A very simple and versatile method to use when fishing LRF style is the split shot rig. I use this rig probably more than any other due to being able to use it in many different ways. In basic terms, you simply tie on a hook, add some split shot and that’s it. But when you look at the rig in more detail, there is so much more to it than that.
One way to fish it is to add a split shot right next to the hook, basically making your own jighead. The beauty of doing this is that you can increase or decrease the weight size according to conditions or how you want to fish your lure. If I want a very slow sinking lure or want to fish it near the surface, I’ll use something like a BB or even a No.1 if conditions allow. When I want to get the bait down quicker when I’m after something like wrasse or when it’s windier I’ll up the weight to maybe an SSG.
I also fish a lot with the weights further up the line and vary the distance I put them from the hook depending on my target species and how I want to fish.
If I’m targeting flatfish I’ll only put the shot around 3”-4” away from the hook so when I’m flicking the lure it stays very near the bottom and doesn’t drift too high up. I generally start by using 2 AAA shot when fishing around the harbours and add or decrease weight depending on conditions. You’ll need to add more weight if fishing from the beach or into rivers / estuaries.
There are times when I’ll put the weights even further up the line, anything around the 6”-24” mark. I’ll do this when I’m fishing one of two ways.
Sometimes I’ll fish a lure like a Power Shirasu or a Gunki LS Whiz or LS Kiddy spinning style if I’m after pollock, mackerel, garfish etc. Rigged on a size 8 hook, two or three BB shot up the line gives me enough casting weight but also allows me to fish the lure at various depths. Again, increase or decrease the weight according how you want to fish it and the conditions. If you want the lure to sink pretty quickly after casting, put the shot close to the hook. If you want the lure to drift about a few seconds, put the weights further away, even up to 24”.
The other time I’ll add the weights further away from the hook is when I’m fishing in clear water and want my lure to sink naturally down the side of harbour walls. Quite often I’ll add the weight 24” away and drop this down the inner harbour wall at Mevagissey. With the water being so clear, once the weight hits the bottom, you watch your lure drop naturally down through the water column. It’s surprising how many times a blenny will appear from a crack in the wall and take your lure. Make sure you let it sink to the bottom as other species can be caught this way such as goby and scorpion fish. After every couple of casts when using this method, cast a few inches further along the wall so you cover all the area.
All in all, this method is a very versatile and effective way of fishing. Within seconds, you can add or decrease weight and alter the way your lure works. These are the ways that I fish the split shot rig, but don’t be afraid to experiment yourself with different methods and styles.