We’ve put together the best drop shot smallmouth tips to help you catch more fish this season. Since coming over from Japan in the early 2000’s, the drop shot has become a staple for anglers fishing deep water. It offers a completely different look than other bottom presentations, and can be effective when many other presentations fail. By moving the bait off the bottom and above the weight, the drop shot creates a much more subtle action that really appeals to finicky bass.
Smallmouth are particularly susceptible to the drop shot, as they spend a lot of time in deeper water where the drop shot is most effective. They can also be spooky at times, and it doesn’t get more finesse than the drop shot.
Here’s the when, where, and how for catching smallmouth on a drop shot.
Drop Shot Smallmouth: When
All year long. Really, the drop shot is one of the most effective presentations no matter when you’re fishing for smallmouth. It’s deadly in cold water, dynamite mid-summer when the fish are roaming deep structure, and it’s also a killer bed fishing presentation. The only time a drop shot may not be ideal is in a river system when the water is really dirty, or around thick vegetation.
Drop Shot Smallmouth: Where
Although you can use a drop shot effectively in shallow water (think bed fishing), the bread and butter for throwing a drop shot is on deep structure like humps, points, road beds, break lines, and over manmade cover like cribs or brush piles. If there is rocks or wood on any of these structures, even better. Look for baitfish on your electronics as well, because finding out what depth the bait is at will typically help you narrow a depth that the smallmouth are at.
Drop Shot Smallmouth: How
The drop shot is one of the most versatile presentations there is, and as long as it’s in the water you’re effectively fishing. If you’re covering water, make long casts and drag or hop it back to the boat. It’s also deadly when fished with a vertical presentation, like over the top of brush, isolated boulders, or for suspended bass. Adjust your leader length for the conditions. When casting/dragging, opt for a longer leader of up to two feet. When fishing vertical, shorten your leader down to eight or ten inches. Experiment with different shakes, hops, and drags and let the fish tell you what they want.