I‘m thinking…and hoping that we have reached the apex of summer heat this month. The topwater bite has slowed to a crawl due to the rising surface temps so we’ve been concentrating on the drop shot bite of late. The drop shot is a finesse tactic and is something we’re still learning but Lisa and I have been fortunate enough to find a few fish and we’ve had some good success with it this summer. I first started exploring the drop shot tactic for spotted bass on Lake Lanier years ago after reading a few local fishing reports from a fella that goes by the name of “Lanier Jim”. There’s no doubt that he’s the best on Lanier at catching spotted bass in the summer months on the drop shot rig and after reading his reports and seeing some of his pictures I was intrigued.
My first experience with the drop shot came from live bait on a drop shot rig. Basically, with the drop shot tactic you’re using your electronics to locate fish while slowly moving above structure holding fish and when the fish show up on your sonar, you drop the drop shot rig down to them on the bottom. Often times we can see our drop shot rig on the sonar as it drops to the bottom. You can watch your bait and the fish in real time and some call it “video fishing”. Once I got used to catching fish on live spottail minnows I started using artificial worms and fluke type baits. The rig itself is pretty simple and is nothing more than a small in line hook 1-2 feet up from a small weight. My main line is 6lb XPS fluorocarbon with an 10-18 inch Sunline 8lb FC Sniper leader holding the weight and I paint my weights green. Mostly I’m using a 3/8 ounce teardrop type weight and in heavier wind I use a 1/2 ounce weight. The hooks are #2 VMC Spin Shots. My thought is to make the worm look like it’s jumping and dancing either close to or on the bottom without moving the drop shot weight as much as possible. Every once in a while I’ll pick up the weight and pull up an arms length and then let it drop. I’ll move and re-drop every few minutes. I’m not sure how important hooking the worm is but I hook mine up in the head vertically at an angle and in a fashion so when I pull up on it the whole worm will whip up. I don’t expose the point but it’s right at the top of the end of the worm. I believe the way you hook the worm determines the action you can put on it and I like the whipping action from the little 4 inch worm.
The idea is to keep the weight on the bottom while keeping the line tight and bouncing the rod tip slightly to make your bait on the hook dance in a suspended state. The bait can vary from live bait to artificials.
Probably the most important thing we’ve learned about the drop shot is location. These summer spotted bass on Lanier reside in the underwater structure such as brush piles or small timbers submerged in the 20-40 foot range and come out to forage for their meals. Some days they hold tight to the structure and other days they may range out onto flats or shallow rocks. Since I’ve gotten my new boat, I’ve been making trips to the lake in search of structure and brush piles that are holding fish to mark on my gps and fish. I’ve been concentrating my efforts to water depths between 20-35 ft. It seems like the summer bass like to hold at these depths if there is structure nearby to provide cover and safety. I posted a couple of videos below so you can see the drop shot technique and I included a few pics from some of our recent trips with the drop shot: