John Murray: New kid on the block

Every year new techniques become part of the ever expanding repertoire of the bass fisherman.

John Murray

Every year, new techniques and terminologies are introduced to the bass fishing community. The drop shot, made popular by bass anglers on the West Coast, is a prime example of the ever expanding repertoire of bass fishing techniques that have become a staple in rod lockers across the country. However, there's a new kid on the block that takes the drop shot to a whole different level.

"The guys out west call it the 'bubba shot,'" says Elite Series pro John Murray. "It was really refined on the California Delta when bass stopped reacting to traditional Texas-rigged baits," he explains. "A drop shot gives a natural presentation, but you can't effectively fish with 6-pound test line in heavy cover. That's where the bubba shot comes into play."

By upsizing his tackle, line, hook, soft plastic lure and weight, Murray fishes what looks like a drop shot rig on steroids. "It's a really popular way to fish docks, or at least it's popular to me," says Murray. "On many lakes, bass see a lot of shaky heads and jigs. When I fish a bigger bait rigged on a bubba shot, it gives the bass a different look."

Murray rigs the bubba shot exactly as he would a traditional drop shot, but he upgrades to a 7 1/2-foot rod, 15-pound fluorocarbon, 3/8-ounce tungsten weight and a 3/0 hook. His plastic of choice is often a big worm or bulky creature bait.

"I've found it easier to use the bubba shot with heavier line around docks because of all the cables and posts," he says. "For that reason, I would say that any lake that has docks is a viable option for the bubba shot."

On lakes such as Alabama's famed Lake Guntersville, Murray says the bubba shot can truly shine. "These fish just see so many jigs and big worms that the bubba shot gives the bass a more lifelike presentation," he points out. "Usually, if I'm trying to cover a lot of water and the fish are fairly aggressive, I'll break out the bubba shot."

When fishing the bubba shot in open water, Murray says there are numerous applications for the technique. "Unlike a traditional drop shot, you don't have to be fishing clear water. It's actually closer to a Carolina rig than a traditional finesse setup."

If he's fishing an event where other competitors are slinging Carolina rigs, he will give the bubba shot the nod. "I've seen times when the bubba shot outproduces a Carolina rig two to one," he claims. "It comes down to creating a different action under the same premise of keeping a heavy weight in contact with the bottom."

While Murray fishes the bubba shot throughout the summer and fall, it also shines early in the year, when the bass are spawning. "With the heavier weight, you can keep the bait hovering over the bed without mudding the water. Plus, with the heavier line and hook you don't lose many fish."

For the diehards resistant to change, Murray offers this challenge: "I always tell people to try it out in a swimming pool," he says. "The beauty of the bubba shot is in the action. Once you understand what the worm is doing down there, I guarantee that you'll be amazed."

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