Deep dropping is a fishing technique that has gained popularity in recent years. It involves targeting deep-water species, such as bottom-dwelling fish, by dropping lines and bait to extreme depths. This method requires specialized equipment and knowledge of the underwater terrain, but it can be incredibly rewarding for those who are willing to put in the effort. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of deep dropping and provide you with all the information you need to get started.

What is Deep Dropping?

Deep dropping, also known as deepwater bottom fishing, is a fishing technique that involves targeting fish species that live in deep waters. This technique is typically used when fishing in depths of 300 feet or more, where species like tilefish, grouper, snapper, and swordfish can be found. Unlike traditional shallow-water fishing, deep dropping requires specific gear and a different approach to fishing.

Gear and Equipment

To successfully deep drop, you will need specialized gear designed to handle the extreme depths you will be fishing in. Here is a list of the essential equipment you will need:

1. Rod and Reel: A heavy-duty rod and reel combo capable of handling the weight and pressure of deep-water fishing is necessary. Look for a rod with a strong backbone and a reel with a high line capacity.

2. Electric Reel: Deep dropping involves fishing at depths where manually cranking the line up and down would be nearly impossible. An electric reel is essential for this type of fishing as it will do the heavy lifting for you. These reels have powerful motors that can handle the strain of deep-water fishing.

3. Line and Leader: Use a heavy braided line with a high breaking strength, such as 80 to 130-pound test. This will ensure that you can handle the weight of the fish you are targeting and withstand the pressure of deep water. A strong leader material, such as fluorocarbon, is also recommended to prevent the fish from breaking off.

4. Weights: Deep dropping requires heavy weights to get your bait down to the desired depth. Use bank sinkers or deep-drop weights ranging from 8 to 16 ounces or more, depending on the depth you are fishing.

5. If you adored this write-up and you would certainly like to obtain more facts pertaining to sea fishing (more information) kindly check out the web page. Hooks and Bait: Use strong, sharp hooks that are appropriate for the size of the fish you are targeting. Circle hooks are a popular choice for deep dropping as they are less likely to be swallowed by the fish, resulting in fewer deep hookings. Fresh or frozen bait, such as squid, mackerel, or sardines, is commonly used for deep dropping.

Techniques and Strategies

Once you have the right gear, it’s important to understand the techniques and strategies involved in deep dropping. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Research the Fishing Grounds: Before heading out, research the fishing grounds you plan to explore. Look for underwater structures, such as ledges, canyons, or wrecks, as these areas are likely to attract bottom-dwelling fish. Use online resources, nautical charts, or consult with local experts to gather information about potential fishing spots.

2. Use a Fish Finder: A fish finder is a valuable tool for deep dropping as it allows you to locate fish and underwater structures. Look for areas where the bottom contour changes or where fish are actively congregating. This will increase your chances of finding productive fishing spots.

3. Set up the Gear: Attach the heavy-weighted sinker to the end of your mainline and connect a dropper loop or a snap swivel a few feet above it. Tie your leader and hook to the dropper loop or swivel. Make sure your bait is securely attached to the hook and won’t easily come off while descending to the depths.

4. Drop Your Line: Lower your line slowly and steadily to the desired depth. Pay attention to the depth displayed on your fish finder or use a downrigger to control the descent. Once you reach the bottom, reel up a few turns to ensure your bait is off the ocean floor but still within the strike zone.

5. Be Patient and Alert: Deep dropping requires patience as you wait for the fish to find your bait. Keep an eye on your rod tip or rod tip holder for any movement or indication of a bite. Deep-water fish can be slow and subtle when they strike, so it’s essential to stay alert and ready to reel in your catch.

Regulations and Conservation

As with any form of fishing, it’s crucial to adhere to local regulations and practice responsible angling. Before embarking on a deep dropping trip, familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations in your area. Pay attention to catch limits, size restrictions, and any specific regulations relating to deep-water species. Some areas may also have closed seasons or protected areas that you need to be aware of.

Additionally, practicing catch and release whenever possible can help conserve fish populations and ensure the sustainability of deep-water species. Handle fish with care, using appropriate tools like dehookers or venting tools to release fish that are not of legal size or that you don’t plan to keep.


Deep dropping is an exciting and challenging fishing technique that allows anglers to target deep-water species. With the right gear, knowledge, and techniques, you can explore the depths and potentially catch some prized fish. Remember to research your fishing grounds, use specialized gear, and adhere to local regulations to ensure a successful and responsible deep dropping experience. So grab your gear, head out to the deep waters, and get ready for an adventure like no other.

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