Spring is right around the corner and once it hits, it won’t be long until the spawning season arrives. Most anglers stick to a few tried and true tactics when fishing during the spawn, but today I’d like you to try and add one more technique to your repertoire: drop shotting. When fishermen think of the drop shot rig, the last thing they think of is sight fishing for spawning bass. However, drop shot rigs can be used to put big numbers in the boat this spring and once you learn how to use it effectively for spawning bass, you can pull in these big numbers yourself, too.
More often than not, you’ll be sight fishing during the spawn, since fish will be hard-pressed to leave their beds in the shallows. Perhaps the single most important element in sight fishing is stealth—both with your boat maneuvering and your bait. During the spawn, fish are easily spooked, which is why it’s important to keep your trolling motor on low when moving into position. Furthermore, continually switching the motor off and on will usually scare the fish away, as well.
When it comes to being stealthy with your bait, it starts with the cast. Once you are within range, quietly pitch your bait a few feet past the bed. This will allow you to slowly and quietly sneak the bait into the strike zone.
While bait selection during this time is a factor, it is far less complicated during the spawn, since bass are generally not in the mood to eat. Therefore, during the spawn, you should be selecting baits that mimic predators that feed on fish eggs, rather than baits that mimic prey. Use lures such as lizards, Senkos and jigs, and you’ll see greater results. With the right color selection, a Senko on a drop shot rig does a great job of imitating a bluegill, which is a hated enemy of bass during the spawn.
As I mentioned, bass are not in the mood to eat during the spawn. In order to get them to hit a lure, you have to really make them angry so when they do strike, they try to kill the intruder, rather than grab a quick meal. Using a drop shot rig gives you the ability to keep your bait in the strike zone and continually move it, all without pulling it from the bed. This technique gives you the ability to move the bait up and down, or just shake it a few inches off of the bottom for as long as you want. Even the most disinterested fish can be enticed to attack a trespasser that has been in its bed for too long. However, be sure to keep a close eye on your bait, because these fish will hit hard and fast.
While fish can be less inclined to strike during the spawn season, with the drop shot rig you can situate bait in their bed long enough to make them strike out of anger. Baits that imitate predators, such as lizards or bluegill, will do a great job, especially on a drop shot rig. Consider this tactic when you hit the water during the spawn season this year; I promise you won’t be disappointed.