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Drop shotting: Newest form of finesse fishing

One of the fun things about fishing is all the new lures and techniques that show up regularly. Some work, some don't. But, this latest technique on the scene -- drop shotting -- seems to be one you will want to add to your attack plans.

This new technique is said to have started in Japan where there are many people and few places to fish. In other words, this technique is especially effective for heavily pressured fish. It's similar to a Carolina rig, which is one heck of a fish-catching technique, itself, except itís reversed.

In this new rig, instead of the sinker being between the bait and the rod, like a Carolina rig, the worm is tied between the rod and the sinker so that when the sinker is on the bottom, the bait is suspended up off the bottom. I know, a lot of you catfish anglers out there are saying right now, "That's nothing new." And, you'd be right. Catfish anglers have used a similar type of rig for years, although the tackle we used for cats was a lot heavier and stronger. This new deal is more for finesse bass fishing.

Rigging technique
To rig a drop shot, use your favorite knot to tie on a small worm hook and tie it directly on the line, leaving some 18 to 30 inches on the tag end. Depending on your fishing, you might want this tag end to be between 10 and 18 inches. Itís up to you. At the end of this line, tie on your sinker. There are several manufacturers now making sinkers specially designed for this technique.

You can use a sinker you have in your tackle box right now. A bell sinker with a built-in swivel works just fine. The key is to use a fairly light sinker, one heavy enough to get the bait down, but will sink slowly enough so suspended fish can see and get it. This lighter sinker will help you feel what's happening down there better.

One "pro" tip here is to tie the sinker on with two simple overhand knots. It you hang up, this knot will break easily and you only have to worry about adding another sinker.

Most anglers use a small, finesse-style worm of about 4 inches or so in this technique. Spinning tackle with a lighter line works fine.

The drop shot rig is best fished vertically, or near vertically. As noted, you need to watch your line closely for signs of a strike as it sinks.

Fishing technique
As for fishing this rig, you can hold the worm in place letting line twist, current and boat movement give it the "action," and on occasion, shake the rod tip a bit for a little more and different action.

Where and when to fish this rig? Anytime the fish are suspended and near the bottom, and anywhere you want to.

Finesse fishing has always been associated with clear, deep-water lakes with a minimum of aquatic vegetation or woody cover. Most of the time, anglers think of finesse fishing from spring through fall and most anytime of the day. And, they'd be right. But, with drop shotting, I've seen where anglers have been catching fish around boat docks in February. Also, recently I saw where some pro angler finished in the money at a big tournament drop-shotting Yamamoto finesse worms in 20 to 25 feet of water.

So, this new rig is one bass anglers should add to their arsenal. It's versatile, easy to rig and use, and can catch bass. You might not use it during the topwater and spinnerbait time of the year, but any other time, watch that line and hang on to your rod. -- Story by Marvin Spivey

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