Many angler’s agree that the drop shot rig is one of their most versatile and perhaps their most important set up for bass fishing. Relatively, there is no other rig that can provide the same experience as the drop shot setup. Regardless of the body of water you are fishing, the drop shot can be effectively implemented in the shallows or in the unseen depths. When combined with the proper fishing technique, the drop shot rig is sure to improve your overall catch.
What is a Drop Shot Rig?
So, let’s start with the basics. What is a drop shot rig? To start, a drop shot rig is a set up for your hook, leader, weight, and bait. You create this set with your line tied to a hook. You will then tie a weight or sinker at the end of the trailing leader, so that the weight is on the end of the line, and your bait and hook will be above the weight. Now, depending on your personal preferences, there are a great variety of hooks, weights, and bait options, but we will cover the common set up, and focus primarily on a few different techniques for your drop shot presentation.
So, now that you know how to set up your line for the drop shot rig, you have to know how to provide an excellent presentation for the bass you are looking to hook. There is certainly much more to fishing the drop shot than simply casting it out and letting settle on the bottom. You will also need to make appropriate adjustments, depending on each situation. Let’s take a closer look at some of the unique techniques that the bass professionals of today are using.
Bass Refusing to Bite?
Fishing with a drop shot can become a game patience, but it can be frustrating and even exasperating at times. This is especially true when the bass just seem to be refusing to bite. Implementing a great deadsticking presentation is one of the best ways to gain the attention of the otherwise locked down bass.
When using a the deadsticking approach, you will want to take time between your casts. With each cast, allow the weight to fall all the way to the bottom. Once the weight has settled, go ahead and let the bait also fall to the bottom, for about 10-15 seconds at a time. Then ever so slightly, without moving the weight, lift the bait up and allow it to fall again. You will repeat this process ever few moments for 10-15 minutes; then retrieve it and cast again. This method is most affective when you can pin point where the bass are “floating” around at. A graph is highly recommended when using this method, as if you can drop shot relatively close to the bass, they are more likely to grab a bite while the bait is in free-fall.
Nailing Natural in a Swift Current
If you are fishing in a swift current, there is a special balance act required when using a drop shot rig. You must maintain the proper weight at the end of your line, so that your presentation looks natural to the unsuspecting bass. If you use a weight that is too heavy, your bait will also sink and will not be active enough to draw in a bite. On the other hand, if you use a weight that is not heavy enough, your bait will be pushed up towards the surface by the current, preventing you from being able to fish the bottom flats where your typical smallies tend to be. You will want to experiment with different weight setups and different currents to find what works best for you.
Fishing Shallow Cover
Whenever you find yourself fishing an area that has some cover, you will want to do some retrieval prior to deciding on the rigs final position before attempting a catch. The most effective method used by professional anglers is to drop shot your cast near the cover and then retrieve it until you feel the weight run into submerged cover such as large rocks or wood. Then for several seconds at a time, give your line a slight shake. Repeat this for about a minute or so and then fully retrieve your line and cast again. This technique is great on particularly hot sunny days, when the bass may be hiding in the shade made available by the cover.