Every bass angler is faced with the problem at some time — shallow fish and heavy pressure. You know where the fish are holding, but so does every other angler on the water. You're the third or fourth boat to fish a spot in a matter of hours. What to do?
"When you're fishing behind other boats and targeting heavily pressured fish, try the power drop shot," says Elite Series pro Jared Lintner, currently ranked third in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.
"It's a conventional drop shot setup — hook tied to a tag line above a drop shot sinker — only using heavy tackle and big baits. I start with 20-pound-test line and a 1/4-ounce sinker. If the water is really clear I may downsize to 15-pound-test fluorocarbon, but that's as low as I ever go."
Lintner normally rigs a big plastic bait — full-size Zoom Brush Hog, 5-inch Yamamoto Senko or maybe a 10-inch worm — on a 4/0 hook. He starts by suspending the hook and bait 12 to 15-inches above the sinker on a very short tag line. He'll quickly adjust his depth or tag line, however, depending upon what the fish tell him.
"With some experience, you can handle this rig pretty well with a medium-heavy flippin' stick," he advises.
Lintner first began experimenting with the power drop shot on his home waters. He needed something that would fool educated California bass, something he could flip or pitch into shallow water. To find that something, Lintner studied the problem carefully over the course of several seasons.
"Everyone was pitching and flipping the same baits with the same rigs. Every bass in the lake had watched a hundred Brush Hogs or Senkos fall to the bottom. I'd see a big fish, pitch or flip one to her, and then watch her slowly swim away. Most of the time she wasn't spooked or scared, just disinterested — couldn't have cared less. It was frustrating."
He reasoned that by suspending a bigger bait off the bottom he could give it a different look. If small, finesse baits on a drop shot rig worked in deep water why wouldn't big, heavy baits work on that same rig in shallow water? Why not give it a try?
He did. It worked.
"I cashed a check in three Elite Series tournaments this year that I otherwise wouldn't have without the power drop shot. In one event, I was behind three other boats and still catching quality fish. They'll eat it, I guarantee that!"