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Dropshot 'n with Garry Garland

By Russ Bassdozer

Garry Garland has been an innovator of light tackle and finesse bass fishing ever since he helped his brother Bobby Garland invent the original Gitzit tube during the seventies. The Garlands also are credited with the invention of the spider grub. Lately, Garry has become quite interested in dropshotting. He's gotten a lot of insight into the technique from his longtime Lake Mohave fishing partner and Freshwater Fishing Hall of Famer, Don Iovino, also known as the "Godfather of Finesse."

Deep Water. To drop shot in deep water, fish from vertically straight down (90 degrees) or as much as a 60 degree angle from the boat. When the weight hits bottom, simply keep a semi-tight line and DO NOTHING for the first two or three minutes. Even though it seems to you that you are doing nothing, your lure is still side-shifting around down there on its tether and attracting fish towards it. You may often just get bit on the initial drop while you do nothing for two or three minutes. After that initial time, then gently walk your weight and lure back to the boat, stopping at three to four foot intervals and waiting again. This slow-moving method is especially effective in cold water when the fish's metabolism is low. In warmer water do all the same procedures, but then move the bait and weight a bit more quickly once you begin retrieving it back in three to four foot deliberate draws of the rod.

Grass Beds. For "dragging" through thick underwater grass beds, the lure should be twelve to eighteen inches above the weight. As you drag, the weight itself may get glopped or temporarily stopped in the weed tops, but the lure should not. A slow deliberate nudge on the rod tip will keep the weight moving . The action of the bait occurs naturally as the weight drags through the different degrees and densities of the tops of the vegetation. As the contour of the tops of the weeds climb or plummet, the weight should also, and the bait should mostly stay that 12 to 18 inches above the contour of the weed bed.

Bass Beds. If you see a nice big bass on a bed, where and when legal, drop shot the weight into the bed and keep a semi-tight line. Then lower the rod tip four inches and raise the rod tip four inches. Continue to do this procedure while not moving the weight...only slackening and tightening the line to make the bait move but not move the weight. Do this procedure for ten minutes. Above all, HAVE PATIENCE. If the bass has not moved off the bed in this time, it is probably catchable. So reel in, change colors and keep repeating this presentation until the bass ultimately hits, which it will most likely do given enough time.

Baits to Use. The two lures we have most experimented with are our a hand poured 4" worm and our new 3" long Gitzit tube bait which has about a 3/8" tube diameter. Not only is this new size of Gitzit the perfect size for dropshotting, but I expect it to be the ideal size for smallmouth bass in general.

While using the new 3" tube on a Drop Shot, hook the tube straight through about 1/4" back on the head - as if you would hook a live minnow through the lips - so that the tube hangs perfectly straight on the round bend of the hook. The new 4" handpour worm is hooked the same way and also right in the center for the Wacky Worm effect. Take the 4" worm and bend it in half with your fingers so both ends touch. Then just hook exactly through the center where it is folded. The best hook I have found for both these baits is a #4 Owner J hook.

We have also used larger 1/0 or 2/0 Owner J hooks with our bigger 3 3/4" Original and 5" Magnum Gitzits. Use these bigger baits and slightly heavier weights/lines for more active fish or to dropshot in stained water.

Good fishin' with the best regards from Garry Garland, Canyon Plastics

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