Sunday 28 January 2018

Dropshotting for Perch

The technique of dropshotting for perch isn’t difficult to master, in fact it’s a very simple way of lure fishing. In its purest form it’s just a lead weight clipped on the end of the line with a hook tied in slightly higher up with a soft plastic lure nicked on the bend of the hook. In this article I’ll take a look at some of the fishing tackle I use for drop shot fishing and I’ll share a few tips to help you catch canal perch using the drop shot rig.

Dropshotting for perch, a simple way of lure fishing

Dropshotting for Perch, click below to watch the video

Dropshotting Fishing Rod
My drop shot rod is a Sakura Neo Sportism. This is a rod made by French lure fishing specialists Sakura, it’s a rod which is 7ft long and weight rated 0.9g-7g, its incredibly light to hold and a dream to play fish on. For its size and weight rating it’s very deceptive and it has plenty of backbone to handle small to medium sized pike should you be unlucky enough to hook one whilst targeting perch. All in all it’s a great rod and perfectly suited to dropshotting for perch.

Dropshotting Reel
The reel I use for my dropshotting is a Daiwa Exceler. This is a beautiful reel, incredibly light and super smooth, I’m a big fan of shimano reels and this Daiwa reel is easily a match for any of them, the clutch is superbly smooth and that matters when you might need to tame a big fish on such a light setup.

Braided Mainline
All my lure fishing is done with braided mainline including my drop shot fishing, although I use green braid for my conventional jig fishing, for dropshotting I use the Hi Viz Yellow Power Pro Braid in 10lb breaking strain. Power pro braid is an excellent main line for lure fishing and the high vis yellow helps with spotting bites during those pauses in the retrieve when the line is slack. Quite often a fish can hit your drop shot lure from the side and the only indication you see is the line moving to the side and high vis yellow braid makes this easier to spot.

Drop Shot Weights
My preferred Drop Shot Weights are the brass ones by fox rage in 7g, because they are brass they aren't toxic like a lead drop shot weight and i'm happy to use them for this reason and despite there being cheaper lead options available.

Fluorocarbon Leader
Fluorocarbon lines have revolutionised drop shot fishing, their ‘invisible in water’ qualities have been a real plus when it comes to tricking shy biting fish into taking a lure. My chosen fluorocarbon is Drennan Supplex in 10lb. This is the same line I use for my summer barbel rigs and it’s equally at home as my drop shot leader. My leader is at least 6ft long and the drop shot hook is tied in with a palomar knot or I use a VMC Spin Shot Hook, I make sure there is at least 3ft of fluorocarbon from the lure to the leader knot, remember the fluorocarbon leader is pretty much invisible in water and the hook will be sufficiently far enough away for the high vis yellow braid not to bother the fish. Check out the two videos on tying knots that accompany this article, the Palomar Knot is for tying the drop shot hook into the leader and the shock leader knot is for attaching braid to mono so it’s ideal for tying your fluorocarbon leader to your high vis yellow braid.

Braid to mono shock leader knot for your fluorocarbon drop shot leader knot

Drop Shot Hooks
I use VMC Drop Shot Hooks for most of my dropshotting but for the conventional drop shot hook, I tie it in with the Palomar Knot. Lately I’ve switched to the VMC Spinshot Hooks, they differ in that the hook is on its own little mini swivel. You tie the uptrace part of your leader to one end of the swivel so that the hook point faces upwards then you add in a down trace to the drop shot weight to the other end. The spin shot system allows you to change out the down trace part of your leader if it becomes damaged, remember the drop shot weight just clips on the line and fluorocarbon is quite brittle, I’ve broken quite a few drop shot rigs when I’ve moved the weight to adjust the rig and the fluorocarbon has snapped rendering the rig useless. Using the VMC Spin Shot Hooks I can now change out the down trace without having to replace the whole rig. Check out the ‘Drop Shotting for Perch’ video that accompanies this article, the whole rig and the spin shot hooks are all explained in detail.

Palomar knot for tying a drop shot hook into a fluorocarbon leader, click below to watch

Drop Shot Lures
My lures for dropshotting for perch are the same as those I use for Jig Fishing, by doing this I can keep the cost of buying lures down, believe me, once you get into lure fishing you’ll find yourself going overboard on lures, so by choosing lures that I can use on both techniques I don’t need as many. Below are a few of my favourite lures for drop shotting.

