Rob Gleason (Robbie G)
Catch-N Tackle & Bio Bait
Ever heard of it? If you haven't you are definitely missing out. Drop shotting is a craze that has consumed the deeper water western lakes for numerous years. It has been a proven tournament winner on those lakes where fishing 40'+ of water is a must to catch those piggies you need to get in the money.
Drop shotting first was used in tournament fishing in the early 70's but was redefined by many of the Japanese anglers who had to use this technique to catch fish on their home waters. Drop shotting is a great tactic to help you catch those finicky fish that are suspended of the bottom in deep water or head to the deep water because of the super warm air and water temperatures. Here is the kicker...you don't need to be in California, Arizona, or Japan to use this technique. Matter of factly you can probably head out to your own little honey hole and use it to land fish. Routinely I will use this setup in water as shallow as 6' deep!
Drop shotting is more of a finesse style of fishing so you will need to use the right gear for it. I prefer a spinning setup consisting of a Pflueger President reel , Fenwick HMXs 7' Medium action , Berkley Vanish 8# line , Gamakatsu 1/0 Octupus hooks. For weights I prefer a simple clip on bell sinker. The clips on are easy to switch if the conditions dictate you changing weight sizes.
Fishing the right baits can be the big key to making this setup work. I only fish small baits. Some baits that are excellent for this type of rigging are Catch-N Tackle's 4" Ring-N grub, 3" Kick-N craw, or the 3 3 /4" Ring-N tube. Although these baits are small compared to many that we traditionally use they can make all the difference in the world when it comes to making those finicky fish bite. But with that being said do not be afraid to up size the bait if you want to. I will Texas rig my baits if the conditions I am fishing are super weedy otherwise I will just nose hook them.
The basic rigging method is to inline tie the hook anywhere from 6" on up from the bottom of your line depending on what type of area you are fishing. I tend to rig mine with a 18" tag on the bottom. When tying your hook on you want to make sure that when the line is tight that the hook is going to stay parallel to the bottom. The knot I use for this is the palomar knot. Now with the tag line you have left you want to tie yourself a loop at the bottom to attach your clip on sinker. I tend to make my loops very small so it doesn't look funny and give the sinker area to move around on. Now here is where my rigging differs from many. In my off time I will build droppers of different length to store in my box for use. I always attach a very small inline swivel to aid in the prevention of line twist. Just like worm fishing this rig will create twist. The inline swivel helps out tremendously. But some people dio not use them because they think it hinders presentation. I do not notice a difference.
Learning to fish this rig is very easy. The way I became familiar with it is I went to my local lake and found a nice milfoil edge in about 14' of water. I dropped anchor and let fly right to the weed edge. Unlike a worm you don't bounce this rig back towards the boat. When you cast out you bring your rod up until you can feel the sinker resting on the bottom and give it just a hair of slack. With that slack you want to shake your rod tip just enough to move the bait that is suspended above your sinker. Don't shake it so hard that you move the sinker from the bottom. I will give it a minute or two and than move the bait closer to the boat and repeat the process until the dropper is under my boat. Throw it out and repeat the process.
You need to use your line as a strike indicator. Unlike many other baits that bass whallop drop rig bass tend to inhale the bait more. You will see strikes when your line moves or you will just feel extra weight on your line. I do not give these bass monster hook sets. I reel in the slack and pressure set these fish more than anything. That is where the sharpness of the Gamakatsu hooks comes into play. If you try to jam those hooks home you are gonna lose fish. Trust me on that.
The great thing about this is when you start catching fish it helps you come to grips that running and gunning isn't always what it is about. That sometimes slowing down will catch you more fish. I had been told this by 1982 Bass Master tournament champion Paul Elias at a show. I had asked Paul what was the best way to catch a hog bass. He told me work a piece of plastic slow, very slow. Drop shotting helped me realize what Paul had meant.
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