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Drop shotting techniques
by Derik Gates of


Early season perch were cruising at 15 feet and crushing anything in site. It is now mid season, the fish are no longer in the shallows opting for deeper 20 –35 foot depths.  Also, they are a little more finicky to take the bait.  Coaxing these fish to bite is hard enough so time can’t be wasted getting to the fish. In this situation. A drop shot rig can’t be beat.

Drop shotting first started as primarily a technique for catching ocean fish in Japan in the 70’s, and in the last few years has become common place for small mouth bass, but this vertical technique can also serve you well for panfish through the ice.

The basic drop shot rig consists of main line to a three-way swivel, on the one arm the bait of choice is presented on a short lead, on the other arm a weight is affixed to take it down.


For perch I like to change it up a bit:

The weight on the bottom I often change for a jig head, it still allows you to get deep fast but locates fish that are feeding directly off, or near bottom.

On really slow days I like to add extra hooks at different depths. It helps zone in on the fish and also gives a second presentation to the Jumbo hens that often cruise just above the school.

Also small baits may be the ticket for success.  This rig lets you get those weightless baits down to the fish while they are still there.

 (Remember: in Ontario, except for packaged lures, only 4 hooks can be used on an ice fishing line)

Keep in mind perch can be fatally injured from quick changes in depth, when fishing deep water, so if you’re fishing deep water, you’d better be ready to eat whatever you pull out of there for perch! Having said that, please remember to put back the big females and let them spawn! By practicing selective keeping of fish, we can all do our part to make sure that there are perch for many years to come!

This is a great way to really get into some great jumbo perch through the ice!

jumbo perch picture


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