Live bait anglers have been using the “pickerel rig” for decades both from a boat and from shore. It’s an inexpensive rig that enables you to fish two hooks loaded with live bait that can be fished just off the bottom. This rig really works well where there are no weeds or a lot of debris on the bottom, or if you are virtically “still-fishing”. This simple rig has led to the development of the “drop-shot” rig, a more refined way of fishing a live bait or soft-plastic lure off the bottom.
Recently I have been experimenting with the VMC Spinshot Niko Hook. The hooks have a long shaft which makes them ideal for threading on a night crawler but the key feature is the swivel that is inserted through the eye of the hook. The Niko is desigend to sit perpendicular to the main line. This is achieved by tying the main line to the swivel. The tag-end of the line that hangs below the hook is simply inserted in the pressurized fitting. That fitting holds the line with the sinker on, but if you get snagged, it’s designed to release so you only loose the weight. The Niko hook is light-weight steel which helps the hook to hang “perpendicular” to the main line. When a fish comes up to it and goes to take the bait or soft-plastic, it can’t avoid getting it’s mouth over the hook.
I have tested the Spinshot Niko Hook fishing it vertically in Lake Erie for walleye and also in 3-4 mile per hour current and can confirm that it works extremely well.
So, if you like to drop-shot, you may want to try one of the VMC Spinshot Niko Hooks.