Dropshot Fishing For Bass


Hands down the dropshot is one of my favorite rigs to use, especially when other techniques won’t produce. A drop shot rig is one of those rigs that you can have tied on year round and always have the potential to catch fish. It’s not going to be the first bait I put in the water for the day but it for sure can be the second. That’s because a dropshot rig is not for covering water. You first want to use a power bait /or moving bait to cover lots of water and quickly locate the fish. Once you have a good idea where they are then you can slow down, use a finesse technique and pick off the leftovers. That is when the dropshot rig shines.

Where to use a drop shot rig:

A common misconception about the dropshot rig is that its only for deep water, that is false. Although a dropshot rig is more consistently fished in deep water (15-100 ft) you can catch fish one in just a couple feet of water and still catch fish. So you CAN fish the rig at any depth a bass lives and create the potential to catch them, that’s what makes it a special rig.

Around Cover / Structure:

Sometimes elements like weather can make a tough day of fishing out on the water, so if you just can’t seem to get any bites from using moving baits and reaction baits then you can switch over to a finesse type bait or rig like the dropshot and key in on a few main types of cover the bass may be around, that being submerged weed lines, submerged trees, and any sort of break line. Using your electronics to scan an area is key to locating which type of break-line the bass are on. Common types of structure the bass will be on in deeper water are deep water points that extend up into shallow water, secondary points off of the main point, deep creek channels, and deep water humps. A bonus is having weedlines that follow those under water points, and bottom composition transitions within the creek channels, which can all be seen on your graph.

When to use a drop shot rig:

  • in deep waters bass will often be in and around grass during the summer months (post spawn), the weeds provides a good supply of oxygen
  • On top of this you want to use the drop shot rig when you have pin pointed the bass either from search baits or from using your graphs

How to fish a drop shot rig:

Flutter It

If you are fishing in grass then you will need to adjust the distance between the weight and the hook to a little longer than the height of grass. By doing this you can let your bait flutter down into the grass and then pull it back up and keep it above the grass to be easily seen by fish. In other words let the bait flutter a little once the weight has bottom contact, then give very minor twitches to keep the bait afloat. Or slowly pull the bait up and out of the grass then let it flutter back down in into it

Drag It

Another way to fish the dropshot rig is to slowly drag it along bottom, so if you have an idea of where the bass are then dragging it around that general area can help you locate the more specific spot they are on.

Dead Stick It

Once you know just about exactly where those bass are then you can slow it way down, let it sit and let the current or water movement give the bait a natural action. Dead Sticking a dropshot rig can sweep up any “left over bass” when the area has already been fished recently and when the bass are just stubborn. Sometimes just keeping it in front of them long enough can anger them into attacking.

What gear to use:

  • Rod: 6’6” – 7’0” medium action, fast action spinning rod
  • Reel: 6:4:1 gear ratio spinning reel
  • Line: either 15 – 20 braid to 8 – 12lb fluorocarbon leader or straight 8 – 12lb fluorocarbon
Rigging up
  • polymer knot is a good choice to tie the hook with so that it will maintain a perpendicular position with the line
  • The bait selection depends on what you are trying to imitate. If you find out they are feeding on craws, then use a craw imitator, same with the different types of baitfish
Choosing the Weight

Picking the correct weight is important and it is very situational. When fishing with a bottom composition of sand, silt, or mud using a rounded (ball) weight will give you the most sensitivity, when fishing in rocks using a ball shaped weight will minimize hangups vs using a pencil style weight. However, when fishing the dropshot in grass then its important to switch over to a pencil style weight to keep hangups and friction with the grass minimal.

What colors to use and when:

The colors of your soft plastic bait should depend on the creature, or baitfish you are trying to imitate. This is the number one priority for color choice. If you are not trying to imitate a specific fish or creature then go off of water clarity, with stained water use brighter colors. That means with clearer water go with natural and transparent colors.

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