Let’s go dropshotting

OVER the past few years I have observed the “dropshot” anglers with keen interest. Most of these folk release their catches which made me even more interested. The speed they move from landing the catch to photographing and releasing their catch is quite remarkable.

There are some extremely skilled anglers out there. First of all they do not in any way contribute to the destruction of the banks of the Swartkops as we witness daily. In order to fool a fish into a strike requires considerable skill and patience.

I have given it a go myself and must add it takes quite a bit of experimenting until you acquire that level where things suddenly “click”.

The art of choosing the correct “dropshot” for the conditions being angled is a skill on its own too. It is not too expensive to kit yourself out to give it a bash. The local tackle shops will put you right. All the local estuaries are ideal “dropshot” spots and good fish are being taken by these fellows.

Dropshotting requires much less preparation and the tide does not restrict you as you don’t have to put in all the work to throw live bait at low tide. On top of that you require only one permit – for angling. No other possession or equipment permits are required. Dropshotting is the most sustainable form of angling at present.

Chris Schoultz, who is a regular contributor with photographs to this column, is most probably the most successful “dropshotter” around at present and he assures me it is not that difficult to master if you put in the work and make accurate observations.

It is this experience that one capitalises on in the long run. You will notice by the photograph that one can photograph oneself with a little improvisation.

It is always a good feeling going back in time with that memory enhanced by a photograph of a remarkable catch. People will always believe a photograph but without it becomes one of those fishing stories!

I am told that, with a little wind, artificial lures work well. The aerated water tends to liven up fish feeding. There are also crank lures especially those with a rattle built into the body.

Fish such as cob with very sensitive lateral lines feel the vibrations produced and show keen interest. This even works at night where visibility is limited to the ambient light from moon and stars. Artificial lure angling is versatile as it can also be done in the sand surf zones and in the sea off pinnacles and reefs.

The loss of tackle is a problem in the rocky areas as lures tend to ground on seaweed and redbait so it is not really an option unless you have a budget for these losses. Dropshots are considerably cheaper than crank lures and don’t snag up that easily.

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