A few weeks ago I got to take a trip with one of the Southern Louisiana Nitro State Team Members. This member is one of the Top Guns in his area and has put on a fine example of catching bass southern style in the swamplands. I met Ricky Naquin a few months ago while attending a Kid’s Day at False River were I was asked by Johnny Moore of Bounty Hunters Bass Club to make a special appearance for some of my Sponsors. My sponsor’s, like all sponsor’s, love for us to do special things for the kids and help them get involved into our great sport. During the day Ricky and I visited and talked about a number of fishing items. One being a fishing trip for me in the Nitro State Team Boat from Boat City in Butte, Louisiana. Boat City is one of Ricky’s fine sponsors and a great boat company. While we were spending time with the kids and sharing our sponsor’s baits with them, mine being Sqworm Tackle, Ambush Lures, R & M Tackle "Hydrilla-Gorilla" buzz baits, and Bummer Baits, I found out that Ricky was also a key member of the Ambush Lure Pro Staff which made us team partners. When doing shows you just never know who you might bump into, that’s for sure!
As we worked the kids show we also set a date for us to do some fishing together and get to know one another a little better. Ricky also told me that he had a special rig that he was working on and it was called a Cajun Drop Shot Rig. With this in mind I set off with the idea of not only fishing with Ricky but doing an interview with him about his Cajun drop shot. During our next visit, we fished and I got the whole story of his Cajun rig which I will let Ricky himself tell the story. So sit tight and enjoy a very good article from one of the top guns from down south in the Cajun swamplands and best of all, this thing really catches fish!
"THE CAJUN DROP SHOT RIG"
By: RICKY NAQUIN
I’m sure if you have kept up with professional bass fishing, you probably have heard of the drop shot rig. If you haven’t, basically it is a weight tied on the end of your fishing line with a hook tied 12-24 inches above it. This rig generally uses a small 1/0 hook and a drop shot weight ranging from 1/2oz. to 1oz. depending on the depth you are fishing. The soft plastic varies on personal preference. Some may use a 4-inch worm or lizard while others may use a finesse worm or grub with color varying depending on water clarity.
The concept of this rig is to have a soft plastic lure suspended off of the bottom where fish frequently suspend for one reason or another. This rig is generally fished on big lakes where there are numerous main lake points, creek channels and drops offs. The idea is to keep your lure in the strike zone where these suspended fish are as long as you can. This type of fishing can be very rewarding as well as very frustrating. It takes a lot of patience to fish this type of rig. Generally, you cast this rig to the above-mentioned structure; let it settle to the bottom and tight line it as if you were fishing for catfish. The only difference is that you have to apply the action to the lure by shaking your rod tip ever so slightly. You do not want the rig to be moved from the structure you are fishing, but just stay there enticing the bass to bite it.
In my fishing experience, I have fished this rig with varying success at lakes such as Toledo Bend and the Red River in Louisiana, Sam Rayburn and Lake Fork in Texas, and several small lakes in Mississippi. Living in South Louisiana, the fishing is very different. Here, there are a vast variety of conditions and what seems to be millions of miles of water to pick from. However, there is not a lot of deep water (10 feet or more) to choose from. I have tried the traditional drop shot rig in the shallow water of South La. with limited success. On a couple of occasions, I have caught numerous fish with several healthy ones going as big as 6 lbs. I noticed that on a few trips while fishing this rig, as it was sinking to the bottom, a fish would grab the rig and when I set the hook nothing! After observing this happen several times I noticed that there were teeth marks on the weight. IDEA!!! If they are grabbing the weight as the rig sinks, what if I replaced the weight with a jig. This would give me an additional chance to catch the fish that grabbed the weight. It would also give me an additional chance to catch fish having two lures being presented to the fish at one time. However, it takes a couple of key components to make the Cajun Drop Shot Rig work. After much experimenting with this new concept, I came up with the following:
I start with a rod that has good backbone but a flex tip. I use a Falcon Finesse Jig rod to fish this rig. Next you must use line appropriate to the conditions you are fishing. I generally use 12 to 20 lb line depending on water clarity and structure. Then you have to adjust the rig to fit the conditions as well. I start by tying a 1/0 hook 12 to 18 inches above where I am going to tie the jig. I generally use a V&M (made by Bayou Outdoors) Bayou Bug or a 4-inch Chop Stick in varying colors depending on conditions. For the jig, I have found a ½ to ¾ oz Falcon Jig (made by Falcon Lures) to work best as it rarely ever hangs up on any type of structure. Again color varies depending on conditions.
Now as to how I fish this rig, I fish it a couple of different ways. The first way is to find any canal having water depth of 2 to 3 feet adjacent to the banks. I generally fish this rig almost as I would fish a regular bass jig but slower. Cast it to the structure around the bank and let it sink to the bottom. Then leave it stationary and only slightly shake your rod tip. Pause holding a tight line for 15 to 30 seconds depending on the mood of the fish. Then, if no response, sharply raise your rod so that the soft plastic you are using comes to the surface and moves the rig a foot or two. Repeat the procedure back to the boat. Usually the fish will hit on the initial cast while it is sitting there or when you hop the rig. The good part is that you have two chances to entice a bass to bite your lure, one on the soft plastic and another on the jig.
The second way I fish this rig in shallow water is to fish it around points of canals and any structure that extends off of the bank into the deeper part of the canal. This can be an exceptional way to fish if you have both, structure extending out from the canal bank and being located on a point of a canal. You have to be very patient to fish this way. First cast out to the structure or point and let the lure settle. Again fish it as I mentioned earlier, with the exception you want to leave the rig stationary a lot longer. These fish are usually suspended and don’t often bite right away. Leave the rig stationary anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes just slightly shaking your rod tip. Usually the strike will occur while you are holding the lure stationary.
Next time you are out fishing and aren’t catching many fish, try the Cajun Drop Shot Rig. Important note: remember to hold onto your rod, as you are likely to get pleasantly surprised as to the number and the size of the bass you might catch.
For more information of Nitro Boats, Boat City USA, Mercury Outboards, Falcon Rods, V&M Lures, Falcon Lures, please check them out on the web at the following addresses:
Louisiana Publishing, Inc.
I hope you have enjoyed this interview with Ricky and just maybe a few ideas may resolve from his article that we can use in our own fishing trips. Once again, thanks Ricky for the trip and the fine article. Also thanks for your time between pre-fishing tournaments in order to give me the inside view of the Nitro State Team.
Like always, tight lines & happy fishing! Please remember to take a child fishing when you can and please remember our Troops over seas; it is because of them that we have this great Freedom of our!