Niagara River, Lakes Erie & Ontario
[Or anywhere else as a matter of fact]
OutdoorsNiagara.com / by Mark
Be sure to watch video on tying a Palomar Knot on this
page below and See
Click to enlarge pictures
Glenvale Lake Walleye
|Drop-shot fishing the
is fairly new to many local fishermen. It is used mostly on the
smallmouth bass population and is a very effective way of going
after these critters. Of course live bait fishing largemouth this
way is a huge benefit!
Perch are also vulnerable to this kind of fishing. Drop-shotting
ought to be very effective for perch and bass fishing from shore
Docks for an example. Of course it could be used on
walleye/trout/salmon fishing [Oops, see the pictures on the left] but this writer has no experience
is deadly fishing weed lines for bass, perch, walleyes or crappies
anywhere - try it!
ED NOTE: Drop shotting
works everywhere. I have used it extensively wherever I fished this
past Summer and Fall for perch, crappies, bass, northerns, walleye
and rainbows have been personally boated by me using
this method. Samples in pics on the left.
Another recent note: Bob
Izumi won his first U.S.A. Bass Tournament [July 2011]
Drop-Shotting. He says: “One of the keys is to not
move the bait when you’re drop-shotting,” Izumi said. “I know a lot
of largemouth guys like to doodle the rod a little bit, but you will
catch much fewer smallmouth doing that. It’s very important when
you’re drop-shotting to not move the bait. The less movement, the
more fish you’ll catch.”
a Yellow Sally, a worm harness, minnow rigs, and some popular lures have
been the hot producers for Niagara River fish, but what do you do on days
when fishing is real tough and the fish don't want to cooperate? Go drop-shotting,
sluggish bass can’t resist and you will be able to feel any bump the
bass, perch or walleye gives this rig.
Fishing with a drop shot rig is fairly
simple but presentation is important.
You can fish directly over the side of the boat in a vertical presentation
or cast it out and fish in the traditional fashion and drift if you wish.
But if you locate fish under the boat, [or dock] by all means, vertical
fish no matter how deep the water is. If casting out, do basically the
same as vertical fishing. Let your sinker touch bottom and work your bait
by raising your line slowly until you feel the resistance from the sinker.
Do it again. Then do it again until you “feel” that first bite. You
will know immediately that it is a fish and not a bottom snag.
is fairly simple. First, let’s start with your rod & reel. Sure you
can use whatever you have but preferably use a good 6’3” to 6’6”
[even 7 foot] graphite rod, preferably a fast action quick tip graphite,
and a reel you can trust. The reel size should be light, maybe a 2500
series reel or smaller for more fun. Equip the reel with any of the new
super braid lines, any color, preferably the light 8 # test. There are
many brands on the market ….. and fluorocarbon leader tied with proper
knot to the super braid line. These super braid lines offer superior
strength and sensitivity plus they are a little more costly than plain
monofilaments but there is no need to replace it every fishing season
either. Learning about these new lines can be an education in itself if
you have never used them before, ask you dealer as many questions as you
may have. Big Box stores can not offer you this advice. Always support
your independent dealer; they are becoming a rare breed.
You may also buy pre-assembled rigs from your tackle dealer such as
Gamakatsu provides. Generally three in a pack and in sizes 4, 2, and 1 or
1/0. These rigs are pretty
neat. You can change the setup in a flash. Check with your independent
dealer, he probably has them in stock.
has some drawbacks like tying the proper knots but the benefits are the
lower-visibility, strength that has a smaller diameter than mono, and no
stretch properties. No stretch is important when feeling your fish and
when setting the hook. You can feel everything especially when coupled
with that graphite rod and good reel.
Tie a 1/0 straight shank
or turned out eye light wire hook to the line with a Palomar knot but
leave about 18 - 20 inch long tag on the end. Or use the drop-shot
designed hook as pictured below. At the tag end tie a preferably, for the
, a pencil sinker. Weight varies but 1 ounce is a good place to start.
[see picture] You can always
shorten the sinker if it seems too heavy for what condition your are
Click photo for a large picture of rig with a
crawfish attached ready for fishing.
Use any live bait you want or soft
plastics. The new
GULP 3” minnow baits, Leeches
or drop-shot gobies make
fine baits that in some cases are as good as live bait. The
GULP minnow comes in three
colors, Black Shad, Pearl Silver and
. 3” size is best for river fishing, it simulates a resident emerald
shiner. Rigging is done through the nose, same as with a minnow.
Hook a leech the same way or a crab like pictured. I stated GULP
baits “in some cases are as good as live bait”.
My way of looking at them is first, they are not cheap when you
first buy them, but neither are minnows anymore.
The initial purchase is tough but in many instances more than one
fish can be caught using the same bait. If your bait dealer hasn’t got
them ask him to order for you. Split the cost with someone and give them a
This rig fishes perfectly well
at the Niagara Bar, at the Coast Guard Drift and any other drift in
the upper or lower river.
fishing with it can be just as productive because of its sensitivity.
Deadly on smaller lakes & ponds too!
The whole idea
of drop shotting is you have no leaders to tangle and twist and the feel
comes directly up the line to you and your graphite rod and good reel.
Tie your sinker with
a simple double overhand knot in the unlikely event you get snagged, you
can pull the sinker off the line and you are not sitting there rigging a
whole new setup wasting valuable fishing time.
hook your minnows, leeches, worms etc. Crabs hook through the tail in
conventional manner. [see picture]
Try using plastic gobies, it is known the bass
If fishing Lake Erie or in any other
deeper waters you may want to
use a longer 7 foot or more rod so you can effectively get a better hook
set. Remember: A fast tip is best feel and hook set power.
Make rigs beforehand.
Even though you don’t
lose many of these rigs because they are pretty much snag-free,
you can tie a snap swivel on the end of your superline or mono and have your
fluorocarbon leaders tied up complete with sinker for quick changing in
the event you lose a rig or want a change. Put the spares in a plastic
sandwich Zip-Loc bag or wrap them around a chunk of Styrofoam for storage.
I find that foam insulating pipe wrap you find in hardware stores to work
Kids: If you take the kids fishing with you, you will find they will have less
snags, freeing you up with more time to fish yourself!
[See more below]
In the Stand Out hook diagram below make sure you
tie the hook at the top eye. The bottom eye just holds the hook out.
[Thus, Stand Out] Use Palomar Knot. See diagram and video below on this page HERE