View Full Version : Dropshot success!

10-28-2012, 11:11 AM
This last spring I decided to dropshot for panfish and was pleasantly surprised to catch many sunfish in one area. The strike was typical of any dropshot hit - a load on the rod and then the fish hooks itself.

It's mid fall and I decided I must do some shallow water fall dropshotting until fish school in open water. Being the water temperature was 55, I knew that any lure placed in front of a crappie's nose would be hammered.
The lake was like glass most of the day and fish were inactive on the flats and in dying pads. Normally I'm guaranteed fish if I work the edges or vertical jig in the pockets. Instead, I tied an Octopus hook 16" up from the sinker and nose hooked my hand poured minnow.

The nice thing about any vertical presentation is the time you have to entice a strike in one small area vs. casting horizontally and hoping a fish will chase or reflex strike your lure. All I did was pendulum the rig into indentation or pockets, let the sinker hit bottom (usually in 4-5'), quiver the rod tip a few times, hop the sinker a few times and then wait for the strike. The hits were dramatic and fast and the hook ups easy. I had no problem pulling fish out of cover using 6# test XL. At first the action was slow when I tied the hook only 8" up. When I raised it to 1 1/2', the action was fantastic for crappie, big white perch, yellow perch, sunfish and small bass.

Late in the day I saw small pad cluster in open water an thought I'd give them a try. The depth was 6' and at first I ran a jig and minnow down to see what was around. Incredibly the same species were in open water near those pads so I pulled out the d/s. More great action! But this time I cast beyond a pad cluster and worked the lure slowly towards me hopping, dragging and pausing. Fish of all size took the lure and I didn't lose one off the hook.

The only problem I had using the d/s were the tangles between hook and sinker as the flopping fish made the sinker and line jump an twist. I think I've figured out a way to prevent it and I'll get back to you if it works.

10-28-2012, 11:45 AM
Great report and many thanks for another tidbit of information to tuck away in the back of my mind!

10-28-2012, 03:56 PM
what size weight did you use?

10-28-2012, 04:11 PM
I like the drop shot too! Have a lot of the drop shot weights and actually like the onesie for that!

Good report!

10-29-2012, 12:09 AM
what size weight did you use?

I cut the hook off old 1/8 oz ballhead jigs I won't use anymore (especially if the hook is brass). The way I found prevents line tangles from a flopping fish is to add 6" of 20 # test fluorocarbon line to the drop line up from the sinker, still keeping it at 1 1/2'. The line stiffness prevents the sinker from doing its dance.

10-29-2012, 11:37 AM
Great info! I might give it a try myself!!

10-29-2012, 01:19 PM
Hey Senko, dont be ashamed of them panfish. Most of us Crappie fishermen like Bass too and vice verse!


10-29-2012, 01:43 PM
You'd be surprised how many diehard bass anglers turn their noses up at panfishermen, especially in NY! :(
But one thing I've learned is that many small lures, especially soft plastics, are universal for most species and you never know what will hit. For instance, I became good using plastic worms when I got into a mess of rock bass in a river. From that point on I knew it was a lure I could catch bass on. Small lures do catch the largest and smallest fish of any species and sometimes I'd rather get numbers than go without a bite for hours.

10-29-2012, 02:14 PM
I fished for bass exclusively for many years, mostly with my father-n-law. I was introduced to Crappie fishing a couple years ago and i fell in love with it! Hardly ever bass fish anymore, but i still enjoy it from time to time. Unfortunanely my father n law is the type that thumbs his nose at Crappie fishing, so i understand what you mean there. And you are right, small lures catch just about everything. Sometimes i catch more bass than crappie while jigging stumps and Cypress trees here in Ar.


Tony from Oak Point
10-29-2012, 07:22 PM
Great post. I need to try this more! I've experimented once with a 1/8 oz jig and a 4" worm and a nose hooked tube above it (yes I was going for bass and crappie at the same time fooling around LOL).. I caught a crappie on the worm and then lost the rig LOL.

Using two jigs has a huge disadvantage in that it is tougher to feel the bottom, or to judge if a fish is lifting the bottom lure. I'm going to try a more traditional drop shot rig and see how it goes.

10-30-2012, 03:45 PM
I will admit that I have never tried this but I do think it will work great for me this winter around and under docks. I have a question about the setup though just to make sure i understand. You are tying a 1/8th jig head with the hook cut off at the bottom of your line and then tying a octopus hook about 1.5 feet above that correct? Do you have any weight added to the octopus hook or is it just the hook and lure and that's it? I assume there is no weight with the hook but I thought I would ask since I am a novice



10-30-2012, 10:22 PM
YouTube has videos about tying the rig. Basically you tie the Octopus hook on the line with a palomar knot, leaving a 1.5' or less leader. The hook should be straight out - perpendicular - to the line with the hook point up and then tie on a sinker of your choice at the tag end down below. The sinker can be a bullet weight with a swivel beneath it and some anglers use up to a 3/16 oz sinker depending on depth. The deeper the water the larger the weight. The shallower the water, the less leader length to the sinker. Sometimes fish are near bottom or mid-depth, but in any case I want the lure just above the fish or at eye level.

