BrookTrout

Seneca Smallies

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Seneca Smallies

Was up to my cottage for the week.  Did a little bass fishing from the kayak and shore on the south end.  Got decent numbers of small bass from 8-13".  With the trolling for salmon/trout being slow decided to get some shiners and head north on Saturday.  Fishing hard all morning working the 15-25ft depths with shiners with only a few small bass to show....  did some jigging and casting near some structure and also cast around on grass flats without seeing much except a huge catfish and some minnow schools.  Heading back south a bit stopped in one area that I had fished in the past with a decent shelf from 13-20 ft and started getting into the smallies pretty good.  Worked that one area hard for about 1.5 hrs and got about a dozen bass between 12-15" and then finally got a nice one on that gave some good jumps and dug hard under the boat, he measured 18.5" and made my day for sure.  After the shiners ran out I tried drop shotting all sorts of plastics with no luck, not sure what I was doing wrong but it was frustrating cuz I knew they were there and active.  Im new to this technique.  Any advice on the dropshotting?  I was using tubes/worms/flukes/twister tail grubs.... fishing about 1.5 ft from the bottom?  

 

 

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Were you feeling the bottom with the weight?  Pending depth i like 1/2 OZ and make sure you can feel it bumping on the bottom.  I like cross tail shads on it.  Seem to work best for me.  I use a palomar knot and then feed the string back in from the top so hook is facing straight up.  About a foot to the bottom.  Have done well on Erie doing this. 

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Try a ned rig for smallies, and use little kitech plastics on your drop shot.  The biggest misconception with either the ned rig or drop shot is guys think you have to jig them or add action shaking it.  Just drag them subtly along the bottom and pause.   Both can just sit absolutely still and catch.  The ned is the latest and greatest right now and I still can't believe how easy it is to fish. The kitechs will move very naturally in the water without any help.

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6 hours ago, dgio67 said:

Were you feeling the bottom with the weight?  Pending depth i like 1/2 OZ and make sure you can feel it bumping on the bottom.  I like cross tail shads on it.  Seem to work best for me.  I use a palomar knot and then feed the string back in from the top so hook is facing straight up.  About a foot to the bottom.  Have done well on Erie doing this. 

I had a similar setup to what you described, I was feeling bottom, but will check out the cross tail shad.  Thanks for the feedback

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2 hours ago, justtracytrolling said:

Try a ned rig for smallies, and use little kitech plastics on your drop shot.  The biggest misconception with either the ned rig or drop shot is guys think you have to jig them or add action shaking it.  Just drag them subtly along the bottom and pause.   Both can just sit absolutely still and catch.  The ned is the latest and greatest right now and I still can't believe how easy it is to fish. The kitechs will move very naturally in the water without any help.

 

I just checked out the ned rig and the kitech baits, looks interesting will def give them a try.  Its hard not the shake/jig the baits but I'll give that a go next time for sure, thanks for the info I appreciate it

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Find a spot out of the wind and drop your dropshot down in the crystal clear water.  Put the rod in a rod holder so the weight is just on bottom and then look down and just watch your kitech.  You will see it moves naturally on its own as it is neutrally bouyant.  The ned floats straight up on the mushroom jig head but it too moves subtly on its own as it rocks on the mushroom jig.   Then carefully watch as a buddy jigs them and you tell me which looks natural and lifelike.  Same thing as getting a perfect drift in a river or stream where the bait rides along in the current and it's because you don't do anything but let it drift that it appears natural. Bass fishing is a far more finesse game these days unless you hit a day when they are exceptionally active.  If you really want an education in bass fishing do some bass nation tournaments as a co-angler and it's like a cheap guided trip...or hire a guide.  Many of the tournament anglers are guides also.  I got the boys into bass fishing as kids and now they both do tournaments on their own boats.  They have taught me far more than I figured possible and they certainly didn't invent the techniques...they learned them fishing tournaments.

