One of the increasingly popular patterns for bass fishing on lakes or reservoirs is the split-shot or walking sinker rig. To split-shot, crimp the lead (or steal in some cases) between 1 and 3 feet above a sharp hook, tuff fresh line, and your favorite plastic worm, grub, tube bait or leach. Adjusting the distance may allow your bait to be closer to the strike zone, which is usually the bass are feeding whether they be on the bottom or cruising just slightly above their preferred structure. Using light split-shot (sixteenth to an eighth ounce) allows the bait to float gently to the bottom. The slow sinking action often entices a strike from the bass. This method works best in shallower water, 1-15 feet, where the light weight will get to the bottom fairly quickly, but still fall slowly enough to give the bait a natural action.
by Dennis Udlinek
A Carolina Rig and walking sinker is used when you need more weight to go deep into the bassí lair. Swivels added to the leader below the weight are usually used to prevent line twist that often occurs with heavier weighted rigs. It also helps maintain contact with the bottom for a little different presentation of the lure. The objective is to create a disturbance on the bottom with the weight that often gets the attention from inactive bass and brings about a impulsive strike. Like the split-shot method, use anywhere from 1 to 3 foot of leader depending on the position the bass may be in. If you're like me the only way to find that out, is to experiment, adjusting the length until you reach one that seems to work best. Now that you're all rigged-up, all you have to do is cast it out, and slowly drag it back.
One factor to consider when using the split-shot method is penetration on the hook-set. The weight is the first thing to take the shock of the hook-set, so the hook often doesn't get enough penetrating force behind it, causing a lot of fish to be lost. A few things that may help with hook sets are, one: to use slightly smaller diameter hooks for easier penetration, two; a wide gap hook such as a kahle hook, and last; a long rod for sweeping hook-sets, again making sure your hooks are SHARP, SHARP, SHARP!
When fishing or drifting a split-shot or walking sinker behind your boat, always stay alert to any added pressure on the line. Bass can sometimes take the bait so subtly that you won't even know they're present, consequenlty, you'll miss a lot of fish. Occasionally lift your rod tip to check for a little more weight than it would normally feel like. If a slight pressure is felt, set the hook with a sweeping motion of your rod, keeping the slack picked up so a good hook-set can occur.