fact, the technique is practically synonymous with bass themselves.


You might be surprised to learn, however, that drop-shotting didn’t originate as a way to catch bass. Instead, it was saltwater commercial fishermen along the U.S. eastern seaboard who came up with the idea to keep their cut-plug mackerel and herring baits off the bottom, away from marauding lobsters and crabs. They simply tied a hook where they’d traditionally put the sinker, a foot or two up from the end of the line, then tied a weight to the end where they normally placed the hook.

The technique later became popular among enterprising Japanese anglers, who began experimenting with the concept in freshwater. They discovered it was deadly when they cast out soft-plastic baits, tightened up on the line and then hovered, twitched, shook or dead-sticked the worms, grubs and creature baits in one place. They didn’t move them forward, and kept the baits at the same depth the fish were swimming.

Some California bass sticks then started to drop-shot on highly pressured lakes such as Casitas, Castaic and Pyramid. So many elite cast-for-cash bass tournaments were subsequently won by a select few who knew about drop-shotting that false rumours quickly spread that they had cheated.


Can you imagine being one of the lucky few who were privileged to learn about drop-shotting in its early stages? Well guess what? That’s the position you’re in today, because I’m here to tell you that drop-shotting works just as well for walleye, crappies, perch, trout and whitefish.