Split Shot Rigging Walleye

Often walleye aren't right on bottom but are suspended in the middle of the water column and often this is during the summer months and the walleye are being picky. One technique that I have found to be very productive is to long line drop shot walleye by using either a number 4 split shot up the line or a bullet weight Carolina rigged.

To successfully use this method you need to have out a lot of line like 100 feet and use light line like 6 lb fluorocarbon line. The trick is the keep the bait moving slowly throw the water either in the top half of the water column or up off the bottom. Often this technique is best when the lake is dead calm and the trolling motor is used to keep the bait moving very slowly through the water. I have found that leeches, nightcrawlers, and minnows work the best when long lining with split shot rig. Here are some things that you will want to use to successfully long line split shot walleye:

Split Shot Rigging Walleye Rig

  • Weight - # 4 split shot or a 1/16 or 1/8-ounce bullet weight Carolina rigged up 18 to 24 inches from the hook.
  • Hook - # 8 Beaked hook for leeches, and a # 6 Aberdeen hook with nightcrawlers, I like to use circle hooks with minnows.
  • Line - 4 lb or 6 lb fluorocarbon keep it light to keep the bait looking natural and it wall allow the bait to sink easier.
  • Rod - A soft action spinning rod in 6 ft to 7 ft feet in length. When having that much light line out there is a lot of stretch and limited feeling due to the bait often being 25 to 35 feet down. A longer rod will give you a better hook set, remember if your using circle hooks you don‚Äôt set the hook you just pick up the rod and reel quickly to set the hook in the corner of the fishes mouth.
  • Bait - Leeches work best, but nightcrawlers and minnows will work as well. When rigging leeches they should be hooked right through the sucker, nightcrawlers should be threaded to the collar, and minnows should only be hooked through the lips.

So when the fishing is tough and the usual bottom bouncing and trolling crankbaits isn't working give long line split shotting a try. If you see fish on your depth finder that are suspended this technique is hard to be beat.