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Felix77

My Day With The Drop Shot

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At the beginning of this fishing season I chose to dedicate a lot of my finesse fishing to the drop shot.  I have been limited to drop shotting from the banks and occasionally when I get out on a boat.  Last week I was given the opportunity to fish Lake Bomoseen in Vermont.  I knew the lake from prior tournaments and I decided to dedicate a majority of my time to working a drop shot no matter what!  I just wanted to get a real good sense for the presentation at various depth and through various pieces of cover/structure.  I wanted a drop shot which was versatile across all conditions so I chose to rig up with the following setup

  • Rod:  Rapsody Drop’ Em rod.  6’10” MH XF Tip.
  • Line: Seaguar InvizX 8’lb test
  • Hook:  VMC 2/0 Spinshot
  • Lure:  Strike King finesse worm.  Green Pumpkin with red fleck.
  • Weight:  varied but ranged from 1/8 – ½ oz.  Hanging around 9" from the hook.

Lessons Learned

 

1 – Shallow drop-shotting – Rock

  • You need to use the lightest weight possible and try and keep the presentation moving a bit more.    Almost imagine you are ticking the rocks one at a time.  With weights heavier than 1/8 I found myself getting hung up much more often.   Caught 2 fish using this method.
    (Sidebar:  This was something I learned on this forum. … Thanks!!!)
     
  • In an effort to save $$ I would tie an overhand knot around my weight.  When I did get hung up I would lose the whole rig instead.  I switched over to pinching the weight on and just crimping the weight a little more to get a solid hold on the line.  When I was hung-up I would lose the weight and keep the rest of the rig.

2 – Shallow drop shotting – submerged grass, weed edges

  • I generally would use a Mojo rig for something like this .  I rigged the weedless drop-shot on purpose to work it and see what happens.  I found that the 2/0 spinshot actually made it through the grass better than I thought.  I bet a traditional 2/0 tied on the “old fashioned drop-shot way” would be better.  The spinshot did get weeds a lot of the time.  The 1/8 oz weight also made it through easy as long as it was the long slender model.  It is quite the workout popping it through the weeds but it did work out for 2 more catches.  That includes my biggest largemouth at almost 3 lbs.

3 – Pitching to targets (shallow)

  • According to Gene’s advanced drop shot video a shorter leader was preferable in this situation.  Being lazy and wanting to keep the same rig I actually did something different.  I “pitched” the weight to the cover and gave the lure a little more slack to ensure it fell more vertical.  Pitching under an overhanging tree was good for one more bass.

4 – Deep Drop shot (30+ feet)

  • We used part of the day to try and catch some deep water smallmouth.  We found some submerged humps with the electronics and marked fish.  I had to use ½ oz weights to keep bottom contact.  Maybe in time I can lighten that up but I needed the weight to help me feel the bottom.  We could never keep the boat on top of the hump so we struggled to catch a fish.  My buddy had a strike but his hesitation kept him from setting the hook.  Zero fish, not even a nibble for me.
  • I found it difficult in deeper waters to feel the bottom with a cast and drag method.  Jigging it was much easier.  If we could control the boat over those humps life would have been much easier.  J

 

Not sure how much help this will be for everyone but it was worth posting to get feedback on other things I could have tried.  As always your feedback/suggestions are always appreciated.

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I think 3/16 is the sweet spot for dropshot weights up to about 25fow. And once you think you're on bottom, just fish it like it is. Confidence thing that you'll get in a few trips.

What line are you using? I truly believe that braid with a leader is the best you can use for dropshotting. 10# braid should also help with keeping the fall rate relatively fast

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I think 3/16 is the sweet spot for dropshot weights up to about 25fow. And once you think you're on bottom, just fish it like it is. Confidence thing that you'll get in a few trips.

What line are you using? I truly believe that braid with a leader is the best you can use for dropshotting. 10# braid should also help with keeping the fall rate relatively fast

 

It's funny that you suggest that.  One of the videos I watched was of Jonathan VanDam (JVD) and his Drop Shot technique.  He's a believer in this method as well.  He uses a swivel between the braid and the Fluoro.  Right now I am using straight Fluoro 8lb Seaguar InvizX

 

The only question I couldn't uncover was how long a lead between the swivel and the hook.  Do you have a suggestion?

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For me, I like to leave the swivel outside of my guides when casting - so from swivel to weight it is between 3-5'. (Depending on how many times I've broken off that day) if you're dealing with super clear water, ill tie a joining knot for another 10' of fc, then swivel, then the hook and sinker

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Thanks ec1. Reeigging my drop shot rod to try this out. :)

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Great job out there! Ya know, Netcraft offers "drop shot swivels". The kind with the wire keeper so you can attach any style or weight of sinker to the swivel via a small split ring. Works just fine and is an inexpensive alternative to buying pre-made ds sinkers. I use steel bass casting sinkers from WalMarts with this set-up:

 

AssembleSplitRing.jpg

 

I use 1/4 oz. sinkers for 90% of my drop shotting. I switch to 1/2 oz. when we are moving along and spotting pods of bait on the sonar. This heavier weight helps get my bait down to the fish in short order! When anchored however, I'll use the 1/4 oz. in any depth....including down to 50'.

 

Now the Spin-Shot hooks you are using are just fine, but they do make an off-set worm style hook in the same design. This would be your most effective hook to use in the weeds. When fishing deeper water, I think you will find that if you target bait schools vs. fish, you'll be better off. I never look for fish....only bait. If I find a big enough bait ball, we'll anchor upwind of it and let the fish come to use. Works great with smallies.

 

Finally do not be afraid to change the length of your line from bait to sinker. Remember, fish will most likely go up when presenting a delicacy above them. And no matter how clear the water is, the bottom foot or so is usually moss or weed cluttered, regardless of the depth. You need to keep your offering above it. Just some thoughts. :)

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I am no drop shot expert but used it last winter in30+ fow. Tried straught 8# flouro and could not feel bites well. Went to braid with flouro leader and quite a difference in sensativity. I also prefer a lighter rod.

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I am no drop shot expert but used it last winter in30+ fow. Tried straught 8# flouro and could not feel bites well. Went to braid with flouro leader and quite a difference in sensativity. I also prefer a lighter rod.

 

I just finished switching out my line to try out the Braid with FC leader approach.  I will see how it goes.  This rod seems to work well for me shallow.  I might have to get something softer for deeper drop shotting.  Good suggestion.

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FWIW...I use 10# 832 braid and it works really well so I think you're going to like the braid.

 

I enjoyed your write up, very descriptive. Thanks for posting.

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This rod seems to work well for me shallow.  I might have to get something softer for deeper drop shotting.

Check out some walleye boards... they've got a better sense of what makes a sensitive vertical jigging rod than bass guys.

oe

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Update on this from this past weekend.

 

I fished on Oneida Lake for a 2 day tournament.  On day one I was able to use the drop shot tips from this post.  3/16 weight and braid with a FC leader in particular.  It brought me in 2 fish to make my limit.  I felt the rocky bottom much better than with FC alone.  One negative was the swivel and the leader I put on made it difficult to cast.  Too long a leader possibly.  I ended up using an underhand flip cast to get it out.

 

My catches were in the 7-10 foot range in rocky bottom/sparse grass.

 

Day 2 I tried putting a double uni knot instead of the swivel.  THe casting of the drop shot was much better.  I also got a chance to fish in 17-22 feet of water.  the 3/16oz was a little too light to feel the bottom.  Simply upgrading the weight to 1/4oz fixed that.   Unfortunately I did not catch anything on it to see how well it held up.  Day 2 was all about the finesse tube for some reason.

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