Thursday, 13 September 2012

LRF : Dropshot fresh and salt.

I have been experimenting some more with drop shotting over the past couple of weeks and have had three short sessions. Here's a brief summary of how they went.

I had to make a delivery in Melrose so as always I built in a couple of hours to stop and have a fish. Cauldshiels loch was the nearest venue so we decided to give it a go. Scott decided from the off that it was pike off the top he wanted so it was on with a few different surface lures and he began to search the shallow reedy end of the loch. I still had my drop shot rig on my LRF gear so decided to stick with this and see how the perch responded to some Gulp sandworm. I worked the lure by casting out and allowing it to sink, then with a slow retrieve gently hopped the lure back across the bottom. I could feel the lure going through some weed beds when I felt a little bite, a flick of the wrist set the hook and I quickly landed a little perch.

My first Cauldshiels Loch perch for 20 years, marginaly smaller than Scott's Sammy!

It may be small but this perch was bristling with spikey defiance.

Scott meanwhile was having no joy with the top waters and I managed to land a further 3 small perch before we had to leave. Three fell to Berkley Gulp! Sandworm sections and one to a Berkley 1" Minnow all rigged on  #8 Decoy MG1 mini offset hook. This made the rig virtually weedless with very few hang ups even when bouncing through weed beds. Ok, so the perch were all small but it proved the technique works for perch and I love the crossover aspect of the LRF gear, freshwater and saltwater any fish is a viable target!

The next session saw me back at my new found corkwing wrasse hotspot with the same set up. Graphiteleader Corto EX 7'9" rod, Shimano Technium 300SFC reel, 6lb Sunline super PE mainline , Drennan 6lb Fluorocarbon leader, #8 Decoy MG1 mini offset hook, rigged with a 2" section of Gulp! Sandworm and a 6g Delalande long drop shot lead. Unfortunately I had misjudged the wind and it was blowing on shore. This had really stirred the water up and it looked grey and cloudy, far from ideal wrassing conditions. I stuck it out for an hour or so, trying to fight the wind and current using the same technique I had on the previous session. As I was fishing above the water on a gantry it was just a question of dropping straight down and gently hopping the lure through the kelp with little jigs. After what seemed like an age I had a few little taps which developed into a full blown bite as the fish seized the lure and swam off with it. A flick of the wrist set the hook and after a brief fight another beautifully marked corkwing was landed!

Another fine corkwing falls for drop shotted Gulp! Sandworm.
They may only be a small species of wrasse but I love them!

I fished on for a bit but there were no further bites so I retired back to the car rather glad to be out the constant grating wind!

A couple of days later I had some time in the afternoon so I popped down to Dunbar hoping to target wrasse from behind the fort. I knew it would be quite windy but I was hoping that the harbour walls would offer some shelter. The 6g leads really do help when fishing in windy conditions and allow you to maintain control over the drop shot rig. When I arrived at the mark it was gusting quite heavily and far from offering shelter the walls seemed to be channelling the wind right at me! The wind was utterly annoying, it was too strong to cast into so I began to move around trying to find shelter. It kept changing direction and was swirling and gusting in a rather random fashion, meaning that wherever I went it would swirl around and at times be behind me then swirl around to be in my face! Getting more and more frustrated I fished on and after about half an hour as I was retrieving I saw a small red fish chasing the lure. I kept the retrieve constant and it darted forward and grabbed the lure! I set the hook and quickly landed my first ever Dunbar wrasse!

My first wrasse from Dunbar turns out to be another stunning corkwing!

This one had particularly fine markings and after a couple of shots was released to swim strongly back to the kelp. Amazing, I really hadn't expected to find corkwing wrasse at Dunbar but again it shows how effective dropshotting for them can be! I carried on fishing and was quickly into another fish, this turned out to be a small coalfish which was released after a quick photo.

This coalie turned out to be the last fish of the session

I fished on , but started to lose quite a lot of leads to the kelp, at this point I realised I had not brought any spare leader material with me so when I became snagged on a rope I had to make sure I got my rig back! I grabbed my Wright and McGill rod which had a 10g 2/0 jig head on it. I figured I would snag the rope and gently bring it to within reach of the shore, a distance of only about twelve feet. It was all going so well and the rope was just a couple of inches away from my outstretched hand. I raised the rod a bit more trying to reach the rope when there was a sudden horrible cracking noise and I watched the tip of my rod slide down the line! I paused  to curse my stupidity and manged to grab the rope and untangle everything.  With the wind really picking up I had had enough for the day and I headed back to the car. The corkwing was a real pleasing catch and it was great to add to the growing list of species we have caught at Dunbar. Shame I broke my rod though, although looking back I really should never have attempted the manoeuvre that broke it! Just as well I didn't break my Corto as that is my main weapon for dropshotting and I really want to carry on playing with the technique. On a plus note I have now replaced the broken rod with a 9'6" Major Craft Crostage 15 - 42 g and I look forward to trying it fishing the rough ground and kelp beds with some bigger lures!

Tight lines, Schogsky.


  1. I can see why you like those corkwing wrasse, they are stunning looking fish! great blog guys, i'm really enjoying reading your posts.



  2. Cheers Brian! I love catching them as they are really exotic to me and they are so vividly marked its like catching treasure!

  3. Thanks Brian. They are lovely looking fish. I'm enjoying Streamside Diary too by the way.