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Dropshot Fishing is here to Stay

What is the big deal about Dropshot fishing anyway? It flat out catches fish that’s what. This technique is the real deal and the sooner you learn how to fish this rig the better because this is one technique that is here to stay and the time to get in on it is now. Lets talk about the set up first. The rig has actually been around for a long time. I first fished this rig in South Dakota in the 1970’s while fishing for Catfish and Walleyes. The only difference is the size of the weight and the bait. In the Dakotas we were using big Ѕ ounce weights and night crawlers. It was a common method of fishing out there then and still is today. You can fish this rig on a bait caster but it really shines when using light line and spinning rods. The rig consists of a hook tied to the line with a Palomar knot, leave a tag end of line about three feet long and tie the weight to the end of the line leaving about 15 to 20 inches of line between the hook and the weight. Make sure the point of the hook is facing UP and pass the tag end of the line back through the eye. Besides the bait selection, the distance between the hook and the weight is the biggest variable. If there are weeds present, keep more line between the hook and weight to keep the hook above the weeds, dangling in a tantalizing fashion tempting even the most wary bass. However, there is a trade off, the longer distance between hook and weight makes the rig more difficult to cast. If the bass are holding tight to the bottom a shorter distance is a better choice. This technique is great for suspended fish, the fish have to look up to see the bait and the closer you can get it to their strike zone the better. Get the idea, experiment, modify, adapt and adjust to the conditions. Versatility is the key to the technique and let the fish tell you what they want. Hmmm, where have I heard that before? There are 3 or 4 different type hooks for the rig; I prefer to use either a #1 or #2 straight shank hook. Other sizes and style are as follows: 1/0 or 2/0 worm hooks. These are great choices for heavier cover because they can be rigged like a regular T-rig worm and is still small enough to float small bait. Others sizes include #1, #2, 1/0, and even 2/0 straight shank, offset, circle hooks or the Gamagatsu Dropshot Hook. My favorite are Owner hooks, they are very sharp and have a duller color than most others. Most of the time I nose hook the bait about 1/2" to 3/4" of worm on the hook with point completely exposed. But if sporadic cover is present, such as weeds or grass, I rig it with the tip of the hook buried. This will keep the rig somewhat more weedless. One thing to remember if you have not fished the circle hook or dropshot hook is about the hook set or lack of hook set. Fish hook themselves with these hooks, all you have to do is sweep the rod to the side, reel up the slack line and let the fish pull against the rod while applying light, steady pressure. The style of weight you use is your choice. I have used everything from split shot to bass casting sinkers, cylindrical weights, bullet weights and beads. There are many Companies out there selling very expensive “Dropshot Weights”, but my favorite is the Water Gremlin Bass Casting Sinker. However, I note that weights with a swivel attached to the top help prevent line twist. This rig has a tendency to spin when reeling it in and in turn causes line twist. Another consideration is using brass weights, like a Carolina Rig, the brass weight does make more noise. But since I generally use these rigs in waters with good clarity the noise is not a big factor to me. Weight size can range from an eighth to half ounce depending on the line size, depth you plan to fish, windy conditions and if there is current present. I prefer to use a heavier rig in the ј to 3/8 ounce because it gets the bait to the bottom faster and hold the rig in place better. Line, I have my preference and so do you. My favorite is P-Line Flouroclear from 6 to 8 pound test. If you’re fishing deep clear water or heavily pressured lakes and rivers, downsize and go with 6 or 8 lb test. If there is heavier cover present go up in size, less cover go down. Again let the conditions dictate what size line to use.

As far as rods go, I’m a firm believer that rods with greater sensitivity will put more fish in the boat. My dropshot rig consists of a 6’6” Allstar Titanium spinning rod, with a medium action and a fast taper tip. The medium action works well with the lighter lines and a fast taper improves the rods fish fighting capabilities. Team this with a Shimano Symmetry spinning reel and you’re in business!

Baits, there’s a million of em’, and its your choice. Far and away my favorite bait Company is Zoom. They make so many different style baits a person could go a lifetime and never run out of different style Zoom baits to use. And the color selections are awesome! Try the Zoom Finesse, Meathead worms and Tiny Brush Hogs. Other considerations include three inch sluggos, reapers, and grubs are all good choices. The most important factor to me is how the bait sits in the water. Some baits float better than others and you want to make sure that whatever bait you choose it floats the hook high enough so the bait is horizontal in the water. The bait possibilities are endless as are the makers of plastic baits. Pick one that you have confidence in and use it. Same goes for colors, if you have colors you like for T-rigging us the same colors for Dropshotting Where do you fish this rig? Points, flats, drop offs, weed lines, stumps, standing timber you name it! Wherever you throw a T-rig or Finesse worm you can fish a dropshot. The only mistake you can make is not fishing this bait. Before you start fishing this rig, find some clear water or a pool if you have access, throw the bait a short distance and see what it does in the water. Experiment with shaking the bait in one place, slowly lift and drop the rod tip and see how the bait reacts. When you get on the water to actually fish the rig, remember what you saw and try to picture what the bait is doing. The whole idea is to know what your bait is doing at all times. Then let the fish tell you what they want. Some days they may be more aggressive and want the bait moving faster. On other days they may want it slower with a very light shaking motion. Yet at other times they may want the bait motionless in the water. Keep in mind; the current and wind will always impart some type of action or motion to your bait. Ever have a nice deep brush pile show up on your LCD screen that sits close to or on a ledge? This is the perfect situation for the drop shot. Position your boat so you can fish the edges of the brush pile, then get your bait close to the brush pile and hold it there. Impart a little shaking action and wait. Repeat this a few times and work your bait all around the pile. If there’s a bass home, he will eat that bait.

Finally, a little trick from Jay Yelas, rig the dropshot bait above texas rig worm or jig and fish them both at the same time. This way you can cover more water and use two different presentations at the same time. Ever catch a fish and see his buddies tag along right to the boat, sometimes trying to get the bait out of the mouth of the hooked fish? If you have one of these double rigs on you may even get a double hookup, do this and you will be hooked on dropshotting.