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Increase Your Drop Shot Success With Z-Man ElaZech

The time is here when the spawn is over and the post spawn feed has slowed down. The lakes and rivers have cleared up from spring rains and the fish are sliding to the mid depths and deeper. This is the time of year that I like to finesse fish with a drop shot. A lot has been written about how to drop shot, so I will not try to expand on the "how" but rather give you some of my Z-Man Fishing Products bait choices that have been very productive for me.

If I am fishing Northern waters with a healthy population of small mouth, I always have a 5" Scented Jerk ShadZ ready to fish. My two favorite colors are the Smokey Shad and Redbone.

I will use the Smokey Shad to imitate various types of baitfish.

I have found the Redbone color to be great when imitating yellow perch. I like to nose hook the Jerk ShadZ on a # 1 octopus style hook for presenting the bait to the smallmouth. I will vary my dropper length and weight based on how deep I am fishing and the wind strength. Whenever possible I will cast the Scented Jerk ShadZ to the likely smallmouth hang out and let it get to the bottom. Once on the bottom, I will let the bait sit still for a brief period and let the scent of the bait and the buoyancy of the ElaZtech do the work. Once I can't wait any longer, I will gently twitch the scented Jerk ShadZ in place. If no smallmouth has taken the bait yet, I will pull the bait a short distance, pause, and then gently shake. I will repeat the process through the target area. If the fish are there, they usually won't take long to let me know.

Sometimes the smallmouth are pickier and want a little more finesse or a smaller profile, this is when I will put on the Streak 3.75".

I will use the same drop shot presentation with this bait but I go to a smaller # 2 octopus hook. Again my two favorite colors for the Streak 3.75" are the Smokey Shad and Redbone. The key to tricking the finicky smallmouth is not to overwork the bait. The ElaZtech is so buoyant it stands out on the drop shot rig. This buoyancy easily allows the bait to move with any wave action or current naturally present where I am fishing.

If I am not getting the response I want from the small mouth with my baitfish imitators, before I leave the area, I give them a different look with another great Z-Man fish catcher. It might surprise you, but smallmouth love a 4" Finesse WormZ. I will wacky rig a 4" Finesse WormZ on a # 2 octopus hook. My go to color for this presentation is green pumpkin.

The drop shot presentation is the same, cast it out, and let it sit on bottom, gently shake, pull the bait a short distance and repeat. I can't tell you how many times this presentation has caught additional fish off a spot for me, or even the biggest fish from the spot.

If you are not around small mouth waters, these same baits work great for largemouth. I will also bet that not many fishermen in your area are using the Scented Jerk ShadZ or StreakZ 3.75 baits on their drop shot for large mouth. To fish heavier cover for large mouth, I change the drop shot hook to the appropriate sized straight shank hook. This allows me to Texas rig the bait and keep it from hanging up in the cover. I use a 3/0 hook with the 5" Scented Jerk ShadZ and a 1/0 hook for the Streak 3.75 and 4" Finesse WormZ. The same great scent, buoyancy, and action of the ElaZtech baits that attract small mouth, will attract large mouth. The key for me to catch large mouth is putting these baits into the cover they are holding in. This time of year I will fish deeper grass, rocks, stumps, and brush piles when targeting large mouth. I am typically fishing clearer water with the drop shot so I keep the bait colors the same when fishing for large mouth as I do for small mouth.

Give the Scented Jerk ShadZ, Streak 3.75", and 4" Finesse WormZ a try the next time you are fishing for small mouth or largemouth. You will have the presentation advantage of the ElaZtech plastics and likely show the fish baits they are not used to seeing presented this way.

Jeff Lugar

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