Bottom Fishing Rigs – Simple Knocker Rig

Capt. Rush Maltz of Odyssea Key West Sportfishing and Co-Host of the Local Knowledge fishing show is sharing his basic bottom fishing rig for grouper and snapper in his home waters as well as many of the places they travel.

“Its really a simple rig, but it will catch bottom fish everywhere I go,” said Rush. “I take a 6 to 8-ounce egg sinker on the mainline and tie on a barrel swivel.  Then, I tie a length of Seaguar fluorocarbon, depending on the conditions, to my Mustad circle or J-hook.”

grouper fishing
Photo Credit: Pat Ford

“Keep in mind when you drop the knocker rig, you need to drop it down with a slight pressure still on the spool,” says Capt. Scott Goodwin.  “If you let the rig free-fall, the sinker will often out-run the bait and the bait and leader will wrap up the mainline and be a tangled mess when you reach the bottom.  Every 20 seconds or so on the drop, I will thumb the spool and bounce the rod tip a couple of times to keep the bait closer to the sinker.  But go too slow and the current might take you past the spot.  It takes a little practice and judging the conditions.  The fact that the sinker is free to slide allows you to feed the fish through the sinker while it’s laying on the bottom which keeps them from feeling it at those first crucial seconds.  Then wind like heck!”

Despite the rig’s simple construction, it is a staple of die-hard anglers all around the world.

“Make sure you have a variety of sizes of sinkers so that you can adjust to the current and size of your bait,” said Capt. Scott.  “But always use the lightest sinker that will get the job done.”

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