One thing I’ve learned over the years is that a good tactic doesn’t always have to make perfect sense. In particular, I’m talking about drop-shotting a crawfish. Drop-shotting a minnow makes sense, because real minnows have the natural ability to suspend. Crawfish don’t, but it has never stopped that presentation from killing in certain situations. The first that comes to mind is targeting certain types of grass mats in the summer. Many times, the grass not only grows in cavernous patterns, but it has a secondary carpet along the bottom. Punch through the canopy into a cavern, then that craw sits right above the bottom carpet ready to be eaten. But what about a drop-shot crawfish when there’s no grass? Why would you choose that over a jig or Texas-rigged craw? I’ll tell you why.
Let’s say you hit the lake this spring when the water temps rise into the 50. The crawfish are coming out in big numbers, and the bass have their eye out for them. You choose to fish a jig by casting it out and working it along the bottom back to the boat. It works, so why change? Well, maybe you could keep the bait in the zone even longer on a drop-shot. I’ll bet most of your bites come when the jig is in mid hop or falling off of an obstacle. Seldom will a bass pick the jig off the bottom when it’s doing nothing. Now, think of the parallel scenario with the real action of a crawfish. They move along the bottom until they are startled, which then makes them “scoot” away by tucking in their tail to catch water, resulting in a quick darting motion up into the column, ultimately falling slowly back to the bottom. And that’s when they are most vulnerable. Essentially the craw being suspended above the weight in a drop-shot extends that phase when the startled crawfish sinks back to the bottom slowly. That’s chow time for bass.
I’ve always done better with the technique using a shorter leader (12”or less) and small craw. If you go with big craws or a long leader, it just starts to look hokey, and I catch very few fish regardless of the season. A couple good small craws on the market are the Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver (above) or the Missile Baits Drop Craw. I think they work well because they have relatively slender profiles. This makes the bait glide or “drift” just like a real sinking crawfish. But at the same time, the bait has to remain slender enough to refrain from spinning or acting unnatural when rigged on a drop-shot.