5 min to read
Drop Shot, A Co’s Best Friend – Jason Johnson
Category : BACK DECK
The sissy stick, the fairy wand- well what I call it is a money maker! Obviously, I’m talking about the finesse fishing game with light spinning equipment. Whether fishing from the front or back, the drop shot is my number one presentation, and if you don’t throw one too, you’re leaving money on the table!
Let’s start with the setup. I use a 6’10 G Loomis NRX shakey head rod. Some people prefer a 7’1, but I can pitch and toss it around a lot more precise with the smaller rod. I almost always use a 7ft leader of 5 to 8 lb Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon (depending on water clarity and fish activity) joined to 15lb Kanzen braid using the double Alberta knot, which is super strong and reliable, yet small enough to not hang on the rod eyes. My number one go-to line is 7lb. It’s a good medium from small and invisible to durable and strong. If the water is stained, I may go with 8lb, but I promise with your drag set light and a light action rod, 7lb is plenty. Hooks are very important as well. 100% of the time, I use and recommend the Gama “rebarb” hook in medium wire 1/0. I Texas rig my worms all the time unless I’m small mouth fishing, then I switch to a decoy nose hook.
Most know how to tie a drop shot, but if you do not, simply tie a basic palomar. To ensure that your hook stands straight up, it’s important to run the line through the hook point side first then back through. Tie the knot but leave yourself about 12 to 20 inches of tag end. Once wet and clinched, run the tag back down the hook side of the eye and tie your sinker on. I usually go 12 to 14 inches down. Here’s one important tip-when choosing a weight, shallow or deep, find what size weight you are comfortable with. I like 1/4 at all depths. I know exactly what that weight feels like on my rod and the very subtle bites I can still feel the presence of extra weight and know to set the hook.
Now that we are tied up and read to go, where do you throw the drop shot? Answer is very easy. EVERYWHERE! When I first started fooling around with the technique several years ago on Lake Lanier, I was caught up in the video game technique. That’s all drop shotting was good for. When you saw them on your graph, you would drop down and try to get the fish to chase it down and eat it. Well after progressing with the technique, I figured out it was even more deadly when casting it out and dragging it along the bottom the same way you would do a shakey head or texas rigged worm (remember when casting to increase your leader length for the angle of the line. Otherwise your worm will be very close to the bottom). Reason being is from what all you read points to the fact that bass really don’t like eating off the very bottom. They will and do, But think about how many times you pull a jig up over a object and the fish hits it before it gets back to the ground. It’s kind of the same deal with the drop shot. It’s coming along and all of a sudden this natural looking “shad” is eye level with a bass that’s positioned on the bottom and they can’t stand it. Remember a bass uses all kinds of senses, but visual is a big part as well and with eye positioning they see above and in front of them a lot better than they can see below them.
As a co angler, I refined my drop shotting yet once again when I started fishing the FLW Tour. It’s no secret how hard it is to catch fish clean behind a pro. Some don’t realize this until they try the co angler format but getting bites is golden as a co. So I found that my confidence bait for doing that is a drop shot. Most of my pros are throwing jigs, frogs, squarebills and the last 2 years, an umbrella rig or various other heavier line moving techniques. Unless those fish are super aggressive he/she is not likely gonna catch all of the bass out of that school without really spending a lot of time on them. So here comes along this slowly moving, slightly off the bottom, natural looking bait with small diameter line giving it a ton of action, which causes those unaggressive fish to casually thump the end of your line. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten bites 5:1 over my boater and they finally slow down and throw a drop shot or a shakey head.
As a co, you have to try this kind of finesse technique everywhere. The edge of grass is a killer place for the drop shot. I led going into the final day of Lake Eufaula this year throwing it on the edge of grass beds. Then, if offshore fishing, never be afraid to try deeper than your pro is fishing. At Lake Chickamauga, I smashed them the first day throwing out give or take 15 ft deeper than my pro, and he was fishing the 20 foot depth. There is no place I can imagine not using it unless you are fishing matted vegetation where you need to punch. Otherwise, it’s game on and I promise if you dedicate time to throwing the drop shot you will put more fish in the boat and more cash in the bank. The sissy stick don’t seem so sissy when your bank account is on the rise!
Circuits Fished: Flw Tour
Years Co: 1
Favorite Technique: Anything in Deep clear water –Topwater fishing and video game fishing (drop shotting) are my 2 favorite
Hobbies away from Fishing: Working to support my fishing addiction, bow hunting, and snowboarding