Do you have some drop shotting tips?
Response by Tyler Brinks - Dated 6/30/2002
Editor note: For clarification, drop shotting is a technique used where the weight is hung from the very end of the fishing line. The baited hook is tied inline towards the reel, allowing the bait to hang suspended while the weight is on the bottom. The line between the weight and the bait is considered the leader.
Drop-shotting is my favorite way to catch bass, 70% of the fish I catch are on a drop-shot, and I catch almost all of my biggest fish doing it. I have been using it for over two years now, so I am fairly knowledgeable on the subject. I will answer the questions and share what I have learned about the technique and try to help you catch more fish.
A 1/4oz weight is my standard. Unless the water is deeper than 30, or if there is a strong wind. In these cases I use a 3/8oz weight. For the depths you are going to be fishing, a 3/16 or a 1/4 will work just fine.
The drop shot can be used effectively in many ways. It really doesn't matter how you use it, the way that the lure is rigged catches the fish. When drop shotting, the bait is off the bottom, right in the fish's face, and barely shaking your rod will give the bait alot of action. I think if there is a fish where you cast too, he will eat it. Finding the fish is most important of course, if you know there are fish directly below you than a vertical approach will work. Just drop it to the bottom and shake your rod tip so the bait moves, but the weight remains in contact with the bottom. Also if there is a tree or something else below you, dropping the drop shot right along the base of the tree or piece of structure, and then shaking it will catch alot of fish. I mostly cast the rig to shallow water and shake and hop it slowly out to deeper water. I also like casting across points or breaklines and dragging it slowly while shaking the rod every few seconds.
All three will work, I usually vary my retrieves and how I work the lure several times untill I find something that the fish really want. Most of the time I will shake it for about 5 seconds, pause, then reel in some line, then repeat. I have used it flipping into trees and tules with baitcasting gear, braided line, 1/2 weights and 8 inch worms and caught alot of fish.
Drop shotting will work all day and in any season, but it is not a good technique to use if your looking for fish. The drop shot really shines when you know there are fish in an area but can't get them to bite. It is also a good way to completely fish an area that looks productive. When the sun gets high, espescially this time of year, and the fish go deeper the drop shot will catch you alot of fish. When there are pressured fish you should use the drop-shot as much as you can.
I believe that this should vary with water depth. In water less than 10 feet, I think a 12 inch leader is perfect. For deeper water an 18 inch leader is what I use. Aaron Martens, the best drop-shotter there is uses many different leader sizes. He used a 4 inch leader when drop shotting canals in Florida, and then a 3 foot leader fishing for spotted bass in 130 feet of water(he said it took 2 minutes for his bait to fall all the way down). As the bait is falling alot of strikes will occur, watch for your line walking away. The fish will hit it pretty hard sometimes, but sometimes you will just get a mushy feeling or feel a little weight.
I have used circle hooks, owner octopus hooks and gamakatsu drop shot hooks, but do not really like them. The hook that you use depends on the bait your gonna use and the area you are gonna fish. These small hooks are used when your nose hooking your worm and you want alot of action. The problem is that there is an open hook when you do this, and it will catch on to any tree limb you go near. I really dont trust these small hooks after losing a few Spotted bass on Lake Shasta, right as they were going to be netted the hook came out, talk about frustrating. The hooks that I use are Gamakatsu size 1 G-Locks. Then I texas rig the worm instead of nose hooking it, and I get better hooksets and don't catch every tree in the water. You can use any plastic bait that you want, but my favorites is a special drop shot worm made by Gil at TackleSupply.com. These baits have an awesome fishy look to them and every color that I have used has caught alot of fish. Also a good straight tail worm like a 4 1/2 inch worm made by Robo worms, the colors I like are oxblood light red flake, baby bass, and Aaron's magic.
A 6 foot 6 light or medium action spinning rod is the best tool for the job. You want a rod with a light tip so you can shake the bait easily and get alot of action for your bait. The rod also needs to have some backbone so you can set the hook and reel them in more effectively. The longer rod also makes it easy to sweep set on the fish and hook almost everyone that bites. I use a shimano stradic 2000 reel, its perfect size in my opinion, and handles the 6lb P-Line very well.
I hope all of this helps you guys, and you start using a drop shot when you wanna catch some fish.