I don't normally post in this section, as I am primarily a kayak bass angler. However, I recently spent some time targeting Sunfish as a change of pace, and thought I would share an article that I published over on the Bass Pro Shops blog.
I am posting the article here in full for convenience, but you can view the actual post over on the Bass Pro Shops blog by clicking here.Micro Dropshot Techniques From The Kayak
The recent birth of my son changed everything. Local lake temperatures were placed in the “not important” category, while milk and bathwater temperatures were given immediate concern. Seemingly, as an outdoorsman, I have come full circle. Once again, the fundamentals of angling are relevant in my life, and a renewed interest in simplicity has permeated and influenced my process. With every passing day, our first fishing trip together inches closer while my desire to be prepared grows.
A few weeks ago, I set out to rediscover one of my old childhood fishing holes. I grew up fishing a small creek next to my Grandmother’s house (among other places) with worms and small bugs, hoping to catch a few Sunfish. This time, however, I would be targeting these colorful delicacies with a more evolved gear selection: a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Kayak and a micro dropshot rig.
The dropshot technique is nothing new to me. In fact, I keep it ready on any given trip. As a Largemouth angler, I typically use hooks and baits that are sized out of the Sunfish range. However, by downsizing everything as much as possible, this finesse Bass staple can be an extremely effective technique for targeting Bluegill, Redear, and their various Sunfish family members.
The VMC Spinshot Hook is a regular player in my dropshot game. The built-in swivels not only allow the hook to move freely, imparting optimal bait action, but they also help alleviate line tangle and other pesky line anomalies. For this particular trip, I opted for a size 8 hook, 6 pound XPS Fluorocarbon, and the XPS Finesse Dropshot Weight.
Sport anglers, typically, do not associate live worms with the dropshot technique. Contrary to popular belief, I have found the combination to be quite effective when targeting Sunfish. I must admit, it felt good to get some worm dirt under my finger nails (it had probably been 20 years since I had even thought about buying a can of live worms).
Soft plastic baits have their place in this equation, too. I really like the Mister Twister Micro Craws, and it doesn’t hurt that each of these bags are filled with a hefty number of baits. You get a very real bang for your buck with these options, and they come, most importantly, without the mess of live worms.
What makes the dropshot technique so effective? The dropshot allows you to keep your bait in one spot. That is to say, you can impart a great deal of action without moving the bait back towards you. A common misconception regarding the technique: people often think that the dropshot is a vertical tactic. Of course, it can be, but you can cast the rig as well. In fact, I am using the dropshot in a horizontal fashion almost exclusively.
This experiment proved to be an enjoyable and refreshing experience. I left all of my fancy bass gear at home and launched with a micro spinning rig alone. The simplicity, ease, and heavy fishing action quickly reminded me why Sunfish are so popular among the adolescent ranks. Exploring these old waters from the seat of my kayak allowed me to see this special place in a whole new light, and many sections of the creek that were previously inaccessible were now easily negotiated. About the author:
Dean Brown is a Bass Pro Shops Pro Staffer and freelance outdoor writer. His personal website, Up Down Bass, has been nominated for several awards and featured in a variety of outdoor publications. You can easily navigate to his website by clicking here.