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Drop Shotting Bubba Style
by Mark Ripp

When people think of drop shotting they think of light line, small lures and deep water. Drop shotting has become the hot new way of catching fish these days, and rightly so because it does. Most people however only know of one way to drop shot, and that is with finesse. What I am going to cover in this article is the bad boy version of it. I'm talking heavy line and heavy cover for big fish. There are two times when I will drop shot heavy cover and I will talk about the times to do it and the equipment I use.

First of all, I will be employing a flipping or pitching presentation. This technique requires a near vertical presentation. I use standard flipping gear for this so most of you don't have to buy a special rod. This style is particularly good in hydrilla or other heavy grasses that are in four-eight feet of water. The lakes I fish in Southern Wisconsin have a wealth of this type of weed. I also have had good luck fishing this rig in brush piles and sunken wood. In southern impoundments standing timber is very common, but if the water were clear then I would use standard drop shot gear. Because of the heavy tackle this rig is better suited to dingy water. The clearer the water the lighter gear you should use. Now that I covered how and where to do it, I will cover when to do it.

The first reason I would reach for the heavy-duty drop shot would be if the bass were suspending in the cover. Lets say that I am going along flipping repeatedly to a target. After four or five flips the fish finally takes it on the drop. This is after I have dropped it on his head repeatedly. This took a lot of effort to do. I could have just used the drop shot and pitched it in once and twitched, jigged or shook it in place. Instead of the bait flying by the fish every time it sits right in its face. This style is deadly if the fish are pressured and have seen 20 other presentations before you. This little difference may be the key to a good bag of bass.

The next way I fish this rig is a compromise between the two styles of drop shots. Let's say that the bass are hitting small lures that are lightly weighted. The only problem is that they are situated in heavy weeds. With the lightweight that you are fishing with you can't penetrate those heavy weed mats. This is where this technique shines. You can fish that light lure but still bust through the cover. Bass rarely see a three-inch power hawg or ribworm down there. One problem that might come up when fishing with the small lures is the hook. Small baits require a small hook and that does not go well with heavy cover and heavy fish. The hook of choice for myself is an Owner rigging hook. This hook has a nice wide gap but it has a short shaft to fit in the shorter lures. Also, it is made with a little heavier wire so it won't straighten out as easily.

One important factor is the style of weight used. I am a big fan of the Lake Fork Tungsten weights. They offer a smaller profile and heavier weight that is needed to get through heavy weeds. Any bullet style weight will work though. I peg these upside down so that the pointed end is down. This lets the weight penetrate the cover better. The best way to peg a sinker in my book is with the Top Brass rubber peg-its. Plus, they fit well in Lake Fork weights. If you use a toothpick it can sometimes nick or pinch the line causing reduced line strength.

This rig is an overlooked and underestimated way to catch some hawgs. It does not always bring in the most fish but it definitely has a place in your angling arsenal.

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