Drop-Shotting Walleyes in Pittsburg

Walleyes can be caught year-round in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny River flows from the north. The Monongahela River comes up from the south, and they form the Ohio River which flows west. I fish from the center of the city out about six miles.

Total Solutions Technique

These rivers rarely freeze, and we fish all winter. Drop-shotting works year-round, but really excels in fall and winter. These rigs continue strong all spring and summer. Fish can be caught from the shoreline out to about 15-feet all season long. In November and December, moving water draws fish. We fish dams, incoming creeks and plant discharges. When the water drops into the 30’s and 40’s drop-shot rigs really work.

If they’re holding at a specific depth, we vertical jig downstream. We change tactics often and pitch the drop-shot up shallow and drag it back. The sinker bouncing along the bottom activates the Gulp! 2-inch minnows. In either case, we slowly troll the drop-shot rig upstream through the fish-holding areas.

The rig consists of a sinker and one or two hooks. The sinker can be a split-shot or a special drop-shot sinker, starting with a 1/4th ounce size (heavier in fast current). Water clarity dictates how high to tie the hook above the sinker. In clear water, the hook will be about 18 inches above the sinker. In dirty water, it’s about 8 inches up the line. If using two hooks in clear water: 13 and 18 inches. In dirty water: 8 and 13 inches.

Total Solutions Equipment

The 2.5-inch Gulp! minnow hooks more fish.  Top colors are smelt and black shad.  The hook that has outperformed all others is the number four bronze octopus hook.   I form a loop in my line, slip the loop thru the hook eye, and bring the line around the hook and snug it tight.  I use a medium Berkley Heritage 6-foot medium-light spinning rod with an Abu Garcia REVO SX spinning reel..  The line, tied direct to everything is smoke 10-pound Fireline.  If I want to troll faster upstream, I use a rod rigged with a 3/4th ounce jig and Gulp!

instead of the sinker.  Drop-shotting catches walleyes, cats, smallies, spotted bass, sauger, saugeye, wipers, crappies and white bass.

Berkley® GULP!® 2.5″ Minnow

Berkley® Heritage® Spinning Rod

Abu Garcia® REVO SX Series

Berkley® FireLine®