Drop Shotting 101
July 28, 2017
As usual, every time Hugues is scheduled to fish with me, we have nasty weather. Last year was an over 10 year exception with the beautiful day but every other time it’s been hell. Today we began in a light misty rain that eventually became just clouds, but the best was yet to come. He brought along his son Oliver as well as his sister in law Patricia hoping to get them both into good fishing. A 7:00 meet time had us on the water shortly after and Oliver drew first blood, so to speak, with a small walleye. They were drop shotting an area that had produced in the past and the conditions looked great for us this morning. We had a pretty good wind out of the SW, creating a two foot chop on the water. Perfect for drifting in the current! Hugues managed to get into some good bass as well as small walleye but Patricia was having a little difficulty understanding the technique and missed several chances at hooking up. Oliver was also catching plenty of walleye but for some reason this morning, they all seemed to be on the small side. We made several drifts over various areas and the results were pretty much the same. As I wanted to get them some keepers to bring home, I switched gears a bit and went to trolling in order to cover more water. Unfortunately the only time the reel fired, it turned out to be a northern and we were forced to change back with all the fish I was marking. I literally was seeing all kinds of hooks, both on the bottom as well as close to it and thought we needed to slow down. Once again we drifted drop shot rigs across the spot with similar results. This was a new area and seemed loaded with fish but we just couldn’t seem to make them eat! I switched up different baits and with the exception of a couple of small fish, we came up empty. It wasn’t until the sun came out and the winds layed down that we started to seen any significant changes in their attitude. We went back to the original area and began getting multiple hookups on each and every pass. Keeper walleye and big smallies were getting caught and even Patricia was able to catch her first bass of the trip.
Just when you think everything is going good, something always seems to go wrong! With what looked like there was absolutely no other boats around, out of nowhere one appeared. Of course they had to fish where we were as well and see what we were doing. They made a half assed attempt at trying to drift but were out in no mans land! Eventually after drifting away, they decided to move and ran by us like they were leaving. Well that wasn’t the case as they turned around and started to line up with our path. I was ready to run back up for another drift but decided to just go past the area completely. I didn’t want to show them what we were doing and ran to another area much further away. This seems to be almost a daily thing but I’ll never understand why!
Back to the fishing and on our first drift, Hugues hooked into something huge! I wasn’t sure exactly what he had but it was giving him quite the battle. Finally after several minutes we saw that he had a small musky on the drop shot. Elephants eat peanuts! I eventually was able to get the fish into the other net and after a few quick pics released it unharmed. It’s always a surprise to get something like this while fishing for bass & walleye. We mad a few more passes over the area to let the other boat drift far away and eventually returned to where we really wanted to be. Almost immediately they were into fish and they had a double with one walleye and the other a bass. Each pass yielded multiple hookups and many more fish were caught.
It wouldn’t be a fishing trip with Hugues if we didn’t have some sort of weather system move in. Off in a distance I could see the heavy band of rain coming and our sunshine soon turned into cloud. Not long after we had a torrential downpour and had to get back into the rain gear once again. This is quite typical when he comes out but at least this time we didn’t have an electrical storm!
Once the rain passed, the sun returned and the winds changed to the west and increased. Our drifts were becoming different and I moved to find the fish once again. I was fortunate to stumble on them right on the drop and for the last hour of the day, all three pounded on bass & walleye. Every few minutes, someone was hooked up! There were even three doubles, bringing the numbers way up for the day. By about 4:15 we were done and called it quits.
Although we were dealt a variety of conditions today, I stuck to the plan and was able to make minor adjustments to stay on the fish throughout. By the time it was all over they had their dinner and plenty more good fish were released. I think everyone was satisfied with the outcome of today and Patricia now has a better understanding of fish behaviour. Overall a really great day to be fishing!