For a while now we have been fishing (and having good luck) using a drop shot. There are several types of drop shot out there, The Carolina rig, The Texas rig, and the Wacky rig to name a few. We use our own rig that I will call "the Guildig rig". Using this rig we have caught Bass, Carp, Trout, and Catfish.
You start with a swivel hook.
Tie this to the end of your fishing line on your fishing pole with a clinch knot. This way you can change out from a drop shot to a lure quickly if you need to.
Next take a length of fishing line 18 to 24 inches (anything from 6 to 12 pound test), and using the clinch knot tie a Swivel
to one end, thread an egg or bullet slip weight
of about 1/4 to 1/2 ounce on the line (pointy end toward the swivel) and on the other end attach a swivel hook. It should look like this:
If you want it more Carolinaish put a bead on after the bullet weight. To use this, attach a slip bobber on the end of you pole above the swivel hook (the bobber should allow the line to pass through it freely). Attach your newly made drop shot to the swivel hook, attach a fish hook to the swivel hook at the end of the drop shot.
The purpose of the drop shot is to fish on the bottom. The purpose of the slip bobber is to show were your line is, and to give a visual signal if the line has a bite. The slip weight helps in casting, holds the line on the bottom but does not offer resistance when the fish bites.
Once your drop shot is ready, bait it. For Carp use corn or dough baits, for Trout use corn (if using corn for trout or carp completely cover the hook) or live worms, for Bass use live or fake worms, for Catfish use anything edible.
For Carp, Trout, and Catfish, cast where the fish are (usually in the water), let the line sink to the bottom, if your slip bobber is attached correctly it will slowly walk up the line and stop at the surface. now wait, and watch the bobber. When it disappears under water set your hook and reel in your fish.
For Bass remove the slip bobber if using a finesse technique, or leave it on if using live bait.
Drop shots work best in lakes and ponds with relatively smooth bottoms. Here in Phoenix we have used this rig at many of the local urban lakes, and the Tempe town lake. If fishing with corn, It works much better if you chum the waters around where your hook is on the bottom with extra corn. Chumming is legal in Arizona as long as you don't over do it.