(Editor's note: The following is the latest installment in a series of fishing tips presented by The Bass University. Check back each Friday for a new tip.)
Jared Lintner is from California, so he’s a natural with a dropshot rig in his hand, right?
He may be, but not necessarily in the way you’d expect. The stereotypical dropshot involves a light line, light rod and deep water, but he’s learned that it’s much more varied and versatile than that – in fact, he frequently uses it to snatch big bass out of heavy cover with bigger baits.
“That powershot deal is the deal,” he said. “Get the word ‘dropshot’ out of your mind.”
In fact, he used an upsized version of the rig to earn a top 10 finish at the Lake Conroe Bassmaster Classic – in certified big-bass country – plucking bass from cover that many of the world’s best anglers had already fished.
It’s good all year long, but he finds the powershot to be exceptional earlier in the season. “What I’ve found, especially when they’re spawning, is the less movement the better,” he said. He matches the size and shape of weight to the size of his lure, to ensure that the whole package stays in place. That applies not just to sight-fishing, but to all bedding areas. When the bass move into the post-spawn phase and they’re elevated to guard fry, one key is to lengthen his leader – often as much as 2 1/2 or 3 feet – to put his soft plastic in their face. In the summertime, he strongly considers the role of shade, and once again reties accordingly, often several times a day in order to adjust to changing conditions.
While straight-tail worms and fat worms are often his go-to for pressured fish, the only limits on what you can use are determined by your imagination. “There is no right or wrong bait to throw on a powershot,” he explained. Some anglers use 10- and 12-inch worms effectively. In California he’s rigged it with a swimbait on a 7/0 Trokar hook and 20- to 25-pound Sunline Shooter line and a 3/8 or 1/2-ounce weight. A brush hog is another lure that fish have rarely seen presented this way. Sometimes the lure choice will change with pressure. At Conroe, he started with a Fat Roboworm, but later in the event the bass showed a preference for a regular straight-tail. He also switched from 18-pound fluorocarbon to 12-pound.
He has medium-heavy, heavy and what he called “extreme” setups dedicated to this technique. At the lower end, he’ll use 12- to 16-pound Sunline Sniper, with weights as low as 1/4-ounce. At the opposite extreme, for example in thick grass, in the Cal Delta’s hyacinths, or when big fish are not otherwise line-shy, he might employ 50- to 60-pound Sunline FX2 braid, with or without a fluorocarbon leader attached via an FG knot.
If you want to learn some of the additional elements of the Lintner’s powershotting game plan, including some of his favorite hand-pour worm colors for highly pressured bass, check out his full video, available only by subscribing to The Bass University TV.