The drop shot technique is what they refer to as a finesse technique. The setup consists of a hook that is tied using a palomar knot about a foot from the end of your line and then a “drop shot” weight attached to the end of the line. So what you have is a bait that is presented always at the same height above the weight. Generally this is used in a vertical fashion where you are dropping on fish that you have marked on a fish finder that are relating to some type of bottom structure. Plastic baits are used, and there are a variety of baits on the market to choose from. There are plastics that are shaped like minnows and worms, and soft stick baits. So to use this technique, the bait is dropped to the fish, and small twitches of the fishing pole make the lure move around and entice a bite. Another plus with this technique is that because the lure is located above the weight, it keeps the lure off the bottom, making it more visible and keeping right in front of the fish.
Spinnerbaits have been used for bass fishing for many years. A spinnerbait consists of a lead head in a variety of sizes, a hook attached to that and then a metal wire that makes a “V” shape, which then has a metal blade attached to a swivel that spins when retrieved to provide a flash in the water. Spinnerbaits are considered a “reaction bait,” meaning they are retrieved on a steady retrieve and invoke a predatory reaction from bass. The lure imitates a baitfish that bass consistently eat. There are a variety of colors that spinnerbaits are found in; you just have to match what the bass are eating where you are fishing. The lures are very versatile and can be fished in trees, rocks and grass. The retrieve for a spinnerbait varies depending on the time of year you are fishing. When the water is colder in the spring, you move the bait very slowly, and as the water warms, you begin to move the bait faster as the bass get more active and are more willing to chase lures.
One of the “back bone” techniques for catching bass of any species, the Texas rig is used in a variety of ways. Generally some type of plastic bait is used that is dragged across the bottom to imitate a variety of bass forage. The rig is made in a couple of different ways, depending if you want the bullet weight to slide up and down the line or stay in a fixed position. If a fixed weight is preferred, you start by sliding a rubber bobber stop on the line first; next comes the bullet weight (size of the weight depends on the cover being fished, wind or depth of the water), then your choice of hook is tied to the end of line. There are a number of hooks that you can use here, but it generally will be an offset worm hook, an EWG (extra wide gap) or a heavy wire flipping hook. The size of the plastic that will be used will dictate the size of the hook. There is an endless supply of baits that can be used with the Texas rig, depending on what you are trying to imitate as food for the bass, but the two that are most often used are some type of plastic worm and some type of crawfish imitation. Because of the rig’s versatility, it is truly the staple of bass fishing.
One of the most exciting ways to catch any bass species is on the surface of your favorite fishing hole. The market is loaded with topwater baits of any size, color, action and prey imitation. You can buy poppers, walk-the-dog baits like the Zara Spook, buzzbaits and hollow belly frogs. All these baits will have their time and place through the bass-fishing season. When bass are spawning, baits like poppers and frogs (which allows the bait to be motionless right above the fish) are very popular. When fish are chasing baitfish and are more active, the walk-the-dog baits and buzzbaits become used more. As far as colors, you just have to match the colors to what the fish are eating. Baits are made in shad colors and bluegill colors, and even frog colors are made to resemble colors of birds that frequent bass lakes.
Written by Brandon White. Brandon is the assistant chief of hatcheries for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.