Lure fishing takes many forms within modern day angling. Saltwater and Freshwater the scene is booming and becoming ever more popular, you only have to read the weeklies to see the words L.R.F and Drop-Shot. So this brings me to write about what I’ve been doing recently, ‘Split-Shotting’.
I was introduced to this technique by my Dad, an avid lure enthusiast who often sets goals season to season to catch as many species as he can (Salt+Fresh) on Plastic. Like myself he is also heavily influenced by the anglers in the U.S.A and the techniques and methods they incorporate into their own lure fishing.
So what is Split-Shotting !? Well firstly and most importantly for me it’s not about ‘specimen hunting’, and an attitude I’ve taken from the L.R.F scene is that it’s meant to be fun, simple and a style of fishing anyone can get into without needing bags of money or mountains of gear. The Split-Shotting setup itself is nothing too sophisticated, a braided mainline (6lb will suffice) tied to a small swivel, An inch above the swivel pinch on a Split-Shot, that’s the hard part done. Now depending on how far you want to cast or how quick you want your lure to sink, choose a shot to suit accordingly. As for most of mine and my dads fishing it’s a AAA or an SSG.
As the fish we are targeting are small Rudd, Roach and Perch and the odd bonus species like Sticklebacks and Skimmers then 2-3ft of 3-5lb monofilament will do just fine as a hooklength. Tie this to the swivel and it’s as simple as that. Next, the Hook!
Again like in all fishing, matching the hook size to the bait is very important and as we are using tiny plastic lures or pieces of ‘ISOME’ then the hook needs to aid hooking without being masked, so choose the hook size to match appropriately. Hook sizes I wouldn’t be without are sizes 14-18 and we have found through using the ‘CRAZY FISH’ white baits which can be bought from ‘AGM tackle’ (Google it – it’s a superb online shop) nose hooked on a Sz 14 fine wire hook work great and a particular favourite pattern is the ‘Kamazan B525’. Marukyu’s ISOME worms also play a big part in our Split-Shotting, they come in various colours and thickness and can be cut down to any shape or size you wish. Just recently I bought a packet of ‘FLADENS VERMZ’ these are also proving to be very effective!
In addition to the Micro-Lures and ISOME we also use gel scents. By adding a smear for some extra attraction it proves to be really effective. They come in a variety of scents and at an affordable price too! These can also be purchased from AGM.
Let me touch on the gear we use. What with so many models of UltraLight rods on the market anything that’s labelled for U.L.-L.R.F is ideal. Rods rated 1-8gr are perfectly matched with a small 1000 size reel and theres plenty of quality rods and reels out there without having to break the bank.
I’ll finish on an overall rundown of the casting and retrieving techniques we incorporate into this style. Firstly when making casts feather the Shot as this helps keep the long fine hooklength from tangling.
If there are Rudd or Roach present just under the surface retrieve slowly making constant positive twitches with the rod tip. Keeping the rod up will in turn keep the shot higher in the water and in the target zone of the Fish present. Bites can be anything from subtle ‘plinks’ to solid ‘taps’ as fish follow and grab the ISOME or micro lure.
If there are Perch present these will often follow whatever your retrieving, and by alternating the speed and the depth at which you let the shot sink you can pick up these Perch. This is also where the long hooklength comes into play. For example – If a Perch has followed the micro lure or ISOME on the retrieve but has been reluctant to grab it, stop retrieving and allow the shot to sink to the bottom. (the margins of our local ponds allow this as they are shallow and clear) Due to the slight degree of bouyancy in the lure or worm it will flutter down slowly under the weight of the hook/hooklength and sometimes this is just enough movement to spark the Perch to have another go and take it.
My reason for writing about this style of fishing is purely because it’s fun and simple and for those that haven’t tried it maybe you might give it a go. If your not bothered about catching big fish then it’s perfect, and for someone like myself who likes a days float fishing with maggots for anything that comes along and also enjoys lure fishing then this style is the best of both worlds. Remember just because the fish are small doesn’t make them a push over, like any style of fishing on its day it can be easy to get it all so wrong.
So, a style of fishing that’s great if you’ve got a few hours spare inbetween of work and homelife, you don’t need mountains of gear and you can keep it really simple. If you fish ponds already that have a good head of SilverFish and Perch then hopefully your in for some fun Split-Shotting.
Tight lines and Thanks for reading, Jamie.