Wacky Shot?
Sure it's a funny name but You will like the results!

By Rick Madeja - August 1, 2002
This month I would like to share a technique that has worked well for me. I am sure someone else has also had this idea, but I have yet to see anyone else use it.

This is really a hybrid of two of the best techniques that have come along in a long time. This combines the use of a drop shot rig with wacky rigged soft plastic baits. Both of these are great when used alone but when they are combined it can be a great way to draw strikes from Bass that have seen countless baits and have become immune to Texas rigged or Carolina rigged offerings.

With a drop shot rig the weight is attached to a dropper line so it is below the hook; the length of the dropper depends on how far above the bottom you want your bait to sit. If you can see on your flasher or graph that the fish are suspended two feet above the bottom set your weight two feet below the hook. This will keep your bait right in the strike zone. When you tie on your hook leave two to three feet of tag line after the knot is cinched down tight, on this tag line is where the weight is attached.

There are several types of weights that can be used, a split shot, a heavy barrel sinker can be used in deeper water, there are even specialty weights made just for drop shotting. These weights have a wire loop at the top of them that make it easy to adjust the length of the dropper line. I have even used a pegged bullet weight.

One advantage to the drop shot rig is if the weight gets stuck between two rocks or hangs up the sinker will pull off and you will not loose your hook, just attach a new weight and you are back in business.

The drop shot rig is effective with almost any soft plastic bait, small finesse worms, soft plastic jerk baits, plastic craws and skirted grubs. I have even had luck drop shotting some of the magnum sized creature baits like the brush hawg. The drop shot rig is not limited to soft plastic baits; it is also deadly when combined with a hard jerk bait.

I feel the reason the drop shot works so well is because it puts the bait right in the fish's face and you are able to keep it there until the fish just can't help but eat it. Since the bait is above the weight it can be moved without moving the weight, just a little shake of the rod tip is all it takes. Fish this rig on a tight line and give it short hops, but mostly just shake it. In deeper water it can be fished just like you would vertically fish a jig.

Soft plastic worms are mostly used with a wacky rig, although there are worms that are better for wacky rigging I suggest you use your favorite "confidence bait" the worm is rigged on a straight shank hook, a #1/0 works best for me but I have used as small as a #4 and as big as a #4/0, if you are fishing around weeds use a hook with a wire weed guard on it. The hook is run right thru the center of the bait with the hook point exposed. With the hook in the center of the bait every shake of the rod makes the bait shake and undulate thru the water sideways, this creates an effect that makes the bait look like it is a live swimming creature.

The wacky rig is a great shallow water tool in the early spring for pre spawn Bass and the drop shot is best for deeper suspended fish or fish near the bottom, when these techniques are combined they can be a good way to put a quick limit in the boat. This is not a presentation the fish have seen countless times.

The strike on this rig can be just a slight twitch in the line and then sometimes the fish just swims away with the bait and then there are times you need to hang on because they almost pull the rod out of your hand, when the strike is aggressive you can bet there are more fish in the area. If you feel something fishy then set the hook! (PUN INTENDED!)

I fish for Bass almost exclusively but I bet this rig would work well with live bait for Walleyes, Crappie, or just about any other fish that tend to suspend!

I will be down on Bull Shoals in northern Arkansas in August; I can't wait to show those fish there my new rig!

If you try the Wacky Shot and you are successful please let me know, if you have pictures of the fish you caught on this rig send them to me if possible.

Have fun,

Author Rick Madeja

Rick Madeja
Rick Madeja is an advid Illinois angler, tourmament fisherman and family man (wife Rose and three children; Melissa, Amanda and Ricky). Rick is a pro staffer of G. Loomis and is a team leader for Turning Point Propellers. Rick writes independantly for Big Bucks Bass, The Pro Fish Club News and Lake-Link.com. You can also see him occasionally laboring at Ed Shirley's Sports in Morton Grove, IL.

Rick finished 2nd place in the April 28th Big Bucks Bass Buddie tournament held on the Fox-Chain.
Finished 4th in the June 9th Northland Bass Buddie tounament held on the Fox-Chain.
Fininshed 19th in the Northland Bass Northstar classic (Championship) Held June 17th-21st out of Winneconne Wisconsin.