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
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.