5 Top Bottom Fishing Rigs

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Many trophy fish dwells at the bottom of the seafloor, and if you want to get your hands on them, you need to learn how to make bottom fishing rigs.

bottom fishing rigs
Bottom dwellers love wrecks, reefs, and rocky areas. Source: Enrico Strocchi

The bottom fishing hit-or-miss game will keep your experience exciting and challenging. What you need is a whole lot of patience, the right gear, and a load of knowledge on your trophy fish to bag your catch. 

The right rod and reels are good, but here are the right bottom fishing rigs for a sure catch.

5 Bottom Fishing Rigs 

1. Double Drop Fishing Rig

The double drop rig is a pre-rigged tackle that allows you to fish directly. These rigs come in grand slam mono or nylon-coated cable. It has bite-protection coated versions in the form of twisted wire so critters can’t steal your rig. 

To set you up for the Double drop fishing rig, just add hooks and weight and preferably a snelled hook leader.

Another option is making a Dropper Loop or Double Dropper Loop rig which is great for catching rockfish and lingcod.

2. Knocker Rig

Bottom Rig for Snapper

This rig is best to get your live bait near the bottom while giving it the freedom to swim around. Its slim profile allows it through isolated spots where fish hide from predators. 

To tie the knocker rig, run the tag end through the hook’s eye from the point, then make a small loop knot before bringing the tag end behind the shank. Wrap the tag end around the shank and the line. Make several wraps before feeding the end under and over the loop. Then, hold the wraps before pulling and snipping the tag end. 

3. Chicken Rig

Bottom Rig for Snapper and Grouper

Also known as the deep drop rig, the Chicken rig is an invaluable rig choice for many bottom anglers. This rig has proven time and again that it is an effective rig for many bottom fish species. 

To tie the Deep drop or chicken rig, use a 4/0 or 5/0 worm hook with a straight shank. Insert the point an inch behind the egg sack of the Kut tail. Then, thread it on the egg sack before popping the point and flipping it around like a T-rig. 

4. Slip Sinker Rig

Bottom Rig for Catfish

The slip sinker rig for catfish is the Carolina rig for bass. They are rigged similarly with a different tackle, which is bigger than that when fishing for bass.

To tie a slip sinker rig, cut around 12- 18 inches leader and tie your hook to it with a Palomar knot or a snell knot. Then, you tie the swivel to the leader and slide an egg sinker, no roll sinker or other sinkers you feel like using on your line. Next, tie the line to the end of your swivel with a Trilene knot before cutting all excess lines. 

5. Carolina Rig 

Bottom Rig for Bass  

Carolina Rig is the rig for bass and many other bottom fish. It’s versatile, easy, and very effective.

To tie a Carolina rig, start by cutting a leader line (about 18 inches). Tie your hook to your swivel with a Palomar knot, Uni knot, Jam knot, and Improved Double Clinch knot. At the other end of your leader, tie on your swivel with a Palomar knot.

Make a loop to attach your leader to your mainline, then pull your whole line through the loop. First, pull your hook, then your swivel through the loop of your mainline. Moisten your finger and knot to make it flat before tightening. 

Bottom Fishing Tackle

Having the right tackle will bag you your trophy fish when bottom fishing the SoCal waters. 

Bottom Fishing Rods

Shorter and beefier rods generally are better for deep dropping since you don’t need to cast long distances. You just need to have a good backbone to pull up your catches.

Bottom Fishing Reels

Conventional reels are the standard for deep drops because they can hold loads of line and give you more mechanical leverage when reeling up. They also make it easier to drop your line down fast.

If you’re bottom fishing off a pier, spinning reels are great, but if you need to make a long and precise cast, a baitcasting reel is better. 

Bottom Fishing Lures

Live baits are effective in bottom fishing, but there are several lures that many bottom anglers swear by. Using soft bait grubs is a good option especially if you tip the hooks with bait.

Bottom Fishing Tips and Techniques      

Look for structure down deep on your fish finder. Fish usually congregate around these areas.

Use two hooks to increase your chances of getting a hookup. If you’re looking for a bigger fish, try switching to just one hook.

Drop your weight down to the bottom and let it hit the structure. Then reel up a foot or two off the ground and let your bait hang there and feel for the bites. If you’re using lures, give a little twitch from time to time or pull up high and see if the fish bite on the drop.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best bait for bottom fishing?

Live sardines and anchovies work well. Live and dead squid work well too.

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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