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In the open on Erie a few years ago Cody fished side by side with Aaron Marten, "the king of the drop shot" and he doesn't even hold the rod most of the time because he wants the rod as still as possible.  Food for thought

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I have a rod holder on the back and I leave a 4 inch curly tail on a lightly weighted drop shot about 3ft up.  It is only behind the boat about 5- 10 yds and I fish with another rod and just let that thing follow along.  I usually get my biggest bass that way.  I tie on those easy spinner drop shot offset hooks and the bass hit so hard they hook themselves.  This lets me effectively fish to the side with another rod.  It is usually about the drift and I use different socks to get it right.  I love when the natural wind is just light and a good sun behind my back and I can maintain my line - usually around 15ft but you have to modify this to go where the fish are.  Natural colors only!  No metrosexual bubblegum pinks.

 

I have another rod holder and have tried other presentations simultaneously - this one works.  I wouldn't mind hearing some others.

 

Justin brings up some good points about the natural look.  I think a lot of times when the fish are not as active you actually have to be determined to cover less water and cover it better - meaning much slower.  Put the cranks and spinners away and use a two rod method.  Go super light on weighting your soft swim bait or worm and use 2 rods.  Throw one out and let it sit and then throw the other one out and let it set.  Bring in the first one twitching it but allowing to stay near the bottom.  When it comes in cast it back out and let it sit pick up the 2nd rod and repeat.  This of course assumes that there are fish in this area but if you are confident going lighter will produce if you can stay patient.  But like anything there are caviats.  This won't work if there is a strong reaction bite and you might as well go faster.  You will know because they will be hitting the bait on the fall.

 

Stacey King once said that every bait will produce somewhere and not somewhere else.  That pretty much means that presentations are under that same umbrella.  I take a duffle bag full of soft plastics. and that is less than half of what I really have at home.  Gotta search and I go to the tackle shops and see what colors are missing from the shelves and that tells me which color is hot this year.  I love using this method because I hate what happens with the other hook points digging into the fish with cranks. 

 

I could yammer on this for ever.  Get out there and try something.  I have been stuck at home this year in the middle of moving my family so I appreciate all of the pics/stories when you guys share them.

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Hey guys thanks for the input, very very helpful with ideas.  I picked up about 50 $ of new plastics including the kietechs and some shad/minnow baits.  I also will try the dead drift method and the 2 rod setup sounds cool.  I also watched some videos and learned a bunch on setup and presentation.  Lots to experiment with!!

 

I actually went out today with bait again thinking I would switch to plastics if I found active bass but I couldn't get to the areas I generally fish due to winds.  Ended up picking up some small bass here and there but then found a nice school of perch which I did well on, never tried the drop shot.  Maybe tomorrow if the wind is reasonable.  

 

 

 

 

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BTW I got out yesteray and I was fishing a point and had the boat in really shallow (2-3ft) and was watching some smaller fish when I saw some BIG bass shaped shadows in 15-20 ft that were cruising back and forth and seemed active.  They were a bit spooky (topwater wouldn't produce) but once I started drifting shiners through I started hooking up.  A couple of these smallies looked to be in the 4-5lb range and I hooked one bruiser that broke me off but ended up landing half a dozen nice 15-17" bass.  Eventually I switched to the dropshot and although I couldn't get the big ones to bite I did drift a ways and picked up a few in the 10-13" range including a small largemouth which was strange.  The bite is so much harder to feel than with bait when they seem to grab it.  The kietech was the one that worked after a few changes.  I was pumped to get a few on the plastics, I would rather do that then get bait every time.  I'm improving, thanks for the advice!

 

I also spotted a huge sheepshead (drum) and some bug catfish, pretty cool to watch.  Also got a few perch.

 

 

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Awesome catch. Great thread. Really good info.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I would say a solid 75% of my bass fishing this summer/early fall has been done drop shotting. It's either as simple as you want to make it or as complex. I also have learned it isn't about jigging these baits, however some subtle twitches of the line can be helpful if you aren't really drifting at all. 

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