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Embracing the Suck: My Dropshot Fishing Improvement Journey

I was asked a question recently: What is a bass fishing technique that you know catches a ton of fish, but you have very little confidence in, and rarely use? For me, the answer was dropshot fishing. I tried it a few times and even caught a couple fish. But admittedly, I was quick to put it down on days when I was dismal at it and I rapidly moved on to my confidence (comfort) techniques.

There is something to be said for specializing in techniques you're good at and "throwing your best stuff". I literally gave that exact advice in my last blog post: The Kayak Angler Skinny on Kissimmee. On the other hand, I know I've lost some opportunities to catch more fish with a dropshot. Because inside my head, I knew I didn't have the right stuff in the first place. I don't like that feeling. And it became even more apparent in kayak fishing tournaments, when it took more time to cross the lake to fish my comfort technique versus staying in a quality fishing area and having options to pick it apart with several techniques.

Embrace The Suck

In life and in fishing, if you want to go after something big or maybe just want to get better at something, there is a good chance you're going to suck at it first. I've heard my military friends use the phrase "embrace the suck" as a way to accept (and perhaps later appreciate) the unpleasant and unavoidable parts of moving forward and taking on a new objective. Consequently, I decided that this off season (the summer in Florida) I would consciously choose to be dismal and uncomfortable in order to ultimately succeed with my dropshot fishing improvement. In this case, my definition of success didn't mean I have to be an expert. I just wanted to add another aspect to my fishing repertoire; to have confidence for an extra bite in a tournament and to have more options for fun in a fishing experience.

A person running an uphill path

Surround Yourself With People Who Will Lift You Higher

One of the things I like best about the kayak bass fishing community is how willing people are to help others improve. Any success I’ve had in my relatively short career in bass fishing is also a tribute to those generous anglers and competitors that have fielded my numerous questions and requests. My perspective is that I can learn something from everyone, no matter what age and skill level. Additionally, I try to surround myself with anglers that I consider better than me and try and glean some knowledge from what I consider their special skills or techniques.

Recently, I was fortunate to spend the day with Brett Corn, the AOY of the Florida Bass Nation Kayak Series' Northeast Division. If you know Brett, you know he always has a dropshot rig set up and it’s often glued to his hands. Brett confirmed that my equipment and tackle was adequate (see below). And, the best part of fishing with him was observing his nuanced on-the-water skills, such as retrieval speeds (bait in the water 12-15 seconds maximum in the summer) and the way he puts a pattern together with information from other techniques. One of Brett's colorful corollaries: "If I'm throwing topwater and they are hammering a buzzbait, I'm gonna be making that worm dance like it's on meth." 🤣 Well, thanks to some encouraging guidance like this, I’m delighted to say I'm getting the hang of it.

Give and You'll Receive

Giving yourself an alternative mindset when you're learning something new can make all the difference. Embracing the sucky difficulties and being a little uncomfortable in the process has made me appreciate dropshot fishing and those that do it really well. And one day soon, it may even help me win a little money in a fishing tournament.

Finally, giving your time and knowledge to others is really a wonderful gift. Maybe the best gift humans have to offer. I want to thank Brett for his guidance and so many more kayak anglers, supporting friends and partners who have helped me in fishing. I’d try to name them all here, but I’m afraid that I’d leave someone out. If you’re reading this, you know who you are. I’ll do my best to keep paying it forward by continuing to help people get the most out of life by enjoying the outdoors!  #FISHINGISLIFE

Buz's Current Dropshot Set Up and Lures:

Please comment! Is dropshot fishing a staple in your fishing arsenal? What techniques have you avoided, but now enjoy?

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