Dropshotting…. Bassin' Basics

With my lifelong experience as a river rat and bank beater to an angler of the many of the 10,000 lakes Minn. has to offer, I’ve had to become familiar with different tactics to be successful. A technique that I now rely on heavily from spring through fall is fishing plastics on a dropshot rig.

Some anglers shy away from using the dropshot only because they are unsure of how to rig and fish it. Other anglers think that the dropshot is only for fishing very clear water or fishing deep, but that is not the case. I regularly use a dropshot in water that goes from 8- to 15-feet deep and the color could be classified as slightly stained.

The equipment that an angler uses while dropshotting is important, because the proper equipment ensures that you can be successful throughout the technique, from the first presentation to getting that bass into your livewell.

In my opinion, the key component to an angler’s gear when dropshotting is the rod. This is because the rod will allow you to position the bait precisely how the bass wants it, feel the bite and make solid hook sets to get that big bass into the boat. Many companies have come out technique specific rods, such as the Wright & McGill Tessera 7’2” rod.

Now, just because you aren’t fishing gin-clear water, doesn’t mean you should forget about finesse. Using a fluorocarbon line helps you feel light bites, helps keep your line knick free as you drag it around wood and rock and if you are fishing clear water, the fish are less likely to see it. Some anglers will go super-light in their line selection. For me, since I’m usually fishing slightly stained water, I’ll spool up 10-lb. Seaguar TATSU.

I’ll either nose hook or wacky rig my soft plastics on a 1/0 Trokar Dropshot hook. In either case, I’ll get a solid hook into the roof of the mouth by reeling up the slack and giving a sweeping hook set to the side. When wacky-rigging plastics, I’ll use a 4-inch soft plastic stick bait. When nose hooking, I’ll use a variety of baits, such as finesse worms, small tubes or minnow imitators.

Some key areas to use a dropshot on the lakes and rivers here in Minn. include weedlines, rock piles and points. All of these areas are places for bass to school up during the winter months, depending on the forage in that area. With the fish holding cover and forage present, you could spend all day fishing one key area and never have a dull moment with your dropshot.

The majority of times, you are not fishing directly over the area you are targeting the bass. Cast your dropshot to the weedline, rock pile or point and let it sink to the bottom then work it back paying attention to where the fish bite.

The amount of weight you need to get down there should be kept as light as possible, depending on the wind and if you need to get it through thick vegetation. The length of the dropper line from the eye of the hook down to your weight will also depend on how heavy the cover you are fishing is; along with how far off the bottom the bass are suspended. I usually have a dropper line anywhere from 12- to 18-inches in length and use a dropshot weight that is 3/16-oz.

To retrieve your dropshot, you can vary it by how active the bass are. There are two retrieves I have had good luck. First by bringing it in slow and steady, keeping it in constant contact with the bottom. Secondly, if the bass are keyed in on a specific spot, keep your bait in that strike zone for as long as possible, by just letting it sit there and occasionally shaking it.

As you start gearing up for this year’s bass season, make sure you grab the key essential items for dropshotting and you’ll be all ready for a great day on the water.

Glenn Walker has been fishing tournaments for ten years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos. He keeps busy fishing events across Minn. and on the Mississippi River. Walker's sponsors include Hummingbird, Jeff Belzer Chevrolet, Lakemaster, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Onyx, Plano, Rayjus, RC Tackle, Seaguar, Snag Proof, The Rod Glove, Trokar and Wright & McGill. For more information check out www.glennwalkerfishing.com

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