Perhaps the most popular way to rig a live shrimp for fishing the bottom is a Carolina rig. It’s been a staple setup for years, and there are still many people who use it today.
But when fishing heavily pressured areas, like the Trestles in Lake Pontchartrain, you have to do something a little different. Otherwise, you’re just another guy throwing just another shrimp at the same bridge.
For this reason and many more, Capt. John Falterman is a huge fan of the drop-shot rig for live shrimp.
To tie his drop shot, Falterman first cuts a 42-inch piece of 30-pound Trilene Big Game monofilament. He prefers this heavy line, and his reasoning is sound.
“I don’t have to worry about changing it because I know every time I get a little fray, I’m still going to have 17-, 18-pound test,” Falterman said.
On one end of the line, he ties a No. 6 Eagle Claw treble hook. The veteran guide prefers this style of hook to any of the other ones.
“Ninety-nine percent of our fish are flipped in the boat,” he said. “I don’t want to be putting the whole (drop shot) in the net because it gets all tangled in it.
“We have less chance of losing a fish with a treble hook because it’s going to grab one of the hard parts of their mouth.”
To the other end of the monofilament, Falterman connects a 1-ounce bank sinker. He definitely prefers this over a traditional egg sinker.
“That bank sinker holds to the bottom more, and then when you’re dragging it across the shells, it’ll knock around,” he said. “The egg sinker has a swivel in it, and I think it tends to roll, so if you’re fishing a drop off, it rolls down.”
A 1-ounce weight may seem a little heavy, but Falterman likes it because it sticks to the bottom better, and it gets the bait down faster.
“Even with the 1-ounce, I can still feel when I don’t have any bait,” he said.
To finish the rig, Falterman folds the drop-shot in half, positioning the treble hook about halfway up the rig. He then ties an overhand knot, and connects his 30-pound braid to that loop.