Welcome to Splitsville

Split shots, such as these from Bullet Weights, come in a variety of sizes.Split shots, such as these from Bullet Weights, come in a variety of sizes.
The heart of Chaconas’ split shot rig is a Water Gremlin 3/16-ounce Bull Shot. The weight’s pointed nose pushes nicely through cover. The business end of the line is fixed to a 5-inch Mann’s HardNose Finesse Worm that’s Texas rigged on a 2/0 Mustad Ultra Point Mega-Lite Hook.

When fishing a bottom where bass relate to scattered wood debris, Chaconas pinches the Bull Shot 18 inches from the hook. In submerged grass, he increases that distance to 24 to 36 inches, so the worm floats above the grass.

“When that rig gets in front of a bass, you’re going to get bit,” Chaconas says.

Power Fishing A Split Shot

Fishing a split shot rig isn’t always a painfully slow proposition, points out Gary Klein. When temperamental bass relate to visible cover — say, a windfall, big boulders or flooded bushes — Klein power fishes a split shot.

“In that situation, I’ll cast a split shot tight to the cover and let it sink to the bottom,” Klein says. “If I don’t get a bite after moving the bait a few feet, I reel in and cast to another target.”

More Split Shot Baits

You can fish virtually any soft plastic bait with a split shot rig, including Fluke-style lures. They spiral as they fall and have big bass appeal, something I learned while competing in a Bass Pro Shops Bass­master Northern Open at Lake Champlain in July 2010.

I started by swimming a jig over submerged grassbeds, but the bass had other ideas. So, I tried pitching jigs and frogging thicker sections of grass. I backed out and worked Texas rigged craws and worms though submerged grass. I had less than three hours of fishing time left, and I had five squeakers.

Finally, my co-angler, New York’s Ken Hoffman, caught three 3-plus-pounders by split shotting a water­melon Zoom Super Fluke in grass 6 to 8 feet deep. I had never tried split shotting and didn’t have any of the weights with me. Hoffman gave one to me, a reusable tin shot with “ears.” I estimated its weight at 1/8 ounce.

I rigged it with a watermelon Yum Houdini Shad and proceeded to cull every bass I had, and more, over the next two hours. My two biggest largemouth weighed 4 pounds each.

To see the entire June 2013 issue of Bassmaster Magazine, click here.