In the last article, I covered the basics of why and how I utilize a drop shot to target deep, winter time bass. Now that the mercury is heading north, let’s take a look at what I would consider the most popular presentation for a drop shot: Horizontal casting. While most people prefer to cast and retrieve their drop shots, I feel that there are a few details that are often overlooked that could possibly be hindering success rates.
The first question that I typically get about Drop shotting is “What length do I need to use for my drop line?” This is a great question and one that I really struggled with in as I began to learn this technique. I have had the most success with a shorter leader than most people use when casting my baits to targets. I began using a leader that is anywhere from 6”- 10” and immediately saw my catch rate increase dramatically. Again, this is just a starting point for me but will typically produce good results about 90% of the time. I do typically go to a longer leader when I am faced with more fishing pressure or flat calm conditions.
The second question that I get is “What hooks, weights, and line do I need?” I like to keep my system very simple and think that by doing this, I have developed a feel for my baits that allows me to catch more fish. My set up consists of 7lb Sunline Sniper Flurocarbon, a 1/0 Medium wire Rebarb hook made by Gamakatsu, and a 1/8oz round ball drop shot weight. This combination of terminal tackle is what I use almost all of the time but I will adjust my weight up to 3/16oz or 1/4oz if the wind picks up or if I am wacky rigging a Senko style bait.
Finally, when it comes to actually retrieving my bait, I have found that each day is unique and that it is best to experiment to find out which presentation is most efficient at triggering bites. I’ve seen guys who are excellent drop shotters catch fish by violently shaking their baits and others catch their fair share of fish by methodically dragging their baits slowly back to the boat. The real key is to keep your weight on the bottom and not get in too big of a hurry. If you remember that this is a finesse presentation, you will see your catch rate increase with this technique.
Special thanks to my sponsors Skeeter Boats, Yamaha, Spro, Gamakatsu, Sunline, Big Bite Baits, and Lowrance. Check out Will’s sponsors at WillPettyFishing.com to learn more about these products mentioned.