Every fishing season has a finesse bait associated with it. In winter, it’s the finesse jig. In spring, a wacky worm usually does the trick. In summer, a shaky head is a bass magnet in all conditions. But when it comes to fall, gimme a drop shot. There are a lot of reasons why this presentation shines in fall, but I’d say the biggest is that even when you’re doing nothing with the bait, your actually doing something. It takes hardly any rod work to make a drop shot bait enticing, and the longer it sits there doing “nothing,” the more time it gives a reluctant bass to get upset by what appears to be helpless food quivering in front of its face. Yes indeed, a drop shot can be a real game changer on a tough fall day if you can just slow down and believe the bites will come.
For the most part, bass are at the height of their finicky-ness during the fall. They’re also jaded from seeing a plethora of lures flung their way all spring and summer. Plus, the falling air and water temps put bass and their forage on the move, which can equal a temporary lockjaw period. Add lake turnover into the mix, and bass bites can get even harder to come by. They often need a little more time to decide if they want to bite something, and a fast-moving crankbait or spinnerbait doesn’t provide ample think time. The drop shot does.
This time of year, bass also may not have a place to call a home like they do in summer. If the aquatic vegetation dies off, then they’ll have to move around to feed instead of living in a greenhouse with delivery service. Even if they do choose to hang around the grass that’s left, they might not bury in it as they would in summer. A drop shot worm rig hovering above or around remaining not-so-lush green stuff will make the play.
Aside from the drop shot being lethal for the seasoned angler, it’s killer for kids considering that the method is far from technical and doesn’t require unwavering focus. Just ask my son (pictured above). He caught that big bass—which he could hardly hold up—last week drop-shotting with me on a high pressure fall day.