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Drop Shot

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Newnew- Welcome to FishingMinnesota/Hot Spot Outdoors.. the bass forum here can be a ton of fun and very informative. However, narrowing your questions down some may help you get answers. I wrote this article quite a few years back. Not sure if it is what you are looking for or not. But feel free to read it and ask questions, I will do my best to help.

The Dropshot Rig

Hello, my name is Deitz Dittrich, and I have a problem. I am addicted to fishing. Not only that, I am addicted to bass fishing!

Understanding that you have a problem is the first step.

We as bass anglers don't need a 12-step program. Think about it, many of us have boats worth over $20,000, filled with 10-30 of our best rod and reel combinations and enough tackle to sink your normal aluminum boat.

At the end of a great fishing trip, we can pull up to the boat landing dock and see the guy reeling a spinning reel upside down on a bait casting rod fishing for pan fish.

He would say as we pull up. "How was the fishing?"

I reply "Oh, not too bad caught quite a few, was a fun day."

"Mind if I see any of them?" He says.

"Well, err you see, um, I didn't keep any of them." I say and as we walk by we notice the bucket full of sunfish the guy caught from the boat landing dock.

So, we have the boat with the GPS, 3 depth finders, temp gauge, 20 rod and reels, and enough tackle to fill fort Knox. Yet no fish,

AND WE LIKE IT THAT WAY!!!!!

I'm also a teacher. I work in the Chicago Lakes School District in the Primary Building. There are 3 full time men teachers and about 40 female employees. Let's just say life isn't always easy! I'm one of those people that like to get to work early and finish all my plans so that when I have a break during the day, I can do something not related to teaching. Usually it's spent looking around the Internet trying to find stuff related to fishing. It was one of these times about 2 years ago that I found an article written by Terry Batisti, who started and owns a small Hand Pour Plastic company called Snakebite Tackle.

The article was on a deep water fishing technique called Dropshotting, and explained a finesse technique that was becoming popular in the very deep reservoirs of the west.

After reading the article I realized that we here in Minnesota don't fish 80 feet of water to often like the article stated, yet the rig fascinated me. I e-mailed Mr. Batisti and told him I enjoyed the article and then told him how I thought that the rig could easily be adapted to our waters and the way we fished here. We sent a few e-mails back and forth giving each other ideas on how, and where this rig could really shine.

The undershot rig is not new. Very seldom is anything totally new invented, we have just found different ways to use them. That is what has happened to the Dropshot rig. From the research that I have done it began as a river rig for fishing live bait off the bottom without using a floating jig head. Also believe it or not many years ago it was used for ice fishing. The basic rig is very simple, and you probably will not need to run to the store and get anything. That is the beauty of this rig. It's simple, simple to use, and catches loads of fish.

You begin by tying a Palomar knot on a hook with a long tag end. Then run the tag end back through the hook eye, and fasten a sinker to the bottom somehow. There are 3 different styles of hooks that I know of that people have been using.

One is the simple, light wire, straight shank hook.

The other is like the Gamakatsu octopus hook.

And companies like owner have thought that this rig is good enough that they have invented hooks solely for this rig.

The sinker is easy too; you can peg a sliding sinker to your line, or tie one on. Companies have invented sinkers for this rig also.

Typically the rig is fished on medium action spinning gear and 6-10 pound test mono line. The plastic used is usually a 4" finesse style worm or something like that. I like the Exude 4" finesse worm. It's a very basic presentation, yet the possibilities for the way that it can be fished are only held back by your imagination.

Again-The rig began as a deep open water technique for bass fishing. I am not going to talk about that much. I would rather talk about the ways in which that I think it would best be used in our waters a little closer to my home.

The typical presentation is to make a short cast in an area that you believe to be holding fish. The rig works best when fished near to vertical. Allow the rig to sink to the bottom and let it sit. Then allow a small amount of slack line and shake it. Move the bait a few inches and

repeat. It's that easy. The bite is on slack line so it will not

necessarily feel like a normal bite but like other rigs where the line is semi slack like a soft plastic jerk bait. Sometimes you may feel a tick, sometimes-just pressure. DO NOT SET THE HOOK!

Instead just begin to reel fast till the rod loads. Then if necessary you can set the hook. If you set the hook to begin with because of the way the rig is set up you can pull the bait out of the fish's mouth without a hook up. Because most of the time you are using a light wire hook and many times an exposed hook a boat rocking hook set is not needed. I like to compare the hook set to how the great crank bait fishermen do. More of just added pressure than a hook set.

Areas that you can fish this rig are endless. It can be used anywhere where you would normally use a Carolina Rig or Texas Rig. And areas in which you wouldn't fish those rigs. Think of a time in which you were fishing a Carolina rig, and on every cast you would bring gunk up on your sinker and lure. Yet on times you could keep the bait clean you felt a bite. Because the lure itself never comes in contact with the bottom on the Dropshot rig, this is perfect. Your sinker still collects and stirs up the bottom yet the lure is allowed to work naturally. Or let's say you have found fish on the very edge of a deep weed line. The fish seem to be positioned just inside the short weeds and the only way you can get them to hit is by using a very light weight sinker on a Texas rig. Yet you feel like your wasting time to let your bait sink slowly down to the depth your working. Again the dropshot rig is perfect. Set the leader length to the depth needed and fish as heavy a sinker as you want. The lure its self is weightless, a suspending soft plastic lure. You control the speed at which it sinks or rises with your rod tip.

