Why drop shotting is growing in popularity in Scotland - Nigel Duncan

A fisherman shows the technique of drop shotting in action. Picture: Angling ActiveA fisherman shows the technique of drop shotting in action. Picture: Angling Active
A fisherman shows the technique of drop shotting in action. Picture: Angling Active
Drop shotting has been rapidly growing in popularity in Britain. Experts say is easy to learn and even the smallest of fish on lightweight tackle will provide good sport.

Also, say devotees, the technique is ideal for introducing youngsters to fishing and a basic start-up will cost around £90.

You travel light and cover a lot of ground. Keeping on the move can keep you warm in the chilly winter months.

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The Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal are possible starting points. The area around The Kelpies and Lock 16 is suggested as being worth a cast as is the Union heading into the Capital from the Harrison Park area.

Tackle is currently available in local shops and Mike Wilson of Fishers of Penicuik said the basics are an ultralight rod, compatible reel and a handful of hooks, weights and soft baits.

He added: "There is loads of information online, however, learning as you go can often produce the best results.

"I can’t stress enough how enjoyable it was watching my young son work through various actions and retrieves until he found success.

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"He basically watched and replicated the movements of the small bait fish that the perch we’re feeding on. That's a simple but often overlooked ploy."

He added: "For anyone looking to head out soon and visiting a venue for the first time, my tip would be to search out structure such as bridges, locks and boats where predatory fish such a perch and pike reside."

Craig Gordon, marketing manager for Angling Active, who have branches in Dunfermline and Stirling, said lure fishing has grown into a massive sport as it fits well with work-life balance.

Rods are generally between 6ft and 8ft and those with reel seats give the angler direct contact through the fingertips.

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A 1,000 size reel to a 2500 size with a smooth drag system is an advantage and braided lines are favoured due to their low-stretch properties.

Flurocarbon leader breaking strains of between 6lb to 10lb are suggested with a leader of about 2ft in length tied straight to the braided mainline. If pike are in the water, it may be worth looking at higher breaking strains.

There are special drop shot hooks and size two, four and six cover most lures which are available from one to three inches.

Different tails impart various vibrations in the water. The advice is to use brighter fluorescent patterns for dull days and more natural patterns for brighter days, but imparting the action into the lure does not have to be aggressive, try subtle and small movements to mix things up.

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Other kit suggested is a small landing net and an unhooking mat as canals have concrete banks. Forceps should be in the bag in case you hook a pike.

Mr Gordon said: "We have seen the UK lure fishing scene boom in the last five years, especially drop shotting. This affordable style of light lure fishing is not only a fun technique, which is good for getting youngsters interested in the sport, it also provides a convenient style of fishing for anglers that may have a hectic work/family life."

Meanwhile, Angling Scotland have appealed to anglers to stick to the government rules regarding travel to fish.

A spokesman said: "Public health and well-being remains the most pressing priority and we all have a responsibility to do what we can to continue to suppress the spread of the virus.

"Therefore, we are still strongly encouraging individuals to only travel as far as is necessary to participate in angling activities.

"All anglers are asked to follow the guidance in the same exemplary manner as they did earlier in the year and to date.

"If individuals feel in any doubt at all then please interpret the guidance within the spirit of the day and place personal safely and the safety of others as the over-riding priority."

The spokesman said the organisation continues to work with sportscotland and the Scottish Government to ensure that angling in all forms can continue safely as possible under the tiered structure of Covid-19 governance.

He said: "While is it hoped that this tiered approach will help to get the R number back under control, recent increases in cases clearly demonstrate that we are not out of the woods yet and we remain on a pathway through and out of the pandemic.

"There can therefore be no guarantee that more restrictions won’t be needed in the coming weeks and months."

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