I put a blog post up the other day about dropshotting for bass and whether it might be a method worth looking into properly. I also put links to blog posts up on my Facebook page and pretty quickly a Dutch bass angler called Carl Greve very kindly got in touch with me and started telling me about how successful these methods were for him. I asked Carl if he might do me a Guest Blog Post and he said yes, so here it is. Many thanks Carl. Oh, and make sure to watch Nick Roberts of Bass Lures/Top Water Lures on Tight Lines this evening (Sky Sports). Great to see this programme embracing saltwater lure fishing so much.
Photo courtesy Carl Greve
Dropshot fishing for bass is something I'd had in my mind for a long time and I too liked to try, just because I had the belief that this was a functional way of fishing for bass. Before I go on just a little introduction of who I am and what I do. My name is Carl Greve, I am Dutch, working for one of the best and biggest tackle shops in the Netherlands (Wout van Leeuwen Fishing & Outdoor), and for the last decade I have been completely crazy about fishing for bass, doing so in the area of Hoek van Holland in the southwest region of the Netherlands, where I mainly fish with shads so fishing with a dropshot is an extension for me and my way of fishing.
I am fishing on the Nieuwe waterway, the channel that connects Rotterdam to the North Sea which is the extension of the river Maas. You probably can imagine the strong currents and the difficult ways of fishing for bass and losing lots and lots of baits! However, there were some spots which were quite sandy and had some obstacles that were perfect to hold bass. Shad fishing already gave me enough bass on these spots but curiosity, just like you have (i.e. me), made me give it a go with the dropshot technique. At first I gave it a go a couple of times with my 6'10" G-Loomis freshwater dropshot rod, but this rod was found to be too light to go fishing for bass after losing some big asp. After that I bought myself a nice Shimano Speedmaster dropshot rod 9' that can hold leads up to 1oz, combined with a 2500 TwinPower Shimano and a really thin braided line. This turned out to be a very functional set, and as you can imagine every bass I caught on this set, even the smaller fish gave an incredible amount of sport. Really wonderful, because not every bass we catch has good weight or size, and that is an understatement if I look at catches in recent years.
Photo courtesy Carl Greve
Because I didn't know what size of bass I could expect I tried different baits of course but not making it too big. My own preference was bait around 3,5" (Fishbelly, Reins, Keitech) and mainly in already proven colors for me. Colors as pink, in different variety's, blue, white/pearl and so on, and of course using different types of actions (twisters, paddletails and forktails) considering bass is sometimes a very difficult fish to seduce.
Back to the system of dropshot fishing now. Normally, when you use dropshot you'll use it on waters without current and just leave your light weights of around 3 to 7 grams lying on the bottom and just play with your bait. However, now I was fishing on waters with a strong current, so I had to adjust weights from 10 to 25 grams depending on currents and let my weights simply slide over the bottom, leaving my fishing line in a big curve and dragging my weight behind it. It turned out to be a really good way to go hunt for bass. Why? Well, I have my own opinion about that.
Photo courtesy Carl Greve
Because my line is curved when I try to move my bait, it is obvious that I'm moving my bait a bit upstream, which makes my bait move pretty natural in the current and after I push it upstream it slowly moves backwards towards the obstacle. If there is bass over there it will see it coming and I am convinced that it will attack under most circumstances . You only have to be prepared of what kind of bite you will feel/get. Instead of the recognizable tap when you are fishing with a shad, this take makes your line slack because it takes the bait from behind and shoots upstream. The first bite I got I was too late to hook the fish. After that the next fourteen takes I got were all good sized seabass, all between 40 and 50 cm and all coming on to the bank before letting them go back to their obstacles (returning them). You can imagine the state I was in when I realized how well dropshot fishing for bass worked and the incredible amount of sport it gave on this very light tackle! Absolutely superb!!
Nice huh! Henry, really you should give it a go. It will make your fishing more complete. So for you to go "trotting" might be a very effective way to go fishing for bass. The only difference between us is that I would prefer to go fish without the weedless system and just pin my bait slightly through the head part as we do with the "normal" dropshot method. Oh, and if I can give you an extra tip, make the distance between the hook and lead quite a bit longer than you are used to. Around 1 meter should do the trick. I do this because of the pressure on the line, it will make your bait drop to the bottom a bit more and make the curve a bit better. Oh, beware flounder, because they too are quite interested in taking your bait! Please let me know if it worked out for you Henry.