Drop Shotting for Cob

 I am writing this in an attempt to share what I have learnt in a short space of time about dropshotting that has led to great success.

The art of catching cob on dropshot is a form of angling that has mesmerised me for many years. I have spent many hours on the rocks and in the surf having hundreds of casts in a day, with nothing to show for my effort. My reason for saying this is not to put you off drop shotting, but to raise a specific point that applies to all forms of angling, without the correct knowledge and without the guidance of those that have taken the path before you, your success will be minimal. Although I am still learning and only recently taken a big interest towards dropshotting, I am writing this in an attempt to share what I have learnt in a short space of time about dropshotting that has led to great success. Our focus today will be dropshotting in the rock and surf environment. A massive shout out and word of thanks must go to Uncle Adrian Sellers, who taught my dad and myself what we know about dropshotting. He has taken us out to his secret fishing grounds, showed us the ropes and allowed us to share his methods for dropshotting. The information to be mentioned can be attributed to Uncle Adrian.

catch cook edition 2

Tackle Talk

The tackle you decide to use will depend greatly on the conditions on the day, as well as the area you fish, but the tackle I use can be applied to any dropshotting situation, but adjusted to suit the specific day and conditions.

Trace: Your most important tackle when it comes to dropshotting is the trace you use, the actual soft plastic you use and how to rig it up. My personal preference when it comes to a soft plastic is a Havoc 5-inch grass pig paddle tail. The hooks I prefer are a lazer sharp 6/0 bass hook. You’re going to want to select a trace line that has high abrasion for times of fishing amongst structure, but also disappears in the water to keep your drop shot looking as natural as possible at all times, my preference would be Suffix Fluorocarbon of .63mm diameter. The image attached below is an image of the trace I use (I use this same trace whether I fish in the surf or off the rocks).

At first glance you will notice the dropshot is rigged upside down (also excuse the phone I used to keep tension in the trace), but I have rigged it this way purposely. Uncle Adrian showed me the action of a dropshot rigged the normal way and the action of one rigged upside down, amazingly the one rigged upside down had a far superior action, this was backed by the amount of bites we had on the upside down rig, verses the normal rig, the upside down rig as we call it, simply outperformed the conventional/normal way of rigging the drop shot. The below attached image is a close up of how we actually rig the drop shot.

Notice how the tip of the hook is hidden inside the groove in the belly of the dropshot, this allows a perfect weed less to set up and minimises the chances of hooking on structure. Once you have your drop shot set up on your hook, take a small nail and place it into the drop shot the it goes through the eye of the hook, this will increase the durability of your drop shot and will keep it set on your hook. The standard sinker used is a 1.5-ounce egg sinker but can be increased to a 2 or even 3 ounces when needs be for a further cast or to maintain your casting distance when the wind picks up. Don’t forget to add a meter-long piece of leader to your braid that has a clip attached to the end for quick and easy change of trace when fishing. I also try keep my trace to 45cm long.

Set up: The rod I use is a Shimano Vengeance 11 foot, 1 to 3 ounce; paired with a Shimano Sustain 5000XG, loaded with 20lb suffix multi coloured jigging braid (the same reel that you are familiar with from my previous videos). The Vengeance has a slightly lighter tip than that of its competitors, but this gives one hell of an amazing casting action and allows me to cast distances that chaps are amazed by.

One final factor to take into consideration is the weather conditions on the day, as this will affect the colour of the dropshot you use. On brighter days go for a darker colour, such as the dark purple in the pictures above, but on a dull and cloudy day opt for a pink or white dropshot.

Keep your local bag limit and minimum size in mind when taking a fish home for the pan, but don’t catch your limit, try to limit your catch.

Kyle Schmidt


When fishing for cob, especially with drop shot, you want to look for an area where there is a back-sand bank that is churning up sand into a gutter or hole in front of it. Try as far as possible to choose a spot that matches this description, but that also has some structure inside it, as this is where the mullet and golden strepies try hide out and therefore also where the cob will be feeding. A key point to note in order to ensure success, when you find a hole, try look to see if it opens up to the open water; the gutter must have a opening on one end where the fish and water can flow in, as well as another opening on the other end where the fish and water can flow out. A great idea is to just take a walk on the beach in the area you plan to fish and scope out the area, identify good spots for low tide and good spots for high tide and learn how the formation in these areas tends to change. The ideal time that we’ve discovered is to fish a spot on the first 3 hours of an outgoing tide where, at this time, the water begins to crash over the back bank, churning up sand and washing nutrients into the deeper water, but also pulling bait fish into the deeper water through the suction effect created by the outgoing tide. One more key point to look for is the following, if you are walking along the rocks or the surf and find mullet or golden stripies congregating in the shallow water it tells you something, the baitfish are hiding from a predator, which in this case is the cob; stand in the spot you find the baitfish, look up at the water and look for the best looking formation in that immediate vicinity and have a throw. Chances are that you’re going to go tight.

Conservation and concluding points

To all my fellow anglers, let us not forget about conservation when we are out on the water. It is our duty as anglers to conserve our waters for ourselves and future generations and to ensure sustainability of our natural resources. If you see any illegal activity on the rocks or know of anyone breaking the local fishing rules and regulations, please inform the relevant authorities, as it will directly affect our children’s ability to enjoy what we are currently privileged with along our coast lines.

Keep your local bag limit and minimum size in mind when taking a fish home for the pan, but don’t catch your limit, try to limit your catch. Here in the Eastern Cape off the shore you’re allowed one cob per person per day of 50cm minimum length, but please check up on the regulations in your area before heading out. I hope you all stay safe during the lock down and use this time to do some TLC on your gear.


Yours in angling

Kyle Schmidt

Primal Provider #149


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