How to Fish a Drop Shot for Bass

There’s a few different ways I like to fish
a drop shot rig. One way I really like tofish it is vertically. There’s a couple different
ways you can do that. The first is if yourover deeper water fishing the end of a point
that drops off into deep water or the topof a hump. You can actually look at your graph
and see the fish whether they’re 20-30-40feet down and you can drop the drop shot,
follow it on your graph all the way down,and then catch those fish. Another way to
fish is vertically is around pieces of cover. We have this cement intake right here which
has four sides obviously and there’s someshade. So it’s a perfect place for those fish
to hang out, ambush prey, or just get out ofthe direct sunlight. So what I like to do
is just come up on these pieces of verticalcover like this and I’ll just pitch my drop
shot right against the wall right there andjust let it fall on a slack line. Once you
get to the bottom you generally want to keepit in one place and just shake it. Give the
opportunity for a fish to find it. I preferto use smaller baits when drop shotting as
opposed to fishing a Texas Rig. Right nowwe’re using a Yamamoto Shad Shaped Worm, which
is an excellent bait that catches lots offish. It works on all three species: smallmouth,
largemouth, and spotted bass. If I’m fishingaround vertical cover like this I like to
nose hook my bait as well. You have the optionto Texas Rig it if you’re fishing in cover,
but if it’s relatively snag free I feel likeI get a better hook up ratio and land more
fish using a nose hook presentation. On a piece of cover like this you want to
be real thorough. You want to make sure youhit each corner and each shade line. Another important thing to do is vary your
leader length. Generally I’ll start off witha leader anywhere from 6-12″. There’s a few
things you want to consider when playing withyou leader length; one is the water visibility,
and also where you think the fish are holdingon a piece of cover. So obviously when we
have this cement intake structure it sitsabout 8-10 foot deep and the fish could be
anywhere on that. But I’ll usually start atthe base and then work my way up from there. Another general rule of thumb is I like to
get away with the lightest weight possibleso I have the most natural presentation. If
I’m fishing anywhere from 8-15 foot I’ll usea 1/4 ounce weight. Anything shallower than
that I’ll go with a 3/16 or an 1/8 weightthough. If I’m fishing deep water and I need
my bait to of all really fast I’ll use a 3/8or even up to a 1/2-ounce sometimes. When shaking your drop shot it’s really important
to try to keep your weight on the bottom andjust move your bait. A good way to do that
is by shaking your bait on a slack line. Thatway you ensure your weight is staying on bottom,
you’re not pulling it up off the bottom, andyou’re just moving the bait. I like to use both straight fluorocarbon as
well as braided line with a fluorocarbon leaderon my drop shot rigs. It just kind of depends
on the circumstance. Most of the time I’lluse 15 pound Seaguar Kanzen Braid as my main
line and I’ll tie on a 5 and half or 6 footleader of 8 pound Seaguar InvizX or Tatsu
fluorocarbon. What that does in helps eliminatesome of the line stretch. With braided line
there is almost zero stretch so it helps withthe hook sets and it helps you feel bites
you normally wouldn’t feel. I really likefishing braided line when I’m fishing vertically
for those reasons. Another thing I like to do with a drop shot
is fish it higher in the water column. IfI’m fishing around a piece of cover and didn’t
get bite at the base what I’ll do is I’lltie on a lighter drop shot weight like something
as light as a 1/16 ounce or even a 1/32. I’llcast it out and I’ll let it pendulum back
to me. So I’m kind of just bringing it threwthe top of the water column and it gives those
fish something different to look at. It alsoallows you to present your bait to the fish
that might be higher in the water column thatyou normally wouldn’t be able to get to with
a drop shot presentation. That will work onanything say you’re fishing over the of top
brush, or anything even big boulders. Thekey is just using a really lightweight. Just
let it swing back toward you, reel in theslack every once and awhile, and make sure
it stays up off the bottom. Now vertical fishing isn’t the only way to
fish a drop shot presentation. You can alsocast it and work it like you would fish a
normal Texas rig or even a jig. Basicallyjust cast it out, drag it back to the boat,
and reel in the slack. There are a few situationswhere I really like to drag my drop shot.
I use it when I’m targeting any specific pieceof cover. Whether it is a rock or it could
be a tree. Fishing vertically allows you tobe able to present it from directly over the
top. But a lot of times if the water is superclear or you’re fishing shallower water you
need to get back off the top of that coverand cast to it so the fish don’t know you’re
there. A great way to do that instead of astandard presentation is with a drop shot.
Right out in front of us we have these buoysthat are anchored with cement blocks at the
bottom and it’s a little to shallow becauseit’s only about 7 feet so it’s a little to
shallow to get vertical and drop on top ofthem. So I’ll stay back off them within a
cast distance and pitch it up there. Basicallywhat I’m doing is I’m just dragging my drop
shot until I feel those cement blocks downthere that are anchoring that buoy. Once I
find that, there it is right there, I’m justgoing to keep that drop shot in one place
and just shake it. Like we talked about earlierI want to shake it on a slack line so I’m
not moving my weight and I’m making sure I’mjust moving my bait. The advantage of using a drop shot in this
situation over a jig or a Texas Rig is evenif your shaking that Texas rig or jig lightly
you’re still moving that bait towards you. With a drop shot you’re able to keep it in
one place for a long period of time. Sometimeson heavily pressured bodies of water or if
it’s a spot other anglers have hit beforeyou’ve gotten to it’s important to keep that
bait in the strike zone longer to give thosefish the opportunity to eat it. What other people don’t realize as well is
if you’re fishing a Texas rig or jig on bottomthe fish actually have to turn on they’re
side to inspect that bait a lot of times beforethey suck it. With a drop shot if you have
it up 8-10-12 inches off the bottom it’s righta lot of times at the fishes eye level. So
they don’t have to make nearly the effortto inspect your lure and a lot of times they’ll
just open up their mouths and just suck itin.

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