NEW DROP SHOTTING TRICKS
Drop Shotting is not a craze that will be going away! If anything we are learning even more tricks to catch those little green fish. I have had a ton of practice all over the US in Bass Pro Shops hawg tanks. In the clear water the audience can really see how the fish react to the baits and what you are making the baits do. Sometimes I'm experimenting just to see what will happen and surprise myself along with the bass and catfish. No one ever said this was a bass only method of fishing!
While I was convinced we could add to much action to our baits, I never had proof until I started playing with the subtle movement caused by plucking the line like it was a guitar string. The subtle plucking makes the Bass Assassin Split Tail (my favorite Drop Shot bait) just quiver like a live minnow. The bass and catfish would go on point to a quivering bait and swim away from one that made quick jumps in the tank. In Charlotte NC Bass Pro Shop's tank I could tell the audience when the bass would hit by how much movement I applied to the bait. I was either really on my game or those bass were not into anything they had to chase.
I've had the pleasure of using a new CatchCam underwater camera the past few weeks and now I'm amazed at the number of bass we fish right past. We are really putting too much action into our lures when the fish are not aggressive. Now that I've watched me swing lures past bass without a blink I know we are all doing it. Slow Down and you will catch more fish! Buy a CatchCam and watch for yourself.
While I have been using an XPoint X15Z (a light wire XGap) for Drop Shotting, I had not thought to share it. I was thinking that was what everyone was doing to fish more weedless. At a seminar I showed the same Drop Shot rig I use all over and someone said "so that's how you fish it weedless!" like I was a genius. While I was to him, I thought that was how we all were doing it. I just skin hook the Bass Assassin Split Tails and Assassins while I texas rig the smaller worms and grubs. Use the smaller sizes of the XPoints and don't worry about the hooks being too small. I've caught bass up to 27 inch in the Pits on this rig. Here's a picture for reference.
I use the small salmon egg Daiichi hooks to nose hook the small baits like the Bass Assassin Charms and Twitches. These hooks work real well when your fishing structure without cover like points and bluffs. Just remember to have the drag set light and let the rod do it's work. Here is were the correct rod like the All Star Drop Shot Rod really pays for itself! Here's a picture example.
The other hook I like for Drop Shotting is the Daiichi Octopus Bleeding Hook. The bait when nose hooked is just a bit further away from the line. I get a lot of hits on this combo even though I get a more subtle action with the salmon egg hooks. I think the bleeding factor helps a lot. I've added pictures to help you see how they work.
Bait selection, size, and color do matter! The bass are telling us to pay more detail to the action (or less action) because it is a big factor. At the Houston TX Bass Pro shop I let the crowd pick the colors of the Bass Assassin Shads I was Drop Shotting to the Bass with great success. (I had to, as I had sold all the ones I like to use.) I simple picked the colors Bass Pro had the most of and let a kid in the crowd pick the ones I would use for the demo. Crazy yes, effective - not always. I was always able to get hits, but the bass did prefer the lighter colors with some scale like flash. Silver and red were always the easiest to get hits with. Chartreuse and gold would be second in the hit list. After a few tries I tried to stick with at least some of those colors in the baits. Sold dark colors in the clear water just were not effective. Smaller baits just suspended in their faces in the lighter brighter colors were jerked off the HitchHickers (no hooks here). This proved true for five different locations across the US. When I tried 6 inch Shads the bits decreased and the motion and color had to be just right to even get a hit.
I almost refused to do demos when the noon high sunlight flooded the tanks. With no shade those bass were not feeding! They many times seamed afraid of a bait they killed when the sun was not shinning in their shady home. Light penetration does have an effect on bass and their aggressiveness. Remember that when your fishing docks in the sunlight.
I continuously hear "I can't hook them fishing this way." Worden's Lures solved the problem a long time ago with their line of pre-rigged Charley's Worms. I use the Little Sids, a 4 inch rigged soft straight tailed worm. I really like the fact that the Little Sids are rigged with two long shank gold hooks that are connected by the first hook passing through the eye of the second hook. Little Sids have no mono-filament to fail. Sure, you will hang up if you fish these around cover, but you can straighten the gold hooks out with 10 pound Vanish and just rebend them back to continue fishing. I'd retie, just incase my line was damaged.
The bass are telling us to match the hatch and try to make the baits look natural in clear water. In stained to darker water go to the darker colors and add lots of Kick'n Bass in Garlic and a rattle. I've been using H & H's plastic rattles suspended just below the hook in the clear color. These rattles are made for in front of your texas rigged worms. I just peg the rattle in place with a Peg It made by Top Brass.
I hope you will try a few of these hints to put more bass in your live well.
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