TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT
When anglers hear drop shot, they most likely think of bass fishing. The simple finesse rig has rightfully earned its reputation catching largemouths and smallies, but its utility doesn’t end there. Drop-shotting works for catfish, panfish, and trout and even excels for fall walleyes.
To rig a drop shot for walleyes, start with a mediumaction, 7-foot rod. Match an appropriately sized reel and spool it with 6-pound, low-visibility monofilament. Tie on a No. 1 Octopus or drop-shot hook with a Palomar knot, leaving 12 to 16 inches of tag end. Next, with the hook point facing up, bring the tag end down through the hook eye; this causes the hook to stick out perpendicular to the line. Finish by fixing a small drop shot, or a 1⁄2- to 1-ounce bank sinker, on the tag end. The weight should be as light as possible, just enough to hold bottom.
You can use a wide variety of artificial and live bait. Any favorite soft plastic, curlytail, minnow, nightcrawler, or leech will work. This rig is effective in shallow water, but its prowess lies in targeting deep structure. Position your boat either directly on top of or a few yards off rockpiles, ledges, and humps in depths of 20 feet or deeper, then cast to the structure. When you feel the weight hit bottom, take in the slack. Proceed to move or twitch the rod tip slowly. This will keep the weight in place and make your baited hook dance for attention. Periodically move the weight and continue to work the bait, casting repeatedly to the same area. This will allow you to cover water efficiently.