Joe Joslin




HOW TO RIG: Drop shot techniques have been used for several years but I still get more questions about it than any other fishing technique. This month I will give use some of the basics of this 'fun to fish' as well as productive method. For starters I use spinning tackle90% of the time with a d.s. although you could use a baitcast. However, since you are fishing vertical most of the time, the line just comes off the spool easier with spinning and there is no changing of hands with rod. To rig I mainly use 8 lb testbut in some situationsgo lighter with 6 or heavier with 10 lb test. Myline choices beingBerkley's 100% fluorocarbon or Trilene XL.


For hooks I use a #1 or 1/0 high quality widegap hook like Daiichi or XPoint.My favoriteisa 1/0 XPoint XGap/LT. This is a light but very strong high carbon hook. You get what you pay for as this hook is about a buck each with tax. Tie a palomar knot (with hook pointed up start knot by running line "down" through the hook rather than up through it) and leave about 18 inches of extra line (leader) which you will attach a special drop shot sinker.


The hook will need to stand straight out from the line (roughly 90 degrees) with point up.This is very important for hook penetration as well as preventing (minimizing) hang-ups. If hook points down for some reason after you have tied it, you can solve the problem before you attach the sinker by taking the loose end of the leader and with hook point up run theline "down" through the hook one time and tighten and the hook will turn over.

Iuse from 4 to 7 inch plastics with favoritesincluding a5 inchBerkley Wacky Crawlerand a Zoom Fineese (5 inch)in w.m. candy, and green pumpkin. I nose-hook the worm with hook exposed. The sinker is on the bottom and the worm is off the bottom about 12 to 18 inches depending length of leader.I have used leaders up to 4 feet in certain situations.


HOW TO FISH DROP SHOT: My normis topitch the rig about 5-6 feet from boat and let it fall vertically to the bottom. I will then take upslack to see if a fish has it and if not I willshake it gently, pause.... and just simply drag the rig slowly for afoot or so, shake it and drag a few more feet and repeat process. Then reel up and continueby pitching to another place near the boat.Slow down and do not rush this method. Keep the line taunt (minimal slack) as much as possible in order to feel strikes. Strikes will be of all kinds from a light touch to a hard rod jerk but most hits will be just a tightening of the line and a feeling of slight movement.


Normally, I let the fish slightly bend the end of my rod beforeI set the hook. Keep the tipof rod close to the water surface to be prepared to set hook at any time. However, don't set the hook immediately if you feel a fish. I set the hook with an upward lift/swingthat does not have to be a hard set. The main thing is to follow through with a complete upward sweep.


TOOLS IN HAND: I use a 7'0 Fenwick HMXS spinning medium light actionand also an All Star ASR Series model 844S also 7'0. Once you set the hook, you want to keep the fish tight against the rod and these rods work extremely well to help you do that as they are light action.


Do not rush your fish to land it or you will miss a bunch of bass. They are not far from your rod tip as you are fishing straight under the boat. If you get a 4 pound bass on 8 pound test and there is only 6 feet of line between your rod tip and the might get your heart broken....and your line. To help these situations, play the fish a while and set your drag about 60% of line test. The Reels we use areeither a Pflueger Supreme XT spinning reel or a Abu Garcia Soronspinning. These reels are awesome tools and have super drag systems which is a must on light line.


I fish depths of 12 to 40 feet with a d.s. but my norm is 18 to 28 and normal sinker weights are 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 ounces. In 30 feet plus or in high wind situationsI may go as heavy as a 3/8ounce. My favorite months for drop shot are May and June and themSeptember through December. However, drop shot patterns will work 12 months out of the year.


You can also beef up your line size to 10 and 12 lbs or even higher with fluorocarbon and use a bigger hook and bury the hook in the worm to make it weedless with larger wormsand cast it like a Carolina rig or work it along the outside edge of a grassline using a longer leader.The techiniques to fish this patternare endless and a vertical presentation with exposed hook is just one method.



Joe Joslin

About The Author: Captain Joe Joslin

Company: joe joslin outdoors

Area Reporting: South Toledo Bend

Bio: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor writer and writes for several Louisiana newspapers and numerous magazines including Texas Game and Fish, Louisiana Game and Fish, CenLa Sportsman, Louisiana Sportsman and LakeCaster. Joe has been fishing Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn for 25+ years and is a frequent tournament angler. Joe has been a full time pro guide on Toledo Bend/Sam Rayburn since 1998.Joe Joslin Outdoors Fishing Guide Service Wholesome atmosphere * Safety minded * Latest equipment, featuring 21i Class Skeeter with 300 hp Yamaha HPDI * Tackle supplied upon request * References available upon request * Available Year-Round. E-Mail Joe at

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