The drop-shot rig is a finesse technique that has taken the USA bass fishing world by a storm. Recently it has started to be popular on UK waters and is proving to a killer technique for perch. A drop-shot rig will often catch fish when reaction baits won’t do the trick.
Drop-shotting is a finesse technique that requires light line, so use a spinning outfit spooled up with 6- to 10-pound-test line.
Using a Palomar knot, tie a small drop-shot hook onto the line, about 18 inches up from the end. Tie so that the hook stands out perpendicular from the line.
At the tag end of the line, about 18 inches from the hook, tie on a drop-shot weight.
Put a small bait on the hook. Four-inch worms, fry and grubs are good drop-shot baits.
Drop the rig straight down over the side of the boat or bank. When the line goes slack, reel up until the line is taut and the weight is on the bottom.
With the weight on the bottom, shake the rod gently. You just want to wiggle the lure without lifting the weight.
A bite may be anything from a tug to a sideways movement. If your hooks are good and sharp, all you have to do is reel hard to set the hook.
Reel the fish in gently. Remember you have light line on.
After landing a fish, check your knots and hook and go back to it. On a good piece of structure, there may be several good fish.
You can make your own drop-shot weights by pinching one end of a barrel swivel in a split-shot. The swivel helps reduce line twist.
Fluorocarbon line costs more, but since it is crystal clear and has no stretch, it is ideal for drop-shotting.
Once you get good at drop-shotting vertically, you can start to experiment with casting out and dragging the rig back, and fishing it over breaklines and other kinds of structure.
You don’t have to tie a hook directly to the line. You can add a barrel swivel, and extend a piece of line, and hook approximately 2-4″ from the swivel
The best place to catch perch is in any hiding place. Perch love to hang out under trees, in reeds or in amongst roots. Anywhere the can lay in wait for the fry. On colder days they will be in deeper water and warmer day the roam around more in the shallows. If you find a spot it will hold more than one fish as perch tend to hunt in packs. Look out for the surface breaking with fish trying to escape.
As with most fish, dawn and dusk are best. Late on a Summer day is a good time but perch are not that fussy and will strike any time of day.
Lobworm is great for perch and will be hit as soon as it drops in the water. Under a float is good but my favourite is a light lead and a quiver tip.
Prawns and small dead baits are also a good bait, especially on still waters. It always worth chucking in a a bit of ground bait in the area to draw in the small fish.
The best in my opinion is small lures. It always results in bigger fish and adds to the excitement, as you can often see the strike.
The sun is out, the fish are in shore… grab your rod and get out there. Here are my top tips to catching a sea bass.
GO LIGHT: Use light tackle, you will be able to feel the lure working much more effectively. Also means you can cover more ground and move easily.
WATCH THE WATER: watch bursts of action from bait fish breaking the surface or seagulls diving on the bait fish.
WHAT TO CATCH: If there are Mackerel, Whitebait and Gars about then you can be sure that the Bass are not far behind.
STRUCTURES: Bass like to hunt in beach surf, so you do not need to cast far. They also like to hang around structures and ambush their Prey. Try fishing rocky marks, piers and groins for Bass using a variety of lures.
CHECK OUT YOUR MARK: Check out the areas you intend to fish on really low tides, to spot potential fish holding features such as gullies or ambush points for bass.
REEL SPEED: Vary your retrieve rates when lure fishing, also change the action when twitching the rod tip.
LURE TYPE: Match the lure/spinner to what the main bait of the area – sand eel, mackerel and red heads are all round winners.
The half blood knot is a firm favourite with anglers for attaching swivels and hooks to line. This knot is suitable for lines up to 55Lbs but you should remember being a form of strangulation knot, it will weaken the line and this can mean you only have 70% of the lines strength.
Below is how to tie the blood knot in a few simple steps.
Don’t forget to add a bit of spit to lubricate the know, before pulling it tight.
We are back, baby ….. Monday June 16th sees the start of the 2014/ 15 coarse fishing season on the rivers and streams of England and Wales. The coarse river fishing season begins on June 16; the last day you can fish is March 14. Below is a quick check list to make sure you are ready: