Most people believe that the drop-shot rig is only for finesse fishing, but there is more than one way to skin a cat! (or Fish), as the case may be. The new Power Drop-Shot style started by Kotaro Kiriyama, is fast becoming the way to bigger and better bags on many of the tournament trails.
Drop-shot rigs consist of a hook tied above a sinker that is placed at the end of the line so that the lure suspends off the bottom. Conventional tackle consists of light action spinning gear and 4-8 pound line, and the tactic is usually deployed vertically in deep water.
Kiriyama says "Drop-Shotting is about presenting a soft plastic lure in a manner that is different from Texas rigging or Carolina rigging." When conditions allow, Kiriyama, (who logged 10 Top 10 finishes in his first 37 events on tour), says "You may get more bites with lighter line and smaller baits, but when there is heavier cover, a power version is required.
This is a technique we have employed with success all last year, and now we are going to share it with you here in the Northeast. This technique works great in all the lakes, rivers, and impoundment's here in the Northeast. It is a great way to put together a real quality stringer.
The drop shot's configuration with the weight beneath the lure, makes it ideal for pitching into heavy cover. The reason, is that the sinker goes through cover better and falls right to the bottom.
You can fish faster and cover more water! We fish it just like other anglers fish a Texas rig, but like Kiriyama, we believe it is more effective! This is a great tactic for places like the Potomac River or Lakes such as Kerr or Gaston, where the fish are highly pressured and are used to seeing anglers flip Texas rigs and Carolina rigs. This gives the highly pressured fish a completely different look. The rig has some other advantages also. There is less line wear at the hook knot because the sinker is not beating against it, and the hook is not dragging the bottom where the line and knot can be damaged. You can also detect the bites a lot easier, because the sensation goes through the line without passing through a sinker that deadens the sensitivity. In lower Delaware we have a Bald Cypress swamp in one of the lakes, and there are also similar areas in the Nanticoke River. Most anglers flip these trees with Texas rigged worms in the 4 inch size or with a small lizard in the spring. We like the power drop shot rig in these areas the best. It attracts bass that are lying near the bottom or are suspended in cover down at the roots.
You can fish this rig either horizontally or vertically. In the heavy currents in the Sassafras River on the Upper Chesapeake Bay, we drag it from the calm water into the faster moving current, and catch largemouth holding near the edges waiting for an easy meal. You can also use this rig successfully in deep cover. This will work well in the standing timber in Table Rock Lake when fished on a Fluorocarbon line in 10-16 pound test. We have used 30 pound test when the fish were aggressive, and gone down to 10 pound when the bite is tougher. This is a clear to stained water technique though, and works much better in these conditions. There are areas here in the Northeast that have extremely clear water at times, and it excels in those areas. We use this around deep points also with great success. Waters such as Spruce Run and Greenwood in New Jersey and New York are great areas to use the Power Drop shot. We use it anywhere you would normally use a Carolina or Texas rig.
When we flip the Power Drop shot rig we use 6 and 6 1/2 inch Yamamoto Cut Tail worms. We have tried a variety of other baits with this rig, but the straight tail and Cut-Tail worms have produced the best results. When you are flipping it in fairly light cover, you can go with a lighter sinker of 1/16 of an ounce, and as the cover gets thicker, we go as high as 3/8 of an ounce. Since the start of 2003, we have been using nothing but the Tungsten weights for all our baits. We believe this is especially important with the Power Drop Shot also, as the Tungsten is heavier than lead, allowing for a smaller profile, which penetrates the cover better, and allows for a better feel of the bottom.
We generally rig the baits with a 2/0 to a 3/0 Gamakatsu or X-Point hook, but we will go as high as a 5/0 on some of the bigger worms at times. The general rule when using this rig for flipping is simple; The distance between the hook and the weight, is no more than 3-6 inches longer than the bait itself.
The rig is simple to use, no fancy tricks are needed. Just drop the bait around cover and let it sit. No other action is necessary because of the way the bait suspends off the line. The natural current of the water imparts all the action you need. We use this on bedding bass also, since we have no closed season here in Delaware during the tournaments. The technique is just like any other type of flipping we do. We drop it in near the cover, let it sit a few seconds if the bass are being finicky, and then lift it up and pitch it to the next target.
Try Power Drop Shotting this year in your local waters when everyone else is throwing a Texas or Carolina rig, and you will get a big surprise!