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Old 11-23-2010, 08:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist! "Tips Contest"


Dropshoting with a new Twist! By Rick Lawrence

Hi guys;
I thought I would share with you a neat new way I found to catch river Smallmouth on a dropshot, but with a NEW twist! I call it “The Drag the Dropshot" method. I found this method kinda by accident. It was early November and the weather was fair but a cold front had moved in and the water temps were dropping down into the low 50's. I was fishing a tournament a few weeks ago and the Smallies were banging craw crank baits pretty good and we had caught a few nice size fish in the 1 ½ to 3 pounds range when the bite just stopped. I knew the fish were still there, just not biting. So we switched it up and tried a few other things like spinnerbaits, different cranks and tubes, but got no more fish. As we were getting ready to leave to try another area, we went over one of the many big truck size boulders that are in this stretch of the river. The fish finder lit up and showed a ton of fish all around it, so I told my partner why don’t we try dropshoting them. We had pre-fished this stretch the week before and done ok here with cranks, catching just enough fish to figure this was a good starting point.
The water along this bank was a flat that was only about 10 to 14 feet deep with a fairly slow current, but full of large boulders from about 2 feet to 10 feet across. It had just enough color that you could just see some of the bigger boulders and make out some of the bottom. So we cast out and let the boat drift with the current like we had been when throwing cranks here earlier in the day and we both nailed a fish within the first minute of that drag! At first we were getting hung-up a lot but catching fish along with loosing gear. Well we loaded the boat this way and I quickly perfected the technique.
You need a slow current with a rocky or gravel bottom. The key is don't try to cast just drop the bait over the edge of the boat, as that will only get you hung-up. I learned right away that you need to put on a large enough weight so the bait will stay almost right under the boat and not drag back, then put out just enough line to reach the bottom. Let the boat drift in the current and watch your rod as the weight bounces along the rocks. If you keep the line right under the boat the hang-ups are few and the fishing can be fantastic. Bites can be very light though, so you have to lift on the rod to feel for weight if the rod tip does something odd.
We ended up finishing 3rd and 4th with 10 and 10 ¼ pounds in the tourney. Only Four hundreds of a pound from 2nd place, on water I didn't know all that well as I had never fished here till the week before. So it was a good day. I have been out about 6 times since then and have done my “Drag the Drop Shot” method with GREAT success every time, even on different sections of the river. This even worked in the main lake where there is no current, just a breeze to move the boat along. As long as you can drag the bait slowly over a fairly level bottom with the boat and not with the rod it seems to work just as well.
I tie this rig up a little differently for this method and it has proven to be a fish killer. Here’s how I do it. I tie on a 1/0 Gammy red finesse hook using a double Palomar knot, so the hook eye points up and you have about a 30" tag end. I like the double Palomar knot for this as it seams to grip the hook better & is a little stronger. Then run the tag end back down through the hook eye. That will keep the hook pointing straight out. Then I run a bullet or egg sinker weight up the line and pinch it in place with a pair of pliers. That does two things, it makes it easy to adjust the height of the bait off the bottom (I like mine about 12" to 24" off a hard bottom and about 30” off a weedy bottom) and if (or should I say when) you get hung up the weight will just slide off and you won’t lose the whole rig. Just slide on a new weight, pinch it in place and you’re good to go. The other plus side is you don't have to buy those expensive dropshot weights. I've been using the tails off my used Chartreuse Sink-N-Fool's for baits on this rig and it has been killer. I just cut off about 2 1/2 " of the tail of one of my torn baits and nose hook it. It has turned out to be one of the best dropshot baits I’ve ever fished.
Although this worked great on the hard to catch cold front Smallies, I think it would work just as well on active fish earlier in the year. I plan to put it to the test on ol Mr. bucketmouth next spring!!!

Here is a diagram of how I tie up my dropshot. Give it a try I think you'll like it!!!!!

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Old 11-23-2010, 08:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist!

I like the way you are tying that dropshot hook onto the main line, sounds like it will make the hook stand out better. Thanks for the post im sure im going to give this a try.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist!

Rick I like the way you did that with the dropshot. I like that idea of the bullet or egg sinker weight. Like you said if when you do get hung up it'll slide off, then all you need is another weight. Thanks for sharing this with us.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist!

Yeah Looks like a good set up.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist!

Rick: Thanks for the post, it looks like it should be a Killer way to drop shot and it defenetly beats loosing the whole rig a big toya for sharing. Lou
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist!

Nice twist on a great technique! I loooooooooove to DS, and I will definitely use this next year.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist!

I'll give it a "shot", next Spring...Thanks for sharing...



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Old 11-23-2010, 10:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist!

DS and tubes are about the only two things working for river smallies at the moment (for me anyway). I like to tie my hook on with the Worlds Fair knot, but the rest of my set up is the same as what you posted.

Great tip!
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist!

Thanks for posting this...I have been using the slide off sinker method for years. It sure saves on time and on rigs.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dropshotting for Smallies with a new Twist!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodeen
Thanks for posting this...I have been using the slide off sinker method for years. It sure saves on time and on rigs.
Just goes to show yah, great minds think alike.


On a sad note the weather has turned ugly here and dropped well below freezing. It was only 5 Deg. this morning and suppose to be MINUS 12 tomorrow. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
So looks like my Bass fishing is all done till spring.
I'll be beating my head on the wall, needing a new fix by then! LOL

I may have to take up trout fishing! Yuck
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