Drop Shot Fishing for Bass
Drop shot fishing for bass has exploded in recent years and lot’s of tournament anglers are taking major wins with a drop shot when other techniques are failing.
Drop shotting is considered a finesse tactic but unlike other finesse approaches it is truly versatile and can be used year round and in a variety of different locations and scenario’s.
The drop shot rig itself is quite simple, your hook is tied a few feet up with a polomar knot from a weight on a leader that is usually fluorocarbon.
Drop shot fishing allows you to fine tune the exact depth that you bait will run at.
Controlling your depth is crucial to keeping your lure in the strike zone whether that is in deeper waters where bass hold at a certain depth during the winter or in warmer seasons in shallower waters.
Being a finesse application a lightweight drop shot rod with a lot of sensitivity is key to getting the best feedback from your sinker and bait which ultimately will increase your strike rate.
- Rod – medium/light power, fast action, 7 foot spinning rodReel – spinning reel size 2000 or 2500
- Line – Fluorocarbon in the 8 to 12 lbs range
Drop Shot Fishing
Being such a versatile technique fishing a drop shot can produce big bass all year round especially in winter when you can target them right down in the deeper waters of lakes.
Knowing how, where and when to use this type of rig is key to getting the very best out of it.
Below are some of our drop shot fishing tips that we hope will help you to catch more bass!
Drop Shotting Tactics
Tactics are everything in bass fishing and fishing a drop shot is no different.
Tailoring your approach to the seasons is the key aspect of catching more bass.
Water temperature is the ultimate guiding force to bass movements and learning to read it is very important.
Deeper waters call for a slower dead sticking approach and water weather can call for a more active almost jigging like approach.
When Should You Throw a Drop Shot
Different seasons call for very different approaches and knowing how to fish each one relative to the water temperature is very important.
We won’t give any strict temperature ranges here as across the country different seasons have big variances in water temperatures so apply your local knowledge to best affect.
Winter Bass are almost always out in deeper waters and will generally stay suspended at a fairly consistent depth depending on the lake and temperature in question.
It’s not uncommon to see bass on a fish finder in 40 to 50 feet of water during cold weather and this is when vertical drop style fishing excels.
Seeing as this is the most lethargic time of the year for bass dead sticking you lure will usually get the best results.
Only an occasional twitch of the rod tip is required once the weight has hit the bottom or you exact suspended depth.
Pre-spawn Bass will usually start to enter more shallower mid-range depths and will start to move when temperatures start to hit 50 degrees.
You’ll find them between 10 and 6 feet. Crawdad soft plastics are particularly effective especially if you are fishing over a rocky bottom at this depth
Post-Spawn/Summer Bass immediately following the spawn can take a while before they return to full summer feeding frenzy so you may notice a reluctance for bass to be overly aggressive in the immediate few weeks once spawning has ended.
Once summer kicks in it’s all about weed cover and working a light rig in and around weed is a killer approach.
Drop Shot Fishing from Shore
Shore fishing will of course limit your reach but it can still be very effective, less so in the colder months as bass will naturally move to deeper waters that are normally out of reach from the shore.
The major advantage of fishing off of a boat is that every location on a lake is available to you.
On the shore you are limited by your maximum casting distance but on a boat with a fish finder you can search every single area making sweeps of drop offs, gravel beds and close to cover.
A fish finder will give you the biggest possible advantage.
All of the techniques described above are available to you as a boat angler.
From the shore you will mostly be casting and then slowly bouncing or jigging the weight back towards you.
Boat ramps and docks can be a big spot for bass that a lot of anglers ignore so make sure to work them just as hard as any stretch of bank.
Setting the Hook
A lot of times anglers will complain of missing a lot of fish on a drop shot and ultimately they are setting the hook with far more force than necessary resulting in the hook being ripped from the mouth.
Lift your rod tip and reel in at the same time instead of yanking the rod back.
Using a combination of reeling and lift the tip quickly will take in any slack line in the system and also set the hook without ripping it.
Chances are you’ll be using very sharp hooks that require very little force to penetrate a bass’s lip.
The majority of drop shot baits for bass will be soft plastic worms. But that does not mean you should limit yourself to the worm only.
Crawfish, shad, tube baits and other soft plastics lures work just as well in the right conditions.
When you are dead sticking or putting less movement into the drop shot then a good approach is to shaky head rig your worm as it will get a bit more life into it than just regular nose rigging.
Worms that have a ribbon tail will always have the best life in them but the only drawback is that the tail is a lot weaker than on a regular worm so you may end up replacing them quicker.
Being a finesse technique means matching you tackle to get the very best casting performance and also the as much sensitivity as possible from the weight or your lure back down through the rod to your hand.
6.6″ to 7′ in length, medium/light power rating with a fast action. Tip sensitivity is key here and a moderate or slow tip rod is not suitable.
Spinning reel in a size 2000 or 2500 to match your rod. Spinning gear is best suited to lighter line techniques.
A good line for drop shots is fluorocarbon as it has a lot less stretch than monofilament.
Braid is also a good option particularly close to heavy cover but always use a fluorocarbon leader to help reduce visibility when drop shot fishing for bass.