TIPS FROM A PRO
The end of summer is here, and the fishing is a little tough. From fishing pressure through the summer to warm water temps, this time of year can be a grind at times. Fish tend to get a little lock-jawed, and this can be really frustrating.
When this scenario presents itself, I pull out a spinning rod, downsize my line and bait, and slow down my presentation to get finicky fish to eat. One of my favorite techniques this time of year is a drop shot. My drop shot rig consists of a weight tied to the end of the line with a hook and soft plastic tied in about 12 to 18 inches above the weight.
There are two styles of baits I like to drop shot. One of them is a finesse-style worm like the 13 Fishing Rabbit Ear Joy Stick Ultra Thin 4.5’ worm. I like a worm on my drop shot when I’m targeting largemouth, especially in Southern states. These fish are usually feeding on a little bit larger forage, and the finesse worm is a perfect fit. Rig this worm on a 1/0 Hayabusa FPP Straight hook with a 1/4- or 3/8-oz. WOO Tungsten weight for the perfect presentation.
The other soft plastic I like on a drop shot is a small baitfish imitator. The 13 Fishing Vertigo Minnow gets a ton of bites. When you find fish chasing small baitfish or you’re up north where there are smallmouth bass, this style of soft plastic gets the job done. Rig it on a Hayabusa DSR132 #1 hook with a ¼ or 3/8-oz. WOO Tungsten weight, as well.
I like to keep things simple when it comes to colors. With finicky fish, you want your bait to look as natural as possible. I match colors to the forage in the lake. When throwing the finesse worm, my favorite colors are the green pumpkins and even pinkish colors like a morning dawn. With the baitfish, I stick to white and pearl or your green pumpkin and brown.
A drop shot is an awesome way to get bites when it gets tough. With the bait suspended off the bottom above your weight, it gives fish a different presentation than the normal Texas rig. Pitch it around hard cover like wood and rock, drag it through grass or throw it around dropoffs or deep spots. I always have a drop shot rigged this time of year, and it puts fish in the boat.
Drop Shot Gear
A drop shot is a finesse approach. I use a 13 Fishing Omen Black 7’1” medium fast action rod paired with a 2500 size spinning reel. Spool this combo with Seaguar 10-lb. Smackdown braid leading to an 8- to 12-lb. Abrazx fluorocarbon leader depending on the cover and water clarity you are dealing with.
Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website at www.tylerwoolcottfishing.com.