I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

• My Thoughts on the Drop Shot

The drop shot technique has recently taken bass fishing by storm. When I first saw the rig online, I couldn't help but laugh. I have used that rig fishing tightline for catfish most of my life. Myself and several family members have caught plenty of bass on nightcrawlers this way. Bass fishermen have taken this technique and made it sound like a brand new idea. The only major difference between the way I fish this rig and the way it's being used with plastics is that I let the bait sit and with plastics, you have to move and shake. Just remember that the initial use for this rig was to keep the bait in one place. Getting used to timing the hook set fishing for catfish takes some getting used to as they are sucking on the bait and not chomping down on it right away. Bass are not much different in that regard because you will still have to get the timing down. I have also read discussions about needing sensitive rods. Not really. All you need to do is watch the rod tip or thumb the line. Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn't used the drop shot long enough and they've fallen for the hype. Learn to hold the line between your thumb and forefinger. I might consider using fluorocarbon for sensitivity's sake, but I'd be worried about breaking off mid cast.

Here's my rig. First tie on the hook. Tie the hook on the distance you want your lure to suspend off the bottom. I usually eyeball it, but aim for the 10 to 24 inch range. The drop shot of today tends to use the palomar knot. My catfish rig uses a variation of my loop knot. I tie it by doubling the line at the desired location, running it through the hook eye, over the bend, and back under towards the eye again. Then I tie an overhand knot with the hook and main line. I cinch the knot down close to the eye and can sometimes get a snug fit by pulling on the main line from both sides. You could use a clinch knot instead of a palomar knot. One new thing I did learn was how to keep the hook pointing straight out when using the palomar knot. After tying the palomar, run the free end down through the eye of the hook. This will keep the hook at a right angle to the line. As for the style of hook to use, I'm fond of the simple straight shank hook. Several companies have unleashed numerous hooks on the market designed for drop shotting. Some are wide gap and others resemble circle hooks.

I tie a weight to the end using a longer version of my loop knot so I can swap out various sized weights if needed without having to retie. The loop just slides through the eye of the weight, around the bottom, and then around the widest part of the weight back to the eye again. Secure it with an overhand knot on the free end you cut because it will slip if not secured properly. There are now weights specifically designed for this rig so that you won't get hung up as easily dragging along the bottom, especially in the rocks. I've read some weights can negatively affect the way the line and lure moves and turn off the fish.

If you want to try this rig out, I recommend starting simple and using nightcrawlers. You may catch a couple catfish and the bluegill may eat up all of your bait, but learning the drop shot sitting still is much easier than being confident while dragging it across the bottom wiggling a fake worm. Then you can move up to finesse worms, senkos, wacky rigged senkos, flukes, etc. You may miss a few fish, but don't get discouraged. This technique has been around for years and it works. There are two tricks. The first is to feel the line between your thumb and forefinger. You can feel the bite tap at your worm. The second and likely more important trick is to watch your rod tip. A quick bite will cause the rod tip to move suddenly and spring back straight, whereas a slow sucking bite will just cause the rod to slowly bend and spring back straight again. Learn the timing of this bite in relation to the rod tip motion and you'll catch more fish.

Tacklewarehouse has a page dedicated to drop shotting. I don't endorse any of the products on that page, but rather reference it only to give you some ideas when trying out the drop shot rig.

Related Posts:
Drop Shot Palomar Knot


Anonymous said...

Drop shotting a wacky rigged Senko is deadly!

Anonymous said...

I'm a liberal sportsman too! I dislike NASCAR and am definately NOT a redneck unless you call a hockey/baseball fan a red neck. I fish tow threetime a week when I'm not duck or quail hunting. Haver dropshotted all my life for everything along theriver chanel of many lakes and enjoy the varity of ish caught as well as the occasional BIG bass!