I've used straight shank, thin bronze hooks with success. I thought I might give Octopus hooks a try and found they do well. The size I used was a Gammie #1 with a 2 3/4" straight plastic minnow. Cheaper octopus hooks do just as well.

Don't give up on it. If you find a school, you will get great action and slamming hits. Just don't work it too fast horizontally along bottom or vertically in place. Pausing is key.

Good Luck!

Dave and Lynn
10-31-2012, 08:00 AM
Have read many articles on drop shoting. Have tried it in the past and have had no luck at all. Must be doing something wrong of course. I have fished slow and fast with no luck. I'm sure it works but no results. Have used live bait and jigs. Seems I resort to this type of fishing when it gets cold like now. Maybe just wrong time of year for it. Will try again here soon. I use 2 6.5 foot spinning rods one in each hand and fish from the bow using electronics to pin point fish. Have fished points and brush piles in 10-30 foot of water.

10-31-2012, 09:07 AM
Here are some guidelines with photos.

First off, use the thinnest diameter line you can get away with for the best lure action and strike detection. Use the thinnest guage and sharpest hooks available. The two hooks shown are Octopus (right) and straight shank Eagle claw bronze (left). Experiment with leader length connected to the sinker. If too short, you can always tie on a length of line below and retie the sinker.

The lures shown are my hand poured minnows with extremely thin tails that flutter if a fish breathes on them! Lures should be finesse types with very subtle tail action that irritates a fish into dominating/destroying the life form suspended in its space (strike zone). Lure length should not be too small or too large - 2"- 2 3/4" is my best range. I prefer soft plastics that are soft grade which never need to be worked by me because wave and involuntary muscle twitches impart the best and only action needed.

Try different weed areas, especially pads and never pass up docks and hard pack flats! Rock walls are alway great places for fish to hang near and easy to d/s. Remember - this is not a jighead presentation - you have the option of going as fast or as slow as you want, keeping the lure a stationary target fish can't pass up.

I can send you a minnow to try - pm me. No fish species can pass it up! They are easy to make if you have the equipment.

10-31-2012, 01:17 PM
One could also use these : TTI-Companies, Fishing is our life! - Standout Hooks (http://www.ttiblakemore.com/home/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=2&Itemid=2) ... which work with a dropshot rig (hook/leader/sinker) or double stack rig (hook/leader/jig) setup.

... cp :kewl

10-31-2012, 01:35 PM
so you are back, off the hole and pitching or casting to the "hole" or target? If so, how far can you be and still be effective? Ive never drop shot fished. I dont bass fish at all anymore so Im ignert! lol

10-31-2012, 01:45 PM
Pendulum (swing) the sinker into the hole or cast 10' along a weed edge and then work the lure slowly back towards you. Flipping is one of the best ways of accurately getting the bait into the opening or along an edge and a 1/8 oz. sinker is all that's needed even in wind. I use a light action 5 1/2' or 6' spinning rod because most medium action rods are too stiff for ultralight baits.

10-31-2012, 03:14 PM
Pendulum (swing) the sinker into the hole or cast 10' along a weed edge and then work the lure slowly back towards you. Flipping is one of the best ways of accurately getting the bait into the opening or along an edge and a 1/8 oz. sinker is all that's needed even in wind. I use a light action 5 1/2' or 6' spinning rod because most medium action rods are too stiff for ultralight baits.

thank you sir, will try. I imagine it would work with a minner too?

11-01-2012, 06:27 PM
Thanks for the great idea for those crappies and gills. My wife says I'm always trying to reinvent the mouse trap kind of guy. Always looking for new ways to catch fish. I started out way to good in this with the first 2 pitches I caught 2 gills about 8 inches a piece. That's a good gill for this area. Kept on catching a few fish but started to miss more than I was connecting with. I think my problem was (reread post) that my stageing from the hook to sinker was to short. About 8 inches (bass set up) and I should've had about 1.5 FT.. Was fishing in water about 15 ft. deep. and the fish today had come up off the bottom to feed . Will have to try that tomorrow. Thanks again STEVE

11-03-2012, 08:49 AM
Always looking for new ways to catch fish.
Me too.

The tandem rig may interest you for suspended fish.
Tie on the upper hook like you would for the d/s and at the leader end tie on a 1/16 oz ballhead jig and minnow lure. I've caught many doubles! The leader length is only 1' and when you fish the rig vertically, you can raise or lower it depending how close to the surface the fish are schooled. As usual, less applied action is better.