Nine years ago I met James “LJ” Harmon at Lake Lanier to do a “Map of the Month” article. Since then I have kept up with him and his fishing at Lanier. The “LJ” in his name is for “Lanier Jim,” his nickname around the lake. He lives on the lake in a house back in a cove not far from Browns Bridge.
When I got in his boat for that trip, I was surprised to see he had only two rods out, and both had drop shot rigs on them. I found out that day how good he is with that rig and his Humminbird electronics. We caught many big spotted bass that day out of a few of the 1100 brush piles he had marked in his GPS.
LJ not only shares his tips and techniques online, he and his son Cory own Lanier Baits https://lanierbaits.com/ where sells his drop shot “Fruity Worms,“ worms he designed and has special colors just for drop shotting at Lanier. They work! I use them at Lanier and other lakes. He also sells other tackle there.
One big problem with drop shotting is line twist. The way the worm hangs on the line almost guarantees line twist each time you reel in. This past week he showed me a new rig he and his buddy and co-worker “Big Earl” developed.
Rather than tying his hook to the main line as usual, LJ puts a bobber stopper on his line, then the hook followed by a second bobber stopper. The tiny, clear bobber stoppers he uses does not bother the fish but hold the hook in place. They will slide on the line so you can adjust the length of leader quickly without retying everything. When you set the hook they will slide down to the swivel but LJ says this does not interfere with hooking the fish.
At the end of his main line he ties a tiny, strong swivel, then a short light leader to the other end of it. The leader is tied to a drop shot sinker with another swivel at the top. The light leader above the lead allows him to break off the sinker when it gets hung without breaking off hook and bait, and the two swivels also help prevent line twist.
He sells the kits with six bobber stoppers, sinker, hook and swivel on his web site. It seems complicated, but tying a drop shot rig the usual way is just as complicated and this one allows a lot more options without a lot of effort.
LJ showed me this rig before installing a new Humminbird Helix 15 on my boat. As well as selling tackle, he guides on Lanier and installs electronics. He got me a good deal on this huge new depthfinder and did a very neat install, with all wires covered.
This unit with a 15-inch screen may help show bottom details better to my old eyes. And it may show me fish. LJ tried to show me how to read it, but using the demonstration mode is not like getting on the lake. He does trips on the water where he will tune up your electronics and teach you how to use them, too. I plan on going with him and doing that soon.
A trip with LJ will keep you entertained, too, if you have a thick skin. The better he knows you the harder he is on you, but he takes as good as he gives so it is in fun!