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Contrary to what you might believe, there’s a technique for fishing. You can’t just go out to the water, cast your fishing line, and expect to reel in some big catches. There’s a method to the madness, more so when it comes to bass fishing.
If you’re looking to catch smallmouth or largemouth bass, one of the single most effective techniques to use is the drop shot. It works to catch fish anywhere and at any time.
The most important piece to the entire puzzle is figuring out which bait to use. While there are certainly several different types of lures on the market right now, some outperform the others bar-none.
This guide explores the 10 best drop shot baits you need to have in your fishing arsenal, as well as some useful tips to help you reel in more catches. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
The 10 Best Drop Shot Baits for Bass Reviewed
Here’s a list of the top drop shot baits for bass.
The Roboworm is our all-time favorite drop shot bait, and with good reason. Although it might look simple, don’t let its minimalist design fool you. It is a monster when it comes to getting the bass to bite. We’ve caught more bass using the Roboworm than with any other bait out there.
If you plan to target smallmouth, fishing with a four-inch worm is your best bet. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to catch something a little bigger, like a larger smallmouth, or largemouth bass, you’re better off getting a six-inch worm to do all the heavy lifting for you. These work like a dream, especially when using a drop shot rig. This is ideal when fishing in waters with heavy weed cover.
The colors you’ll want to go with are the four-inch Sexy Shad or the six-inch Morning Dawn. You can’t go wrong with those.
All in all, if you’re fishing for bass using a drop shot, a Roboworm will get them every single time.
As far as action and movement of drop shot baits go, the Jackall Crosstail Shad is hard to beat. This particular lure is tailor-made to tempt bass to bite on a drop shot. Let’s just say it gets the job done spectacularly.
The most outstanding thing about this particular lure has to be its tail section. Its unique cross-shaped design causes the lure to move from side to side in what appears to be a flickering motion. The vibration it causes in the water, coupled with the movement, makes it hard for the bass to resist.
The colors we’ve had the most success with are the Suyama and the BM Shiner. The fact that it is also salt-impregnated to keep fishing biting down the moment they taste it is partly why it is so effective in catching bass. You’ll want to nose-hook it on a drop shot rig and fish it around bait balls.
The Strike King Rage Tail Craw is yet another all-time favorite for fishing on a drop shot rig. We’ve won several tournaments fishing with a small tail craw tied on. We like just how action-packed it is. When you move your rod tip even slightly, the claws begin to flap back and forth, which in turn creates terrific vibrations in the water.
Its slender body is designed to create turbulence and delivers outstanding results when fishing drop shot with it. If you’re targeting big bass, this is the bait you’ll want to use. We especially like the four-inch Big Tex. If you haven’t already, we recommend that you give this bait a try next time you’re out fishing.
If we had to choose one word to describe the Yamamoto Senko bait, it would be – incredible. It is engineered to perfection and is, by far, one of the most realistic and scientifically accurate baits on the market right now.
Fish, especially bass, find its action in the water hard to resist. The slightest movement of the rod-tip sends this bait shimmying and shifting. The four-inch Green Pumpkin Black Flake, in particular, has shown outstanding performance when drop shot fishing. This bait is tough to beat.
Sometimes the fishing conditions may not be ideal when you hit the water. It might be too windy, in which case the water becomes too choppy for the bass to see the bait. You might even be fishing in water that’s too clear, which makes it easy for the fish to tell that the lure you’re using is fake.
This, however, is not a problem for the Zoom Bait Finesse Worm. It has been masterfully crafted to attract the attention of fish regardless of the conditions you’re fishing in. You can rig it in several different ways, but it shines on a drop shot.
We caught the most fish using the Watermelon Red, the Red/Black Glitter, the Junebug Chartreuse, and the Red Bug Shad. If you have tried these before, we highly recommend that you do.
The Berkley PowerBait Twitch Tail Minnow is, by far, one of the most versatile baits we’ve encountered so far. It has the uncanny ability to imitate virtually every kind of baitfish you can think of. It has a simple, unique design along with tantalizing colors that make it one of the best finesse baits out there. As a result of its small profile, it works well anywhere, even in tough conditions.
If you’re fishing for smallmouth bass, this particular bait is a killer in action. Many anglers also report catching a decent amount of largemouth bass with it.
