Best shot drop baits of 2022

Posted on Jul 25, 2022 10:00 AM

When drop baits first appeared on the mainstream bass scene, having made the long journey from Japan to California and then eastward, anglers generally did not appreciate the technique. For the handful who didn’t refuse lead fishing at all, the general tendency was to just use “anything small”—and only when the fish were stressed or tough.

Then, bass hunters started getting their butts kicked, not just in small country but just about anywhere bass swims. Even in fisheries of remarkable strength, such as the Tennessee River reservoirs, the slow, wobbly bait of bullets was irresistible to educated fish. Fishermen who had previously refused to rely on spinning gear, now carried at least one rod to spin.

Smart anglers have realized that the drop shot excels year-round, at any water depth and clarity. It has no negative signals to turn off fish. Moreover, if used wisely, it can produce giants. Much of this wisdom comes down to choosing the right soft plastic from a growing number of options. Here are some of the best fall baits.


Why did you make the cut?

The best qualities of hand dye and “factory” worms, with the most innovative colors around.

Feature guides

  • Sizes: 4.5, 6 and 7 inches
  • Vibrant and multicolored colors
  • straight tail

Positives

  • The salt release system contributes to flexibility and action
  • Accurate and well-defined color patterns
  • It can be nose hooked or Texas fake

Negatives

  • Ultra-soft plastic tears easily

Product Description

This is the worm that built the career of the late great Aaron Martens, a transplant from California, Alabama who is largely responsible for the rapid rise of the falling shot. He used these worms whether they were fishing in double digits in the California Delta or trying to mop up 12 inches in Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers. Unlike some of the other best baits, the straight-tailed worm does not represent any particular type of forage as much as each type of forage. These worms are flexible and generate a lot of movement with minimal input from the hunter, and colors such as Margarita Mutilator, Aaron’s Magic and Morning Dawn have become industry standards. 20 years after receiving her winning certification, she continues to produce everywhere the bass swims.

Berkley Maxscent Flat Worm is the best bait for small mouth drops.

Why did you make the cut?

The special scent combination and compact package work like little mouth candy, especially right now.

Feature guides

  • Sizes: 3.6 or 4.25 inches
  • bad smell
  • flat bottom

Positives

  • The scent is very attractive to people with small mouths
  • Flat bottom causes slippage
  • The matte colors deceive the scary fish

Negatives

Product Description

It’s not clear what the Maxscent is made of – Berkley keeps the lab work a secret – but when the Pro Tours head north, there’s often a run for that particular lure. When supply chain issues arose, they were selling at auction sites for many times the list price. The great thing about Flat Worm is that it can represent goby, lobster, or any one of a number of bait fish. Also, the two sizes mimic the meals that most small mouths feed on. Simple black, or any one of a number of green patterns, covers a lot of bases, and gets a lot of bites. While the lure is short and short, the spade’s tail moves a lot of water, and small, visually feeding mouths seem to find it easily.

Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm is the best bait fish imitator.

Why did you make the cut?

The simple, non-aggressive shape represents a variety of bait fish that sea bass loves the most.

Feature guides

  • Size: 4 inches
  • pin tail
  • deep ribbed belly

Positives

  • Simple design works well on pressed fish
  • Also works well on a fluffy head or jig head
  • Great color choice

Negatives

  • Not ideal when fish want a bait with a lot of accessories or actions

Product Description

The 4-inch-diameter baitfish is the staple meal for the vast majority of sea bass – largemouth, smallmouth, and trout. Yamamoto just took the same great plastic that made the Senko one of the best bass baits and stuffed it into a four-inch package. The Shad Shape Worm does a lot with little, which means no wobbling legs or tails, just a thickness of straight horizontal bait that has no negative cues. Just like Senko, many companies have tried to copy it, but so far no one has succeeded. It comes in gorgeous colors that mimic gobies and perch, including all kinds of greens, but the bait fish patterns are where that lure excels. Everything from natural shades to flashy blue pearl has a time and place that depends on the color of the water and other conditions.

Poor Boys Erie Darter is the best goby imitator.

Why did you make the cut?

When the keys to small mouths are tucked into invasive gobies, this flat-ribbed devil excels, especially in clear water.

Feature guides

  • Sizes: 3 and 4 inches
  • ribbed body design
  • paddle tail

Positives

  • Small profile with large audio profile
  • Natural forms excel in cases of clear water.
  • Works well with a variety of hooks

Negatives

Product Description

While Poor Boys may not be a huge company like some of the others on this list, they are well known to generations of Great Lake professionals for producing temptations that little ones love, especially when they’re feeding on gobies. When gobies are focused, they often won’t look at anything else, and you know you have perfect temptation when gobies themselves nibble on it. Variations of green and brown, including green pumpkin polymorphs, are probably the most common, but the more translucent watermelon rose and ‘Golby’ with a light blue bottom are unique patterns. If the little ones are snacking on gobies, Poor Boys gives you the tools to “match the hole.”

Strike King 3X Elaztech Finesse Worm is the most durable bait available.

Why did you make the cut?

When bass and freak types make mincemeat out of an expensive bait, it pays to have the option to lure them and survive their attacks.

