There seems to be a new craze sweeping the predator fishing community here in the UK, and it goes by the name of “Drop Shot Fishing” or simply “Drop Shotting”. It is a technique more common to America and Europe, it has taken a while to catch on over here. It is more commonly found in sea fishing but in recent years it is also started to be used inland for course fishing.
So What Is Drop Shotting?
Essentially it is a lure fishing method using imitation lures, jelly lures an replicants. It gives a greater control over the depth you are fishing and let’s the angler keep the lure in the predatory fish’s “kill zone” for a much longer period of time. This fishing technique is primarily used for predator fishing, targeting Perch, Pike, Zander and Chub.
The Drop Shot Rig
The rig for drop shot fishing is fairly unique in the sport and is possibly one of the simplest to set up with only three components, the hook, the lure and the weight, the main difference with this rig is that the hook sits half way up the leader and uses a single hook where other lure fishing techniques use the infamous treble hooks. The weight is the last thing to sit on the line, acting pretty much like a ledger bomb would, weighing the “bait” down. Here is a diagram of the drop shot rig:
A Typical Set Up
Key components of the rig are the drop shot weight itself. A specialised weight which has a special built in swivel with a line clip instead of an eye. The weight can vary from 3 grams to 20 grams depending on the type of water you are fishing, heavier leads for faster flowing waters. Some people use a normal lead for this and tie it onto the line, however this prevents you from easily altering the depth you are fishing. A large hook size 2-6 depending on the size of the lure, a lot of anglers tend to use long shanked hooks an thread the jelly lure onto them similar to a jig head hook. Others use a regular hook and “lip hook” the jelly lure. The lure, small 1.5inch – 3.5inch in size seem to be the most common, a wide range of different sizes, colours and patterns are available from many different manufacturers, different “tails” on these lures give a different action in the water. The line / leader – Some people I’ve spoken to tie the rig directly to the main line, which is usually a light weight mono. However my preferred method is to tie the rig onto roughly 4 ft of leader, I use 6lb flourocarbon for this as I feel the near invisibility the flourocarbon gives improves the presentation of the rig.
How To Tie A Drop Shot Rig
The important thing to remember when tying this rig is that the hook must point upwards and at a 90 degree angle or as close to it as possible. The most common knot used to achieve this is the Palomar Knot, tied 15inches to 20inches up the line to leave enough of the line for altering the depth and clipping the weight on. Below is a diagram on how to tie the Palomar Knot.
strong>Adding the weight – The eye on the weight has a special clip, you simply thread the line through the eye and pull it into the clip, this will lock the weight in place, the distance you set the weight from the hook determines how far off the bottom you fish, this also keeps the lure at the same depth when you explore the swim. It is remarkably quick to change the depth, simply in clip the line and slide it either up or down and re-clip.
Tying The leader to the mainline – The knot I use for tying the leader to the main line is called the Albright Knot, this is another simple yet strong knot, crucially with a low diameter so that it passes through the rod rings with ease.
The Drop Shot Technique
Now to the technique itself, it can seem a little odd if you are used to fishing lures as you don’t cast and retrieve the lure in the same way, you cast and “bounce” the lure slowly along the bottom instead. Small flicking movements of the rod tip to gently lift the weight off the bottom and bounce it whilst slowly winding the reel. You can even work the lure on the spot by gently flicking the rod tip and not winding the reel. The best way to demonstrate this technique would be to watch a video, here is possibly the best drop shot video on YouTube by Fox.
Other articles about drop shotting
Below are a few other sources of information about fishing the drop shot method, check them out.