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FISHING ARTICLES

 

The “Down Shot” Rig

How many times have we all gone to our favorite body of water and used the same lures we have used for the past 20 years. It doesn’t matter what species of fish you’re after. Most anglers will say, “They still work”, I always catch fish on this lure. This is my bread and butter bait. I feel confident with this bait. When all else fails, I go to old reliable. I have some of my own. “You know what," they do still work. Are you catching the quantity of fish that you used to? Is the size of the fish getting smaller? I believe

 
the fish are becoming smarter. This is especially true for the large fish that have been around for a while in a body of water that is fished heavily. They see the same thing day after day. The Big Hawgs, (over 10 pounds) become more aware of the bait. They become a lot harder to fool.

As with any bait, the presentation is the key. The plastic worm is my bread and butter bait. It will always catch fish. Once again, it is the presentation that is the key. You need to figure out what is working. Sometimes you need to Texas rig your worm and fish it very slowly. Other times the presentations needs to be fast. This is the same with the Carolina rig.

About a year ago there was a new technique introduced into the United States form Japan. The technique is called “Down Shooting”. You may ask, what is that? It is a very simple and effective technique for fishing the plastic worm. “Down shooting” has become very popular in Southern California and on the tournament trial. I heard about the technique and like most people was reluctant to give it a try. The old Texas and Carolina rig was working just fine. I was catching fish the way I always have. Every tournament that I participated in, I keep hearing the heavier limits were being taken on the “Down Shot” rig. I had the pleasure of watching a fellow tournament angler land a 11.75 pound bucket mouth 20 feet away from me on the “Down Shot” rig. It took me 3 tournaments before I give in and give it a shot. The next practice round both my son and partner Eric; gave it a try. I was amazed at the results. Not only did we catch a good quantity of fish, but also quality. The first time we had over 20 fish to 6.25 pounds. Lake Casitas is a very well known lake for big bass and experiences a lot of fishing pressures. The more we fished the “Down Shot” rig, the more confidence I became with the technique. We put a lot of quality fish in the boat. The next tournament we participated in, we used the “Down Shot” rig. It was great, our catch rate increased by 65% over the Texas and Carolina rig. Our big fish was over 6 pounds. The wining team and top 3 big fish where all taken on the “Down Shot” rig.

The “Down Shot” rig is very simple. It consist of a small wide gap worm hook attached to the main line with a palomar knot (hook facing up) and a bell sinker attached to the tail end under the hook. The size of the hook depends on the size of the plastic worm that you are using. For 3’’ to 4’’ worm I prefer a #1 Owner Rig N Hook or a #1 Gamakatsu wide gap. For the 5’’ to 7’’ worm I prefer the #1/0 Owner Rig N Hook or a #1/0 Gamakatsu wide gap. Make sure you do not use to large of a hook for it will hinder to movement of the worm. The weight of the bell sinker depends on the depth your fishing. For water depth up to 20 feet I prefer a 3/16 to 1/4 ounce and from 25 to 40 feet I prefer a 3/8 to 1/2 ounce. Set your bait up off the bottom 4’’ to 6’’ in the sticks and rocky areas. If you are fishing in the weeds set your bait just above the weed height. Shake your worm right through the weeds. My worm of choice for the “Down Shot” rig is the 4’’ and 6’’ Deadly Duo Plastic Worm. You can use both the straight or curly tail. The Deadly Duo brand is very soft and has great action when shaken. Try your own favorite worm.

The presentation is very simple. Make a cast the same as a Texas or Carolina rig. Let the sinker-hit bottom. Shake the “Down Shot “ rig up and down, pull the worm to towards you slowly. Lift your rod tip about 2 to 4 inches at a time. Use a steady shake. This is about the same motion as shaken a Texas rigged. What you will find is that the fish will either hammer the bait or you will just fell the line just load up. When you get bit, set the hook at once. If you fill your line load up set the hook. I can’t tell you how many times I had a fish on and thought it was a stick or a rock. The more you use the “Down Shot “ rig , the more feel you will develop. When using the longer worm, you will find that some fish bite the worm in half. You will miss a few fish with the longer worm. With the smaller worm you will not miss as many fish. I have

 
fished with both sizes and believe the longer worm has a lot more action and gets bit more often. The fish in the pictures where all taken on the 6’’ worm. The largest fish went 8 pounds.

This is a great technique. Give it a try and you will be amazed at the results. Give it some time and don’t give up to soon. As with every technique, you can add a little of your own special touch to suite your own stile of fishing. The “Down Shot” rig works great in Southern California. I would like to hear back on how it has worked for you. Send me a picture or two of your trophy. Good luck!!!

 

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