Well where to begin with dropshotting? The technique itself has been around for a long time however, it is only just starting to become popular in the UK.
The first person I heard mention dropshotting was a predator angling friend by the name of Ant Glascoe Jr who after several conversations had given me a lot of good advice and had peaked my interest more than enough to try it for myself.
So what exactly is dropshotting, there are actually a couple of versions of dropshotting so I will try to explain them but first I will explain how to tie your dropshotting rig.
You will need a good strong hook I use sizes ranging from 4 to 12 but make sure you have a hook with a straight shank, Kamasan hooks are good for this. The next thing you will need is about 1 – 2 ft of abrasion resistant line to give you more of a fighting chance if you happen upon a Pike (Berkley IronSilk 8lb is my favourite to use) which has a lower breaking strain than your main line, you will also need a weight this can be anything from a couple of swan shots to dedicated dropshotting weights. Finally you will need your lures which can range from 1 – 2 inches.
Take your line and slide it through the eye of the hook making sure that the point of the hook is facing upwards from what will be the bottom of your rig, leaving around 8 inches of line at the bottom.
Next bring the bottom part of your rig around in a loop behind the hook, loop the hook through the hoop of line that you have created about 4 or 5 times and then pull tight. If you have done it right it should look like the photo. (thanks to Carl Peake for this little piece as before I was tying it using a palamar knot)
Now about 4-8 inches from the bottom of the hook place either two SSG shots or the dropshot weight.
At this stage I would like to give you a little trick that Ant Glascoe Jr gave me and that is to tie the bottom 4 or 5 inches of your rig (including the bit you put the weight on) using a weak pole elastic. The reason for this is it will create less of a bounce of the weights whilst still giving the lure you are using a good amount of movement.
So that is the rig made now it is time for you to choose the lure you want to use. This is not as simple as it sounds as there are such a huge selection of lures available in the 1 – 2 inch range. In the following photos I have shown you a selection of lures that are my favourites but the choice really is yours, most of them are from AGM Discount Fishing however, you will notice some DropshotFlyz these are tied by JerkBaitMania, the worms are from TackleShack and finally the Shrimp are from Savage Gear and will be available from February 2014.
There are a few ways you can connect your line to your rig, tucked half blood knots, etc but most of the time I just tie two loops and feed the rig loop through the loop on the end of my line and then feed the rig through its own loop slowly tightening it all up, it’s never let me down yet.
Okay now we move onto the actual method of dropshotting. The first method is vertical dropshotting which is usually done from a boat and literally you put your rod out over the edge, let your rig drop to the bottom and gently lift and lower the tip of your rod so that the weight just lifts of the lake bottom and then settles back down, this creates a movement in your lure which any predator fish near find hard to resist. With the vertical lift method it isn’t unusual to have longer tails to your rigs as it is often fished in deeper water and you want your lure higher in the water. The rig in the picture below is designed for deeper water vertical dropshotting and the lure is a Fritz Germany F002 that I made myself using their gel powder and FB002 kit.
The second method is horizontal dropshotting and is very similar to jigging in the sense that you cast your lure out and then holding your rod tip quite high slowly retrieve your lure giving the rod an occasional twitch to lift the weight off the bottom (instead of your jig) again creating a movement in your lure that predators struggle to leave alone.
This method is more often used on canals and small lakes from the bank and is ideal for placing your lure at a certain depth instead of bouncing it off the bottom. Obviously you can use the vertical dropshot method in the margins which will quite often produce a bite.
The areas where I fish are not known for producing massive fish but as you can see from the photos I have caught plenty of fish and had a great time in the process.
Travel as light as possible as a roving method works best with this style of fishing but make sure you have a suitable landing net, an unhooking mat and a pair of long nose forceps incase you need to remove a deep hooked lure.
Above all have fun, stay safe and I hope you have enjoyed my article.
Tight lines & happy dropshotting.