Deep Dropping is the term that we use when fishing water deeper that 300 feet. It is more commonly used while fishing for bottom fish in 600 feet or more of water. The tackle used is generally electric reels with either variable speed electric, or manual retrieve.
A heavy weight from 3 to 8 pounds with a multiple hooks makes up the terminal end of the rig. The set up is then baited and dropped to the bottom where Snowy and Yellowedge Grouper, Queen Snapper, Rudderfish, Gray and Golden Tilefish, Rose Fish and a variety of other species are targeted.
This is somewhat like opening your Christmas packages. You usually don’t know what you have until you get it up, as there are many more species that you have never seen before. This will almost always result in a box full of good eating fish and a very interesting time as well as it is not very hard on the arms as the rod is usually left in the rod holder and the electric does most of the work.
An interesting twist to the above technique involves reels loads with the new braid lines testing 15 or 20 pounds and 6 to 9 ounce, lead head jigs with twister type plastic glow tails. It does not require a great deal of energy to transfer the action to the jig, necessary to attract a strike.
The drift of the boat with a lifting and dropping motion of the rod is sufficient to cause the tail to swim and that is enough for most of the predators in those depths. It does require a substantial effort to set the hook at those depths as well as a very sharp hook. The Groupers and Golden Tilefish are the most susceptible to the jig. You will usually land most of the fish that you will hook.
Another fun thing to try is using the lighter lines described above and a one pound weight with a number 1/0 or even smaller hook and small baits. Drop this where you are marking clouds of fish or around rough structure. You ofter catch fish that you will have to consult with an ichthyologist to identify. Alfonzano, Darwins Slime Head and Pompinet are just a few of the odd fish that we have taken by using Deep Dropping.
Deep Dropping Photo Gallery
Deep Dropping Locations
The Dry Tortugas is the last, great vestige of sportfishing in the northern hemisphere. This remote group of islands are surrounded by more than ten thousand square miles of fishing resources that have remained relatively untapped due to the time that it would take to cover this vast and remote area.
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico, for our purposes, begins at the North side of the flats, along the lower Florida Keys and includes a portion of the Florida Bay, continuing to the West and North of the Dry Tortugas, encompassing more than 5000 square miles of fishable water within range of our hi-tech, offshore boats.
Key West offers the sportfishing enthusiast the largest variety of gamefish in the world. Other locations will argue that they are the sportfishing capital of the world, or the best for this species or that particular fish. There are more “I.G.F.A. World Records” from the waters of Key West than the next closest, several locations combined.
Marquesas is a magical word that conjures thoughts of tropical breezes, emerald green water surrounding a tropical island paradise. A ring of islands surrounded by acres and acres of pristine water and shallow flats where giant Tarpon, Permit, Bonefish, Mutton Snappers, great Barracudas and monster Sharks of all kinds prowl the flats.