We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Capt. Ross Gallagher, sales director at Hogy Lure Company, to discuss using drop shot rigs for deep water grouper in Fort Meyers, FL. Here's what we learned...
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Tides: Current and wind speed can be a major factor in deep water fishing. The Hogy Drop Shot Rig HD can easily be weighted for any scenario.
Approach: When I refer to “deep water” in Southwest Florida, it is when I fish water deeper than 90′. I prefer to target grouper in three types of areas, live bottom (coral) areas, ledges (or cracks) in the sea floor and ship wrecks (or man made artificial reefs.) The extreme depths and current in these locations require a presentation that can quickly and reliably adapt to changing conditions.
Rigging Selection: The Hogy Drop Shot Rig HD is perfect for this.
Bait Selection: The Hogy 5″ Flounder
Why This Bait? For the past 3 years, the Hogy Flounder has proven to be a day saver when grouper fishing offshore. The natural flatfish or panfish profile is irresistible to big grouper. On many occasions, the flounder has out produced all other offerings, even natural bait.
Colors: Amber Fleck
Retrieve: If I’m in a fishing scenario that a drop shot rig is required, it generally means I’m using heavy weights (6-16oz) so speed jigging isn’t really an option. In actuality, a slower paced “thumping” along the bottom is most effective. I am able to achieve this by bouncing the rig 10″ – 20″ above the bottom while occasionally maintaining contact with the structure.
Another retrieve that I found by accident occurred on a somewhat sporty day on the gulf. Seas were rolling at 2′ – 4′ and rocking the boat back and forth steadily. A flounder-rigged drop shot was left in the rod holder while we sat to have lunch. After a few minutes passed, we noticed that rod had hooked up on a fish without anyone jigging it.
Rod: Extra Heavy Action 6′ Shimano Trevala Spinning
Reel: Shimano Saragosa 8000
Line: 65lb Power Pro Braid
Leader: 6′ top shot of 80lb Mono using an albright special for line to leader.