Drift Socks for Offshore Fishing

By Dave Johnson - Bass Pro Radio.Com


Have you ever looked at a map of your favorite lake and eyed an offshore shoal or hump and wondered what you could catch out there?  Here in New York we have a bunch of lakes with off shore structure that will produce big bags of Smallies.  We also have more days when the wind blows then when it doesn't!  To help us fish these open water gold mines on windy days we turn to a Drift Sock or what some call sea anchors to slow down our drifts.


There are a number of ways to deploy one of these big vinyl funnels in the water.  Before I ever put the drift sock on my boat I made sure it was ready for what I wanted to do and that it would deploy quickly.  There is nothing worse then getting on top of a hot spot and by the time you get the sock in the water you are a half mile away from where you started.  I attached about 25 foot of 3/8" rope to the tie on loop at the top of the sock.  I then went up the rope about 10 foot and tied a loop knot and put a carabineer thru the loop.  About a foot farther up the rope I tied in another loop knot.  This second loop is what I will snap the carabineer to once I have wrapped the rope around something on my boat.  More about that later.  Now I have about 14 feet of rope left and I take that all the way back down to the sock and to the very bottom inside of the cone.  I tie the rope off at this point.  This will help to collapse the sock when you want to pull it in.


Ok, I have the system ready.  I get out on the water and slightly up wind from the spot I want to drift across.  I grab the rope near the carabineer in one hand and throw the drift sock in the water with the other hand.  I normally slide the second loop we tied above through the "Hang On" handle on the port (left) side of my boat.  I then take the carabineer and snap the two loops together.  Now I  turn to my drivers console and make sure the big motor is trimmed way down and turn the engine like I was going to make a hard left turn.  This will make the boat turn into the drift sock and keep the boat broadside to the wind.  Being broadside allows both the front and rear deck easy access to fish behind the direction of drift.  Now just tie on a 1/4 oz. tube jig and throw it out behind the boat and wait for the fish to hit!


Because the drift sock is behind the direction of drift you will have to watch out when you get a fish in near the boat.  Big smallies always want to run under something, so be ready to stick your rod in the water to keep the fish from getting tangled in the sock.


Once I have drifted over the spot I grab the rope that we tied off to the bottom of the funnel and pull it in.  This will collapse the sock and allow for easy retrieval.  Now start the big engine and zoom back to your starting point and start the drift again!