When trying to catch suspended bass, there are several techniques you can employ. What you choose depends on where the fish are suspended in the water column, water temperature, water clarity and the cover you are fishing. One of my favorite techniques for suspended bass, regardless of those variables is the drop-shot rig. The drop-shot rig is very versatile, and can be rigged for a variety of fishing conditions. It also offers a smorgasbord of soft plastic baits that can be used in trying to mimic what the bass are feeding on.
I have so much confidence in the drop-shot, that I even use it as sort of “search” bait. Traditionally, the drop-shot rig is used as a stationary technique. We either cast it out or drop it down to the fish, and work the bait slowly in one area. When using it as a “search” bait, I throw it out and work the bait back relatively quickly. In doing this, I try to impart as much action to the bait as possible. I don’t want to just drag the bait straight back to the boat. To help me with this technique, I apply my “secret weapon”…literally! My “secret weapon” is The Secret Weapon Spectastic Recoil Cord!
The Spectastic Recoil Cord will stretch three times its length, allowing the angler to impart as much (or little) action to the lure as the angler desires. This little piece of elastic has proven to be a must for my drop-shot fishing! It basically brings the bait to life as it shakes and quivers in front of the bass, making it absolutely irresistible!
A couple weeks ago, I decided to head to Lake Ray Hubbard in Garland, TX with the hopes of catching some big bass. During that time we were experiencing a heat wave, which saw temperatures reaching the low 100’s! Once I arrived, I did not intend to stay on the water for more than 3 hours due to the intense heat, as well as the increasing recreational boat traffic.
My technique of choice was a medium diving crankbait. I started fishing a rip rap bank in 12 – 25 feet of water, and the bass were suspended between 10 – 19 feet. After two hours of fishing, I had only managed to entice a couple small bass and a catfish. I decided to move into an area closer to the boat ramp to finish out the day. As I motored into this area, I noticed a small bluegill floating on top of the water. The area was about 20 feet at its deepest point, and had some contour changes on the bottom. I saw some suspended fish on graph…they were about 3 – 4 off the bottom, hanging on a little impression. I decided to pull out the drop-shop rod. After seeing that bluegill on top of the water, I chose a bait that had those colors. I rigged up a Roboworm 6” Fat Straight Tail worm in Aaron’s Magic Red w/Black Flake color. I nose hooked the bait using a #1 Gamakatsu Drop Shot Hook.
For my main line I use 12lb braided line, but I tie on an 8lb fluorocarbon leader with a ¼ cylinder type drop shot weight. When drop-shotting around rocks, I find that this shape comes through the rocks better than the round weights. I use a 7’2” medium action spinning rod. When I drop-shot, I usually like to use a longer leader between the hook & sinker (about 3 feet). I like this length because it gives me the freedom to raise and lower my bait in the water column, until the bass let me know how they want it. But on this day, I decided to shorten my leader to about 2 feet. I did not think the bass were willing to move too much for a meal, so I wanted to keep it in their faces. On the end of all my drop-shot rigs, I always tie on the Secret Weapon Spectastic Recoil Cord.
On my third cast, I felt my line tighten up. As I reeled down, I realized I had a bass! As the bass started to come up, I could not tell how big it was. The bass came to the surface, and it was a 5lb’er! I loosened the drag to allow the fish to make its run, until it was ready to be lipped. After about a five minute fight, I landed my biggest bass of the afternoon. My day was complete…I loaded up the boat, and left on a good note!
Being relatively new to Texas and not having much experience fishing the lakes here, I went home having learned a valuable lesson that every bass angler should remember. No matter where you are or what body of water you are fishing, go with what you know! Use techniques that you have confidence in, and that have caught fish for you in the past. Remember…bass are bass!
After a slow day of doing what everyone else on the lake was doing, I decided to go with something I had confidence in…and as you can see, the results are clear. My “secret weapon” came through for me again!