Dead Sticking the The Tough Bite
When bass are suspended and the bite is tough this upcoming spring, try deadsticking the drop shot around your local bass. To deadstick a drop shot rig, You first make your cast just past the area you know is holding “floating” fish. Once you feel your weight hit bottom, You let the soft plastic make its way to the bottom. Wait 10 - 20 seconds, and then slowly begin lifting the bait. Try your best to avoid moving the weight if possible. Then, let the bait slowly fall again to the bottom. Repeat as long as you can, with the goal to keep the bait in the cluster of fish as long as you can. Once you think your bait has passed through them, make another cast past the school. This may be 10 - 20 minutes after your first cast. It is a game of patience, but will pay off!
Distance “Jigging” Shallow Cover & Structure
Using a light line and a spinning rod, you can pitch your drop shot rig to pilings or other shallow cover between 3 and 10 feet and have the bait fall straight down. Slowly working your bait in a subtle finesse twitch may catch some bass congregating on the structure.
Drifting a Drop Shot
When the current is pulling your baits all over the place, don’t fight it! KVD used this technique to win a few river tournaments in his day. It may seem counterintuitive, but you often want to choose a lighter weight than usual to allow the soft plastic bait to move the line and weight at the same speed as the current. This may require trial and error to find the right weight, but it appears more natural to the fish, and smallmouth respond really well to it!
Work it Like a Jerkbait?
Certain profiles of different soft plastic drop shot baits mimic winter baitfish really well! Understanding which baits empart darting action will help mimic forage like shiners really well. By fishing a darting soft plastic in a pop and kill fashion, will imitate a dying baitfish almost like a jerkbait, but with a dropshot hook, your catch ratio may be better in your favor! The key is to find a bait that ungulates and shimmers/shimmies well on its own. The same relates to craw and mini-craw patterns as well.
Drag the Bait Suspended
Unlike a Carolina Rig that drags a bait over an area for scattered bass, the drop shot dragged over the same area will keep the bait suspended and cruising. This is sometimes a better fit for your bass than a bottom dragging Carolina Rig. Comb the area for scattered fish with a drop shot, and you may pick up a few more fish. These solo fish could prove to be giants!
Hopefully this helps demystify drop shotting and opens up a few more bucket mouths this winter and helps you land a monster! Tight lines!