Another situation where the dropshot shines is if you are fishing over lure stealing rocks. You know what I am talking about. No matter what you throw down there it gets hung up. You can use one of the New No snag sinkers on this rig or get some environmentally safe split shot and pinch them on the end of your line. Then when you get stuck just pull the sinkers off, instead of having to re-tie you just need to add new sinkers.

Heavy vegetation is also a great place for the dropshot. With the onset of Eurasian Water Milfoil in many of our states' lakes, we have needed to adapt to fishing heavy vegetation. You know the bass are there. Typically many people fish these areas successfully with heavy jigs. However there are day in which it seems if you could get a smaller finesse rig there you could catch more fish. Use as heavy a sinker as you like. Put as small a piece of plastic as you want, you can get it threw the carpet of weeds and fish it weightless beneath.

Have you ever fished a dock or laydown to find a very skittish fish that will follow your bait along the bottom but you can't get it to hit? If only you had a lure that would sit in one place and entice the fish to strike.

Use as long a leader as you want. I have heard guys use 5-foot leaders and cast past an area. The sinker stays past the area yet the bait just hovers next to the cover. I'm not saying that this rig is going to replace the Carolina rig or Texas rigs. But I do believe that it deserves a spot in your repertoire.

Give it a try. The worst thing that could happen is...

You could catch more fish to not bring home!

on a side note, as I said, I wrote this article many years ago, not sure how many but if I had to guess, probably close to 10 years ago. I have since changed a few things in my drop-shotting. I now use primarily Florocarbon lines(gamma) in 6lb on my spinning and 10 lb on my baitcasting. I use the standout hooks, and use the bull shot sinkers. Its what I have found that works best for me. I also now, SET THE HOOK. In the article I did not set but more of a reel set.. Which I still think does work best if using a mosquito hook, but with the standouts I do set the hook now..

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Do you order you standouts online or are they carried by local stores? I don't remember seeing them at gander or cabelas...

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Quote:
Wow, thats why I come back everyday. Thanks

Thanks Craigums.. as stated this article was written quite early in my career in fishing, probably not anywhere near my best. But good to know that it still has meaning. I love to write, but have a hard time finding the time.

Quote:
Do you order you standouts online or are they carried by local stores? I don't remember seeing them at gander or cabelas...

Ahhhhh great question, and one I do not give up unless asked. I can find all the red stand out hooks I want at gander and elsewhere.. But if I am to be honest, I cant stand the red ones.. after one fish or so they start to turn gold.. not a fan of gold.. SooOOOOOoooOOOOooo I have found black ones .. I usually order about 12 packs at a time.

The reds hooks do work.. but once they are gold in color I loose confidence in them.. The black stay black...which I like.. I also feel the black stay sharper which in my opionion is key with drop shot. I have not found black hooks ANY where else in the metro.

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I agree with Deitz, the red stand out hooks turn gold way to fast.

Deitz, thanks for the info on the black hooks. I will order a bunch since I really like the stand out hooks.

I also set the hook with them after a short pause and do not miss many fish. I don't set the hook anywhere as hard as I do with a texas rig but I still set the hook. When drop shotting you are not fishing far from the boat and may times nearly verticle so a hard hook set is not necessary plus we are normally using lighter line either 6 or 8 lb. Most fish are hooked in the upper jaw which is great as far hook up. Problem I have up here in central MN is Northern Pike love drop shotting and I get a number of bite off's nearly every time out since the line is very exposed.

Joel

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How does the wind affect the way you fish the drop shot. I use it but not as often as I would like due to the fact I seem to have little or no luck on it if the winds are over 5-6 mph.

Bob

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How does the wind affect the way you fish the drop shot. I use it but not as often as I would like due to the fact I seem to have little or no luck on it if the winds are over 5-6 mph.

Bob

Bob- I can only share with you my opinion. I drop shot a lot.. almost to the point its a crutch for me. I might drop shot too much.. but its successful for me. I have not noticed a change in dropshotting in the wind except for where the fish locate themselves on a piece of structure. I will use slightly longer leaders on windy days at times, and heavier sinkers.

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Yo DD:

I used to rig my dshot with those Standout hooks, I tried switching to regular dshot hooks and noticed a much bigger strike frequency than with the Standouts. I don't know if I was doin' something wrong but it is what it is.

How big a lure/hook can you use for dropshotting? Wonderin' why those dshot hooks are so small at Size 1???

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From what I've seen with Bass is, if you can get a lure to fall at just the right speed and there is a Bass in the area, It will hit it! Just a change from a lighter 5/0 hook to a heaver 5/0 hook can mean the difference from a bad day on the water to a great day on the water. Now if you are fishing deep water you can't just cast out and wait for the lure to sink the 15 feet (or what ever) to get to the strike zone and if you put it on a jig the lure will not sink at the right speed. With a drop shot you can get the lure down deep fast, keep the lure in the zone you want and let the lure drop at just the right speed.

My tip is don't just rig up a drop shot rig and think it will work. Pay close attention to the fall rate of the combos of hook-lure that catch fish and stay with that combo. If you switch sizes try to get the same fall speed!

you may have noticed above he told you the hook but not the size of the lure.

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I had some pretty good luck with large and smallmouths lately with the DS rig. I added a wrinkle that I am sure is not a break through, but I will mention it anyway. My sinker is an upside down bullet weight with a glass bead. I was fishing darker water. My theory was for the the glass bead to clank around on the concave face of the bullet sinker. Seemed to work on this hot, muggy July day in September.

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