When fishing structure filled rivers, like the Cumberland or lakes with a lot of timber, dragging is not an option. I turn to suspend fishing. Sinker weight and travel speed are critical factors.
I use a Carolina rig for suspend fishing. Slip a 5-ounce egg weight on the mainline followed by a rubber weight bead. Add a regular barrel swivel with 12 to 18 inches of 80-pound leader. Finish it off with a line rattle, followed by a solid weight bead between a circle hook of your choice and the rattle. That solid bead will keep the rattle from breaking when a fish bites it. I will suspend that rig about 3 to 5 feet above the bottom.
If you are fishing water with current, go with it. If the current speed is less than .4 mph, use the trolling motor to stay between .4 and .5 mph travel speed. If the current is more than that just keep the boat straight with the trolling motor.
If you go against the current, your baits will rise too much. If you get to .6 or faster on calm water then the same thing will happen. Speed is critical. That’s why I use the 5-ounce egg weights. No matter if the depth is 10 feet or 100 feet, the 5 ounces will keep the presentation vertical at that speed.
If you are fishing water with no current, use the trolling motor to keep the speed at .4 and .5 mph.
Remember, you can do the same thing using Spread Em Planer Boards. Simply drop your weight to the desired depth, hook on the board and let the board walk the baits on out. Cover more water and you’ll probably catch more fish.