Brandon Palaniuk won the 2017 Bassmaster Angler of the Year race doing something he likes to do and is good at: dropshotting. Here’s what he did.
> “Going in, my goal was to fish isolated targets…where I could use my Humminbird 360, fish a dropshot and be efficient. That’s one of my favorite ways to fish. I feel like every cast is as efficient as possible — because you’re making a cast with a bait you feel like a fish will eat if he’s there, and you’re making a cast at a target he should be sitting next to, not on some big expansive flat.
> “I was fishing isolated rockpiles, boulders and grass patches, anywhere from 8′ to 22′. It just had to be the right-looking stuff, and depth didn’t really seem to matter. Where I caught the majority of my fish each of the 3 days was a different spot every day.
> “I just had a milk run of places to hit and cycle through. At some point during the day I’d run into a group of fish actively feeding on one of those areas and would catch them.”
> Zoom Super Fluke (purple smoke), 2/0 straight shank hook, 3/8-oz dropshot weight, Alpha Angler DSR rod, Daiwa Exist 2510 reel (ZPI handle), 15-lb Seaguar Smackdown braid, 8-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro leader.
Zoom doesn’t currently make the Super Fluke in purple smoke (but does in smoke purple?!) so:
> “That color came about because I’d been throwing purple smoke Z Drops recently, mixing it in with the green weenie color, and when I went to order some more from Zoom I asked if they could pour me some Super Flukes in purple smoke. I had some confidence in that color, and knew last year from Mille Lacs I could catch bigger fish on a minnow-style bait profile. So I was meshing 2 things I had confidence in and putting it to work.
> “[Zoom] said they might have to bring that color back out….
> “I was shaking it. I’d make a cast right up against the target and shake it there in 1 spot, sometimes all the way up to a minute depending on how active the fish were. I had contradicting voices in my head: don’t waste time [shaking it] if they’re not there, but at the same time you can’t fish too fast and pass them up….”
> “My Humminbird 360 and Ultrex [trolling motor] were big, especially when the wind was blowing. I could pull up on those isolated targets, line up with the 360 and know exactly how far away I was, keep the boat off the fish and continue to make repeated specific casts to the target. I could hit Spot Lock, face into the wind and stand there with 2 feet….”