While the Twitch comes in several different color variants, we caught the most fish using the Chartreuse Purple Ice and the Chartreuse Ice. They are designed for high visibility underwater and release a scent the moment they hit the water, which acts as a blood trail. Fish simply can’t resist it.
The Magnum Trick Worm is Zoom’s largest floating worm and works like a charm when fishing for big bass. We rigged this on a 5/0, and the results were nothing short of impressive. Its unique action attracts a lot of attention and exhibits excellent water displacement.
It is infused with salt to get the fish to latch on to it for longer, giving you more time to set your hook. It takes a negligible amount of movement to catch their attention, which is what you want in a good drop shot bait.
The DreamShot from Strike King is nothing short of an all-round winner in our books. It’s a popular choice among many bass fishing anglers, and with good reason. It’s super soft and specifically designed for fishing with a drop shot.
Although there’s no such thing as a “sure-thing” when it comes to bass fishing, this bait is as close as it gets. It perfectly imitates natural forage to a T. Even we had a hard time telling it apart from the real thing.
Its flat-sided bottom and uniquely-shaped tail make it impossible for it to stay still in the water, even when you’re dead-sticking. You can see why bass finds it irresistible.
The other remarkable thing about it is its unique coffee scent that works well to not only attract fish but also mask human scent. Its quivering action is thanks, in large part, to a proprietary mix of exclusive ingredients, making it one of the softest and saltiest baits we’ve ever come across. It is quite simply a killer drop-bait.
If you’re looking for a drop shot lure that delivers a slightly different action in the water compared to conventional drop shot worms, you need to check out the HalfShell. While it might look similar to the DreamShot, its motion is slightly different and resembles the darting action of jerk bait.
The other difference is in its sink rate. It is a lot slower compared to others, allowing it to remain suspended in the strike zone for longer. This unique movement makes it look unfamiliar to bass and can be a deadly lure when used properly in the right conditions.
The Drop Craw from Missile Baits is a monster in the water. It delivers outstanding performance in all sorts of conditions and is one of the very few drop shot baits out there designed to mimic crawfish.
Its lifelike design has two flopping claws that move even when you twitch the rod slightly. Smallmouth and largemouth bass cannot resist it. They chew up this tasty snack within seconds.
You can nose-hook it on the tail end of a drop shot or Texas-rig it. We caught several fish with the Watermelon Red variant.
Bass Fishing With a Drop Shot
Using the drop shot technique is one of the most effective fishing methods for catching smallmouth and largemouth bass and a variety of other fish species. Nonetheless, depending on the specific fish you’re targeting, the baits and methods you use for each will be different.
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind before you hit the water.
Anglers who choose to go the drop shot route typically fish in clear open waters, grass lines, rocks, and deep structures. If these are the conditions you’re fishing in, you’ll have more success when using natural-looking bait in natural-looking colors.
If, on the other hand, you’re fishing in muddy or stained water, you’ll want to use flashy-colored baits to help them stand out to fish.
Ideally, you’ll want to adapt the profile of your baits to target the species of fish you want to catch. For instance, smallmouth bass generally lean toward smaller, stubbier bait like crawfish, baitfish, and gobies.
Largemouth bass, on the other hand, prefers larger bait, which is why bigger-sized worms tend to outperform the others.
Drop Shot Leader
If you want to catch fish on a drop shot, you need to ensure you use the right leader length. Depending on the fishing conditions, the species you’re targeting, and the season, here’s a guide you can use to determine the right leader length to increase your chances of reeling in some impressive catches:
Length in inches
1 – 4
4 – 15
3 – 30
That being said, you should use this as a general guideline rather than a rule. Mix things up as required to find what works for you.
Rigging a Drop Shot for Bass
This is by far one of the most underrated setups for fishing. The rig consists of a line tied to a hook, which is then attached to a trailing leader. The leader has a weight attached at the bottom with the bait and hooks above it. There are a ton of great online resources you can use to learn how to properly rig a drop shot.
If you’re looking for an effective technique to catch smallmouth and largemouth bass, in addition to several other kinds of fish species, you can’t go wrong with using the best drop shot baits. Any of the products we’ve reviewed in this guide would be an excellent starting point.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to organize all your tackles, check out our Flambeau Classic 3-Tray Tackle Box Review. Talk about a new spin on an old classic!