Best Drop Shot Baits for Slaying Bass
With drop shotting fast becoming one of the go to finesse tactics for bass a lot of anglers are clued in on how to fish it but a little more confused on what kind of soft plastics make the best drop shot baits.
The 4″ worm is without doubt the most successful drop shot bait since the techniques started
The beauty of drop shot lures is that chances are you have already fished them before just on a different style of rig.
Soft plastics make the best drop shotting lures with the old reliable worm being the very best as it’s long slender shape puts out a lot of movement.
But they don’t stop there.
Shad imitators, small minnows, tube baits, crawdads and even paddle tail swimbaits can all be killer choices as a drop shot bait.
One thing is for certain, when bass are feeling lazy dead sticking a drop shot bait can be one of the most successful tactics for big bass.
Only the slightest movement is required and you may get a strike right when you feel like recasting.
Patience is a virtue when working a drop shot bait in a super slow manner.
These types of techniques do require a lighter drop shotting rod so a heavy powered casting rod is really overkill for using small weights and plastic lures.
Best Drop Shot Baits
Easily the best dropshot bait ever the Roboworm brand name is synonymous with drop shotting and are easily the most popular choice for thousands of anglers.
With a massive range of colors and sizes there is a Roboworm for just about any situation.
You can run these up to a big 6″ when wacky rigging or straight through the nose on a smaller 4 inch version.
You can also Texas rig them when working through heavier cover in warmer summer months.
Best to vertical drop in cover rather than cast away from you with any great distance as you can end up with a lot of weed on your weight if you have to drag it towards you.
Berkley’s legendary line of scented worms the Powerbait Power worms are some of the best performing soft plastic ever thanks in part to their super stinky scent.
That scent combined with an innovative ribbon tail makes these irresistible to bass.
Their tails has a very distinctive flutter that gives out a great little vibration through the water.
You find bass will smash these on the drop or just after they stop moving on the way down.
Drop shot baits are not just confined to using worms and bass really do love feasting on crayfish.
Nose hooking these allows for those claws to really start flapping in the water.
Texas rigged they are also an absolute killer in cover and thick vegetation.
Because of the vibration from the claws they also work great in stained waters thanks to having a much bigger profile when compared to a standard worm.
The Zoom Trick Worm has a similar taper from the body to the tail as the KVD Dream Shot below.
This taper makes them a prime candidate for wacky rigging.
When wacky rigged either end is heavier than where they are hooked so you end up with a lot of life from both sides of the hook.
The have a fairly beefy front section so can also be Texas rigger when working in cover.
Designed by tournament legend Kevin Van Dam.
The Strike King Dream Shot bait has a thinned out mid-tail section that really makes the end come alive on your rig.
Specifically designed for finesse drop shot presentations these soft plastics come in a huge range of colors.
At 4″ long they are the perfect length for a drop shot lure and work in just about any situation.
Use a size 1/0 hook and hook them through the nose when in more open water to really make that tail dance.
They can also be used to great affect if Texas rigged and worked through cover in the summer months.
Texas rigging them is one way to make them weedless you can also use a weedless hook if need be.
Tube baits are the first type of lure you might think about when going drop shotting but that fluttering skirt on the end is a real killer.
The Zman Tubez are a high quality tube bait than come with a dimpled tube body and life like tail end.
To get the most life out of the tail you really need to nose hook these. I’ve even had great success slicing them in half length wise to make two lures out of one.
Sliced in half they are a really good finesse style bait.
What kind of list of soft plastics could be complete without a mention of the all time classic worm the Yamamoto Senko?
The go to bass worm that has slayed bass for decades.
Most drop shot worms are normally used in either a 4 or a 5 inch version but with a Senko you can run them up to even 8 inches and absolute hammer bass in and around spawning beds.
They also work really well around structures like docks or submerged tree stumps.
Zoom have been manufacturing plastics for years and they offer some of the best value of any major brand out there.
These finesse worms are 5″ long and have a massive range of colors.
Can be wacky rigged or through the nose as to your liking. The best colors are greens of various varieties and pink or black when looking at plainer colors.
These are the smaller cousin to the Zoom Trick Worm and are really good when you want a lighter presentation when bass are spooking easily.
When bass are on the shad it makes sense to throw them a shad imitator and the Jackall Crosstail is one of the best out there.
To get the most out of them they really need to be hooked through the nose.
They have a unique ‘crossed tail’ design(hence the name) that makes them flicker sideways and gives out a lot of really natural vibration that bass just seem to find irresistible.
Big bass sometimes call for big lures and the Magnum II from Zoom is a whopping 9 inches long.
They have a massive curved ribbon tail that really comes alive on the drop.
Great for really deep work especially in and around drop offs when bass are feeling lazy and just hanging in the water column.
And seeing as they are so long are really suitable for Texas style rigging.
Drop Shot Baits
Although the classic soft plastic worm is undoubtedly the very best drop shot bait ever used there are some occasions were trying some other options can produce quick results.
Matching the hatch is always a solid approach regardless of what type or style of fishing that you are doing.
When bass are gorging themselves on small shad then chances are they may well ignore you lovely 4″ senko even if you have put it right in front of their nose.
Having a few other offerings available to hand in your tackle box is always a solid approach.
Below we have listed the top drop shot baits by type starting with the classic worm and finishing with small bug imitators.
The old reliable soft plastic worm is always top of the list when discussing drop shotting lures and you’ll find that there are three main varieties that are commonly used:
- Standard worm
- Thick bodied, thin tail
- Paddle tail worm
The standard worm is usually fairly uniform in the taper from the head of the worm to the tail. They come in an almost endless array of colors and sizes and there are also glitter patterns available too.
The thick bodied, thin tail style of worm bait is great for really adding a lot of life into your drop shot fishing. These are almost always best rigged through the head as you want to get as much life out of that tail as possible.
The paddle tail worm takes on a different type of movement than the thin tailed on. Whereas the thin tailed worm has a nice soft flutter through the water the paddle tail has a much more aggressive yet slower movement.
Shad imitators are clearly the ultimate choice when bass are feeding on the real thing.
I’ve known bass to ignore just about everything but a shad style soft plastic when they are in season.
You’ll normally want to rig them through the nose as they will be too short for wacky rigging.
Tubes make an excellent choice although they are normally quite short in terms of length.
The key is obviously in the tail. Choose a tube that has a lot of action in the tail and you can’t go wrong.
For most bass anglers a soft plastic swimbait would not be the most obvious choice when choosing drop shot baits.
But a swimbait with a paddle tail can really set bass off to strike hard.
Most Swimbaits for Bass are fairly large but in the smaller sizes they work really well on a drop shot.
Nose hooked for more open water work or Texas rigged in cover is how to use them best.
Bass feed on a large variety of underwater creatures and insects so it stands to reason that a decent soft plastic crawdad or other small creature should make an irresistible snack for a hungry bass.
Any type of insect or other sub-aquatic imitator can work really well on as a drop shot bait.