Drop Shot Fishing

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Bass relating to deep structure can be packed relatively tightly together during late summer. It can be thermocline-related, forage-related, current-related, or driven by other factors, but find a group of fish like this and you’re on what bass anglers call “the spot on the spot.” An accurate presentation is a must. Therefore, Maloney โ€“ and a whole lot of other bass anglers โ€“ capitalize on these situations by presenting baits vertically, often with a dropshot rig which has a weight at the bottom of the line and a soft-plastic bait tied in above it. 

“I’ll be more aggressive with Carolina rigs and swimbaits first thing in the morning during these late-summer days, but usually end up switching to a dropshot rig fairly quickly, and it seems like it stays in my hand most of the rest of the day,” says Maloney, who gets better results this time of year moving towards larger dropshot offerings like a 6″ Roboworm fished further off the bottom. “14 to 18″ is usually about right,” says Maloney, who employs 15-pound brain mainline connected to an eight-pound fluoro leader. “Anglers might also consider fishing a bigger and longer hook when drop shotting a bigger worm like that,” he advises. Instead of nose-hooking his offering, Maloney Texas rigs the big Roboworm on a 1/0 straight-shank worm hook.

Maloney uses his electronics to find attractive structure, often in 14-18 feet of water, then pinpoints fish on the graph and continues watching it to see how the bass respond to his bait. This is relatively easy to do using today’s electronics, as the action takes place within the cone of the fish finder’s transducer, but Maloney gets even more real-time information using Panoptix LiveScope. “I drop it down and really just wiggle it a bit,” he says. “If they investigate but don’t bite it’s time to do something else. Sometimes just dragging it slowly away from them is enough to trigger a strike.

Maloney prefers a 6’10” medium-light power, extra-fast action spinning rod when drop shotting in shallower water, but moves to a longer, more powerful 7’1″ medium power, fast action spinning rod when probing deeper water. “A longer rod can help in deeper water because it gives you a bit more leverage,” reveals Maloney, who says any of St. Croix’s 6’8″ to 7’6″ medium-light and medium power BassX and Mojo Bass spinning rods with fast or extra fast tips are great options for drop shotting. “St. Croix has great dropshot rods in their other series, too, but it’s hard to beat Mojo Bass and BassX for the performance and warranty you get at a really reasonable price.”