Feature guides

  • Sizes: 4 and 7 inches
  • Eight colors installed
  • Made of highly durable Elaztech material

Positives

  • Super stretchy and durable
  • Straight tail design outperforms compressed fish
  • Can also be used for a drop shot or a Neko Rig

Negatives

  • Not as many colors as some other drop shot options

Product Description

The Strike King selection of soft plastics includes several that are expressly designed to drop. But it is the Elaztech Finesse worm that stands out, not least because it is extremely durable. The Strike King has taken a material that doesn’t rip or tear and craft it into an ingenious worm that is soft and resilient. It is effective on short strikers as you can drop the worm back into the strike area rather than having to twist one half of a worm and replace it with another. Kevin VanDam used this worm on a jiggling head (in the color “Dirt”) to earn a Bassmaster Elite Series win. This is another nice thing about a quality worm – it fits well in a variety of presentations, and throughout the day, you can transfer the same worm from one to the other.

Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver is the best bait for a hard shot.

Why did you make the cut?

It’s one of the world’s best flop lures well done with just a weight of ultra-heavy tungsten.

Feature guides

  • Sizes: 3.5, 4.2 and 5.2 inches
  • Large selection of color patterns with unusual names
  • Ribbed design with customizable split tail

Positives

  • Durable yet flexible plastic
  • Accessories can be divided or removed as required by circumstances
  • Colors for every situation

Negatives

  • Not ideal when bass wants a longer, thinner profile

Product Description

While the drop-throwing technique is seen as an ingenious technique, fishermen increasingly resort to “Bubba Shotting” or “Power Shotting” in heavy cover or around a larger fish. In other words, they use heavier tacklers (often bait broadcast equipment) and larger weights, but they’re still looking for the same action – a lure that sits above the bottom and ripples free of restrictions. Sweet Beaver is arguably the best choppy bait ever. It has definitely spawned a wave of imitators. What is less well known is how well he hits a hard shot. With the tail left intact, it appears to float in place, while you can also split it up and have more movement. It’s just the right size for a dress of all dimensions, and without long inserts or curly tails, it won’t hang on a heavy cap. In addition, even the smallest “little beaver” will hold a remarkably large and strong hook easily and without losing any movement.

Things to consider

Basic Falling Gear

hook

Drop grafts are usually attached to the nose with a drop hook.

rod and reel

The drop excels with the swivel handle, and specifically the 7-foot spinning rod to 7 feet, 4 inches tall. Many of the best spinning rods are available in a drop-specific model that has the right strength and taper technique. You will also need a spool of size 3000 with a smooth pull that balances your rod.

Line

A great starting point for shooting is using a 12-pound braid of a 6-pound fluorocarbon leader.

Weights

The weights you use depend on the depth you are fishing and the type of cover. But one important decision is lead or tungsten. Tungsten weights are smaller than lead weights of the same weight, which means you can use less weight to hold the bottom. Lead is much less expensive than tungsten and may be your best bet for winding bottom fishing.

taste shape

Of course, you want to imitate the dominant feed, whether it’s lobster, goby, or some type of bait fish, but you also need to address the type of cover and the purity of the water. If the fish are sight-feeding, something with a lot of movement that pushes the water will be better, but if the pressure is less it can be more. Also, when they are aggressive, a lot of their tails and legs can be perfect, but at the same time, these appendages tend to fall into the branches and into the vegetation.

Ocean

Do you fish for big fish, small mouths, spotted bass, or a combination of the three? Again, they often feed on different types of feed and have different sized appetites.

Color options

Color differences can be significant or not at all. Some experts keep it simple, with options like green and black squash, but sometimes a change in the color of the peel or tail can make a big difference. Species are also important, as both small mouths and spots seem to love a touch of graph. Sometimes clear water largemouth has a fetish of pink or purple shades like Morning Dawn.

Hook style

Nose hooking may require a different hook bait than a Texas Rig, and a power shot requires something completely different. A thin, high-quality worm may be overpowered by a fleshy electric hook, while a thin wire model may not penetrate a sufficiently thick bait on the hook assembly.

questions and answers

Q: Do all baits have a smell?

Not all baits are scented, and many anglers believe scented baits, such as Berkeley MaxScent Flatworm, improve catch rates.

Q: Does it matter what color I choose for the dress?

Matching the color of the bait to the purity of the water and the prevailing feed can help the seabass see to lure you in and entice them to bite.

Q: How do you prepare the shot drop bait?

The drop shot bait can be addictive to the nose, a Texas rig, and an outlandish outfit.

last thoughts

I’ll admit it: I thought I didn’t need to add a shot to my arsenal. Dancing, idiot worms, and other soft plastics can do everything an “upside down catfish device” can accomplish, right? Wrong – wrong – wrong. There is something about the fact that the lure is hanging from the bottom and detached from the weight that makes it really special and widely applicable. From bed fishing to small fish in the deep water, you can’t go wrong with casting one of the best baits.

methodology

Despite my early tendencies to the contrary, I’ve spent hundreds of hours with a shooting rod in my hand over the past decade, as well as picking at the brains of some of the world’s best photographers. In other words, I’m trying to make up for lost time. I dropped big splinters into the grass, smaller ones speckled in the woods standing on table rock, little mouths on the sand and boulders of the Great Lakes. Even when the bass is at its highest and least distinct, there is usually one temptation setting that attracts and hooks more than anywhere else.

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