By Rick Lawrence (A.K.A The Fish-N-Fool )
I want to share with you a neat new way I found to catch river Smallmouth on a dropshot, but with a new twist! I call it “The Drag the Dropshot” method. I found this method kind of by accident.
It was early November and the weather was fair but a cold front had moved in and the water temps were dropping down into the low 50′s. I was fishing a tournament and the smallies were banging craw crank baits pretty good and we had caught a few nice size fish in the 1 ½ to 3 pounds range when the bite just stopped. I knew the fish were still there, just not biting. So we switched it up and tried a few other things like spinnerbaits, different cranks and tubes, but got no more fish.
As we were getting ready to leave to try another area, we went over one of the many big truck size boulders that are in this stretch of the river. The fish finder lit up and showed a ton of fish all around it, so I told my partner why don’t we try dropshotting them. We had pre-fished this stretch the week before and done o.k. here with cranks, catching just enough fish to figure this was a good starting point.
The water along this bank was a flat that was only about 10 to 14 feet deep with a fairly slow current, but full of large boulders from about 2 feet to 10 feet across. It had just enough color that you could just see most of the bigger boulders and make out some of the bottom. So we cast out and let the boat drift with the current like we had been when throwing cranks here earlier in the day and we both nailed a fish within the first minute of that drag! Well we loaded the boat this way and I quickly perfected the technique.
You need a slow current with a rocky, gravel or sand bottom. Just drop the bait over the edge of the boat, don’t try to cast, as that will only get you hung-up if you’re in the rocks. I learned right away that you need to put on a large enough weight so the bait will stay almost right under the boat and not drag back, then put out just enough line to reach the bottom. Let the boat drift in the current and watch your rod as the weight bounces along the rocks. If you keep the line right under the boat the hang-ups are few and the fishing can be fantastic. Bites can be very light though, so you have to lift on the rod to feel for weight if the rod tip does something odd. The egg sinker wire rig similar to a Walleye bottom walker without the extra arm works amazingly well through the rocks.
We ended up finishing 3rd and 4th in that tourney. So it was a good day. Since then I have used my “Drag the Drop Shot” method with great success, even on different sections of the river. This even worked in the main lake where there is no current, just a breeze to move the boat along. As long as you can drag the bait slowly with the boat and not with the rod it seems to work just as well.
I tie this rig up a little differently for this method and it has proven to be a fish killer. Here’s how I do it. I tie on a 1/0 Gammy red finesse hook using a double Palomar knot, so the hook eye points up and you have about a 30″ tag end. Then run the tag end back down through the hook eye. That will keep the hook pointing straight out. Then I run a bullet or egg sinker weight up the line and pinch it in place with a pair of pliers. Thahttp://ezangler.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpt does two things, it makes it easy to adjust the height of the bait off the bottom (I like mine about 12″ to 24″ off a hard bottom and about 30” off a weedy bottom) and if (or should I say when) you get hung up the weight will just slide off and you won’t lose the whole rig. Just slide on a new weight, pinch it in place and you’re good to go. If you’re fishing the rocks the weighted bent wire rig works very well and is virtually snag proof. I make these up with some unused 10” spinnerbait wires I bought an d either egg sinkers or the hollow pencil lead and run the wire through it and crimp in place, You could also buy Walleye bottom walker rigs and just cut the extra arm off the top if you didn’t want to make them up.
I’ve been using the tails off my Chartreuse Sink-N-Fool baits on this rig and it has been a real killer. I just cut off about 2 1/2 ” of the tail of one of my used baits and nose hook it. It has turned out to be one of the best dropshot baits I’ve ever fished.
Tight Lines from Rick!
About Rick Lawrence (A.K.A. The Fish-N-Fool)
He is owner and the inventor of the Fish-N-Fool Lures and the Fish-N-Fool Knot the winner of “Knot Wars” in 2011. Rick has been a Bass fisherman for almost 40 years and an inventor for another 25 years. “I took all my knowledge of Bass fishing and designed my own line of baits. I wanted a lure that could do things that no lure that was on the market could do, so I started making them myself. It all started with just one lure and now I’m working on a dozen or more”.
Visit Ricks website : http://www.fnflures.com/index.html and be sure to check out some Fish-N-Fool Lures.