The Science of Finesse Fishing, Part 1: The Drop Shot

By: Jim Root , 5:40 PM GMT on February 07, 2014

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I wanted to share with you some of the tips and information that I shared with the great people who came out to the Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg PA last night for the first of two segments that I'm doing there about fishing and the science of weather.  If you're in the area and are able to come tonight from 4-8 (actual demonstration is from 7-8) you can hear me go into greater detail and ask questions.  I'll also be posting some video later on after I finish editing it, but if you missed me last night and/or aren't able to come today, here's a bit about what I discussed.

The Basics

Last night I was talking to people about how to drop shot for smallmouth bass.  The drop shot is a rig that has your weight on the bottom, and your bait anchored to a hook at a location anywhere from 3 inches-3 feet depending on the depth you're fishing and where the fish strike.  To do this properly you need to understand a lot of weather variables that are often overlooked, and if you don't do it right, you won't catch fish.  It's also important to note that this is just MY way of doing this.  By no means is this the ONLY way, but it's what works well for me.

My gear that I use is a Dobyns Champion 7 foot medium heavy spinning rod, Seaguar Fluorocarbon InvizX line in 8-12lb, Green Pumpkin 3 inch Bass Snax finesse worms, for weight I use nothing less than 1/2oz tungsten, and I only use Trokar hooks. 

Current and Depth

It's important to understand that most lakes have some sort of current.  Even if the top of the water looks completely still, you can have significant moving water that's 10, 20, 30 feet below the surface.  This is why you do NOT want to move your bait all over, shaking your rod like crazy.  You want to keep your weight in constant contact with the bottom of the lake so that your bait remains in the strike zone. If you move the bait like that, particularly when you have waves just a foot or greater, you're making it harder for the fish to eat your bait.  You're also moving the weight off the bottom, effectively rendering your application useless.  I will only shake the bait a tiny bit if there's absolutely NO wind, and the fish aren't reacting to my bait as it is. You have to remember that when you add current underwater that you can't see, with waves above water, wind, drift, your bait is getting a lot of movement from mother nature and that's really all it needs. Just let the bait do the work for you. When I finish editing the video I'll upload it to the Reel Weather YouTube page where you can not only see how to set up a drop shot, but you'll be able to see the bait in the water, and see how the fish react to it. In such a small, controlled environment you'll see the current there you'll begin to understand just how much this technique is impacted by the things that you probably took for granted.

My Booth at Bass Pro (JimRoot)
Passing out free gear from Weather Underground, Quantum, Dobyns, and The Rod Glove!
My Booth at Bass Pro
Tank Demo (JimRoot)
About to demonstrate my drop shot method to the people who came to meet me at Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg, PA.
Tank Demo

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7. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
7:17 PM GMT on February 10, 2014
JimRoot has created a new entry.
6. theshepherd
12:35 AM GMT on February 10, 2014
Quoting 3. JimRoot:
Yes that was at the Tank at Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg. That's great to hear about the fishing in Florida.
I heard about the fish kill while I was there. People seem to think it's making a comeback recently. I hope it is. What I heard was it was attributed to some sort of rust colored crayfish, is that what your knowledge is also?


Fresh or salt water?
Which year?
Freshies and salties are doing quite well.

Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 10226
5. theshepherd
12:24 AM GMT on February 10, 2014
From last week's Fla Guides Association newsletter:


GRASSROOTS ALERT!

CCA FLORIDA STRONGLY OPPOSES THE USE OF
MERRITT ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AND MOSQUITO LAGOON AREA FOR PRIVATE, COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH SITE!
MAJOR ADVERSE IMPACTS ARE EXPECTED ON EVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES, CRITICAL HABITAT, AND PUBLIC ANGLER ACCESS.

OPPOSE THE USE OF PUBLICLY OWNED WILDLIFE REFUGE LANDS FOR COMMERCIAL LAUNCH SITES.


ACT NOW! SEND YOUR EMAIL COMMENTS AND ATTEND UPCOMING PUBLIC HEARINGS ON FEB. 11 AND 12!
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 10226
4. theshepherd
12:19 AM GMT on February 10, 2014
From last week's FWC weekly newsletter:

Bass season off to record-breaking start



Largemouth bass – Florida bucket-mouths – are showing up in abundance this winter, with an outstanding year projected by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists.

The first year of TrophyCatch ended, and the awards were all given out, but the challenge is on for year two.

TrophyCatch rewards anglers for catching, documenting and releasing largemouth bass heavier than 8 pounds in Florida.

Bob Williams of Alloway, N.J., earned the TrophyCatch Championship ring for the first season. It was presented at Bass Pro Shops in Orlando last month by Keith Alan, from the American Outdoors Fund, and Tom Champeau, director of the FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. Williams’ winning catch was a 13-pound, 14-ounce largemouth from Rodman Reservoir. He previously earned a free ($500 value) fiberglass replica of his catch and other awards totaling approximately $1,000.

A $10,000 check was handed to Peter Perez at a special ceremony at West Lake Tohopekaliga by Experience Kissimmee representatives Debby Guertin and Terry Segraves, along with Champeau. Perez caught the largest TrophyCatch-verified bass from Osceola County to win the prize. He caught his winning 12-pound, 3-ounce bass last March in a neighborhood pond on a Rat-L-Trap.

Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 10226
3. Jim Root
11:39 PM GMT on February 09, 2014
Yes that was at the Tank at Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg. That's great to hear about the fishing in Florida.
I heard about the fish kill while I was there. People seem to think it's making a comeback recently. I hope it is. What I heard was it was attributed to some sort of rust colored crayfish, is that what your knowledge is also?
Member Since: September 30, 2013 Posts: 50 Comments: 26
2. cicadaknot
11:13 PM GMT on February 08, 2014
I've been to that Bass Pro a lot. Also done a lot of small mouth fishing on the Susquehanna down there. It's a shame what happened to the bass there over the past few years, but it sounds like they might be making a comeback.
Member Since: July 17, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 78
1. Skyepony (Mod)
2:40 PM GMT on February 08, 2014
Was that an indoor stocked pond at Bass Pro?

Looks fun..

I'm on the east coast of central FL. Have family that fish here, small commercial, in the river & ocean. The fall & early winter were better than they've seen in a few years but the fish are gone right now.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 299 Comments: 41188

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Bringing the science of weather to the sport of fishing. I'll discuss how weather affects what the fish are doing and how to catch them!

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