Drop Shotting: When Less is More

Small baits
Fishbelly Hawg Shads in 3.5 or 2.8 inch sizes are about as good as it gets when it comes to minnow imitating drop shot baits. The right size, great action, and unbeatable colors set them apart from the competition.

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Small Hooks
A size 2 Gamikatsu Drop Shot hook is my “go to” hook for drop shot rigs. I’ve used other hooks with great success as well, but consider the “Gami” the best of the bunch.

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Size 2 Hooks from left to right: Gamikatsu Split Shot/Drop Shot, VMC 7356 Sure Set, VMC 7119 Spin Shot.

Small Movement
Keeping your movements short and subtle will entice more strikes than a exaggerated jigging motion. Jiggling the rod tip a few inches on a semi tight line works best. Try to use the weight as an anchor and just shake the line and lure for the most natural movement.

The slow, subtle movements make drop shotting perfect for shallow water sight fishing.
Subtle movements and delicate presentations make drop shotting perfect for shallow water sight fishing.

Small Hookset
No need to haul back hard on a drop shot strike. Just reel down tight and sweep the rod firmly and steadily until you’ve got a good bend in the rod. The sharp exposed point of a little drop shot hook plants easily and stays planted.

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The ease of hook set makes the drop shot system adaptable to many types of tackle, including ultra-light spinning.

What’s Old is New

At one time my passion for collecting antique fishing tackle rivaled my passion for fishing itself. Times change; interests change, often in a circular path. My once prized collection is now better described as wall ornaments and a box in the basement. Time to find new homes for some and repurpose others.

Finding new homes – a couple Deckers on their way to another collector.

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Originally from Lake Hopatcong, Decker later moved his office to Brooklyn.
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White seems to be the most common color for Decker lures. A bland yet reliable choice.

Repurposing – these rough condition, rotary head topwaters will move from the bottom of the collector hierarchy to the top of the experimentation hierarchy in 2016.

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Before returning to active duty, these oldies will likely receive a repaint.

 

Soft Jerkbait Rigging Basics

What could be more appropriate for an intitial entry than a tutorial on rigging one of the most versatile baits in your fishing arsenal? Here is a step by step guide to rigging the Hawg Shad – the king of soft jerkbaits. For the demontsration, we are using a 5″ Hawg Shad and a 3/0 EWG hook.

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Insert the hook point into the nose of the bait at a 45 degree downward angle.
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Push the hook point through and out the “chin”. Hawg Shads have two V’s on the chin formed by the gill detail of the bait. I like the hook point to come out between the two V’s.
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Rotate the hook shank, so the point in on the top side of the bait.
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Note where the hook bend crosses the bait. Push the hook through at this point from belly to back. When complete the bait should be straight and the hook point should lay on the back of the bait.

In its basic form of an EWG hook and no weight, the Hawg Shad will dart and glide like a distressed baitfish. The near weedless rigging allows the angler to probe fish holding cover with little fear. This simple rig is one of the deadliest shallow water presenations for smallmouth, largemouth, northern snakeheads, pike, musky, and just about any other gamefish you can think of.

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