How to drop shot on clear canals

Match ace Rob Wootton reveals his refined approach to winter perching

How to drop shot on clear canals

by Angling Times |

Although I may be better known for my match fishing, in the winter I spend hours and hours roving the banks of my local canals around Leicester, armed with just a short rod and a box of lures, seeking out perch and pike on the drop shot method.

Perch are great fun to catch on light lure tactics
Perch are great fun to catch on light lure tactics

This way of fishing with tiny rubber lures exploded on to the UK scene several years ago, and it remains popular. The beauty of drop shotting is that I can take minimal kit, be fishing in seconds and cover a lot of water, yet spend no more than an hour or two on the bank. It’s the perfect short session quick hit way of fishing!

Here's how I do it...

Use small lures

For drop shotting, I go for a pintail or worm-style lure around 0.5ins long. Colour is down to water clarity, but on clear canals, a bright orange is my go-to. Later in the day, a natural-coloured soft worm pattern can be brilliant.

Use small lures
Use small lures

Mono for the leader

I’m not a fan of using fluoro for my leader, mainly because I think it is a little too brittle when used in lower diameters. Instead, I favour using 3ft of 0.12mm Middy Lo-Viz mono matched to a size 16 KM-3 eyed barbless hook.

Mono for the leader
Mono for the leader

Keep weights light

I want the lead that I’m using to be just light enough to hold bottom when I’m twitching the lure, so that means anything from 1.5g to 3g. I prefer a pear-shaped bomb lead as opposed to the barrel-shaped weights that many use.

Keep weights light
Keep weights light

Fish the finest braid

You’ll not feel the little taps and bangs from perch if you use mono, so braid is a must. My favourite is from the Sufix brand in 0.06mm diameter. The low diameter means any wind won’t catch it and pull the rig out of position.

Fish the finest braid
Fish the finest braid

Look for cover

Perch love cover and, on most canals, there’s plenty to go at. Moored boats, reedbeds and lock cuttings are great spots, and a bridge or bridge hole is always worth investigating. The deep track down the middle is worth a look too.

Look for cover
Look for cover

The right action

You have to keep the weight in place and then make the lure vibrate in the water. I allow the braid to slacken slightly, and then a shake of my wrist is enough to send that vibration down the braid to the lure. Don’t twitch and shake the tip.

The right action
The right action
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