Fly Fishing
Fly Tying

Aaron Martens with Bass The "Drop" on Summer Bass
- by Aaron Martens

Drop shot fishing is one of my favorite techniques to use for summertime bass. When reaction baits are not working well, I tend to rely on dropshotting. Drop shot will work in stained water, but I find it to be more effective in clearer water. I use this technique in both deep and shallow water.

Drop shot rigs work well in summer for a variety of reasons. The bass may be deeper because they are keying in on bait moving off of the bottom. The bass may also be inactive during the daytime and need to be finessed. Dropshotting can be used to fish fast or slow, depending on what the bass want. The drop shot is also a wonderful technique for a vertical presentation. Bass will sometimes be as deep as fifty feet in summertime, and drop shot is the method I prefer to catch them with. I usually catch most of my fish in ten to thirty feet of water, and I often locate them using my graph.

I use one of two rods for the drop shot method. My first choice is a 6 1/2 foot to 7 foot medium action bait casting rod with 10 to 16 lb. test and a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce weight. I prefer this rod if the fish are biting aggressively, for fishing in cover or grass, or if I'm competing in a tournament. I find I have more control over the fish with this heavy setup. I'm also able to use bigger worms than I would using a lighter rig. If the bass aren't responding well to the heavy rig, I will switch to the lighter setup. For this rig, I use a 6 1/2 foot to 7 foot medium-light action spinning rod with 6 to 8 lb. test and a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce weight. The lighter rig is good for most applications including finesse fishing with smaller worms.

Drop Shot Rig I don't use anything but Sunline fluorocarbon for dropshotting, and I suggest that everyone use some type of fluorocarbon as well. I use Gamakatsu split shot hooks for nose hooking and wacky style rigging, which are the rigs I prefer unless I'm fishing around timber or other heavy snags. For Texas style rigging, I use Gamakatsu worm bend hooks. Gamakatsu round bend offset hooks work well for thicker worms. My favorite worms for dropshotting are the Robo Worm 4 inch and 6 inch straight-tail worms. I also like their Body Shad, Sculpin, and FX worms. I have found that Margarita Mutilator, Aaron's Magic, Bold Bluegill, and Cinnamon Blue Crawler work best in summertime bass.

One of my pet peeves is line twist, which is caused by a spinning worm during retrieve. To avoid line twist, make sure the worm is always straight. I watch my worm as I reel to make sure it's swimming straight. If my line does twist, I take the worm off and cast out as far as I can. While putting resistant pressure on the line with my forefinger and thumb, above the first eye of the rod, I reel in with the tip of my rod in the water. I allow the last eight feet to untwist while I'm still holding it between by fingers. I may repeat this up to three times, but it always completely eliminates any twist from my line.

The knot I use for drop shot rigging is actually a clinch knot called the Double Clinch. To tie, double your line and push it through the hook eye. Holding the tag end with the standing line, wrap the loop up the line five times and push it through the bottom loop, just above the eye. Lubricate the knot and carefully cinch down the knot with even pressure on the tag and standing line and the doubled over loop. Cut off the remaining loop and run the line through the eye with the point facing up. I always start with a long tag end for drop shot rigging, especially in clear water. I prefer to use Kanji tungsten weights, and their quick snap weights, used with an overhand knot, are quickly becoming my favorite.

How to Tie a Double Clinch Knot
I feel that the hook set for drop shot fishing is different than in other finesse techniques. Using a power hook set may break the bass off. For me, using a quick snap works more effectively because it pops the light wire hooks through the fish's mouth more quickly with deeper penetration.

I hope my tips about dropshotting have helped. Summer can be one of the best times for bass fishing, as well as one of the most enjoyable. Knowing when and how to use a technique like the drop shot can make all the difference in your day. Remember to practice catch and release and to handle your fish gently.

Until next time...
Tying a Double Clinch Knot
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Article © Aaron Martens. Reprinted with kind permission.
Illustrations © Quest Outdoors, Ltd.

Aaron Martens
Drop Shot Bass

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