Gunki Whiz Lure My current favourite drop shot lure is the Gunki Whiz in hot tiger. This is an incredibly successful lure, it’s brightly coloured like any other type of firetiger lure so it’s ideal for fishing in coloured water. If I had to pick one lure to use all the time I’d be torn between this one and the kopyto shad, both are superb lures.

Shropshire union canal, drop shot caught perch on a 2" Gunki Whiz Lure

Relax Kopyto Shad
I use the kopyto shad for Jig Fishing as well as drop shotting, it’s a superb lure in chartreuse colour, which is a kind of luminous green. The kopyto shad has been ever present through most of my lure fishing on the Shropshire Union Canal and it’s proved its worth time and time again, just have a look through my previous lure fishing videos on my youtube channel to see how successful this lure has been, dropshotting for perch or jig fishing for perch and pike, this lure is superb.

Crazy Fish Nano Minnow
Another lure that’s become a favourite of mine is the Crazy Fish Nano Minnow, when bites are hard to come by or I keep missing them my first change is to a smaller 1” lure and the nano minnow. Remember a drop shot lure is always nicked through the nose so the fish literally has to inhale the lure to get a good hook hold, dropping to a 1” usually does the trick and the 1” nano minnow has saved me a blank many times, like the gunki whiz and the kopyto shad, it’s definitely another lure I wouldn’t want to be without.

Crazy Fish Polaris
Another favourite is the Crazy Fish Polaris, whilst it’s not really a lure I’d use for searching the canal, it does come into its own when you are clearly on a shoal of perch and you want a lure to stay in the take zone. You can literally just twitch the crazy fish polaris against the drop shot lead and without moving it. These small twitches will induce a perch to strike if they are in the vicinity and this lure works really well.

As you can see my top lures are mainly shad baits that all have the paddle tail in common, I find paddle tail lures the best if you have to go searching for the perch which is always how I fish. I do have other lures in my bag like worms and leeches but I only use these when I know I’m on a shoal of perch. With the paddle tail lures it’s just a case of casting across the canal then slowly drawing back the lure to make it rise up and flutter, then let the line go slack so the lure flutters down, working the lure this way makes it very attractive to perch and pike and it will usually induce a strike if they see it or sense the lures presence through their lateral line system if the water is coloured. Lures like worms and leeches are best suited to fishing static where you cast to an area you know the fish are present, then you can twitch the lure to give it movement but without winding it in so it stays on the take zone and hopefully brings a bite.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look at dropshotting for perch, it’s a very simple but very effective method of catching on the right day. Take a look at the videos accompanying this article, the main one is on dropshotting for perch and takes you through what’s written here, the recurring theme of the video is using the paddle tail lures and drawing the drop shot weight across the bottom then letting the line go slack to make the lure flutter up and down, that is the essence of dropshotting with lures like the gunki whiz and the kopyto shad. The other two videos are both instructions for tying knots, the shock leader knot is great for tying braid to mono so it’s perfect for attaching your fluorocarbon leader to your hi viz braid. The palomar knot is ideal for tying conventional drop shot rigs and using a standard drop shot hook with this knot will certainly be cheaper than using the VMC spin shot hooks I’m using, the spin shot hook definitely has its advantages though, as I’ve highlighted above and in the main ‘dropshotting for perch’ video.

Lure fishing, a drop shot caught perch from the difficult Shropshire Union Canal

Remember the Shropshire Union Canal is a bit of a ball breaker when it comes to catching perch, by way of a final tip I would say watch out for scattering shoals of roach. I’ve had my best days fishing when I’ve seen small shoals of roach scattering to evade a predator, I’ve seen this phenomenon four times this winter and although you might think pike are responsible, every one I’ve witnessed so far has been perch so definitely go to them if you spot prey fish scattering.

That’s it for now, please Follow my Instagram Page and subscribe to my YouTube Channel if you haven’t already, I’ll be back with another article and video in the near future.
Until then, take care of yourself and tight lines.

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