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In one of the smaller lakes I fish, bass have a definite preference for baits that fall vertically, as opposed to baits that are retrieved steadily through the water. I realized this as I was looking through some notes. 70% of the fish were caught on a dropping bait. The lake is rimmed with moss, weeds, and a few logs, and blowdowns. Casting to the bank, or sometimes onto the bank, reeling a plastic worm slowly across the moss then letting it fall straight down at the edge is the top producer here. The fish will rarely strike if you start a bottom hopping retrieve. After one cast, let the bait drop. If no strike occurs, reel in and cast again a few feet away, and repeat this method. Folks who flip and pitch heavy cover have using this vertical style of fishing for years. My best bait has been a plastic worm, but a spinnerbait can be a great dropping lure too. Reel it slowly through the water, and when it nears a good piece of cover, kill the retrieve, letting it fall vertically. It's been known for a long time that bass like to get under baits and hit them as their falling through the water column. It catches fish better on this lake for sure. Why? Maybe I've simply found the fish, and this is the best presentation. Anyone else experience this, if so how are you fishing dropping lures. What baits and cover?

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Weightless t-rig Senko styles in 3” and 4”, weightless Zoom flukes, my physical conditions on the lake are similar to yours. 

 

This season I’m going to make a true effort to punch those mats and heavy weed correctly. Have been doing it half ***ed. I’m realizing I’m putting myself off of decent fish. 

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Depending on how deep you need to go, weightless or weighted wacky rigs,,,,,,,

But this past summer I caught my two biggest bass in a quarry casting parallel to a submerged vertical drop off that went from 1 foot down to 18.  My plan was to cast as far as I could, let it drop straight down while I slowly let line spool out with my thumb on it and then hop it along the bottom edge of the drop off..........both times the bass hit on the original fall. 

 

But..................I also had success with various depth crankbaits casting parallel to that same drop off and reeling back to me so I think it has more to do with where they are suspended at along the way. 

 

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It depends on the time of year. In warm water, when the lure breaks the surface, it's more likely to be hit in the first few seconds than in cold weather, where it's more likely to be hit somewhere along the retrieve.

 

I'm fishing from the bank. I rarely get a hit as the lure is actually falling, and on the rare occasion when I do, many times it will be a catfish.

 

Most of my hits are:

  • As soon as it hits the water.
  • After it hits the bottom and sits, when I start to retrieve.
  • Somewhere along the way back.
  • At the last possible minute. Right before getting to the bank. Sometimes after the lure is out of the water.

Not in that order. I keep records, but not that much detail, unless it's an unusual catch. If I had to guess, I'd say the second on the list is the most common overall.
 

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Last summer I was experiencing the same thing. I was using a swim jig with a fat keitech and would cast towards drop offs/structure (mostly drop offs with weeds and maybe some light timber on the bottom) and as soon as I could reel in my slack, I had a fish on. At some points it felt like every cast this was happening! It was very strange, and if I switched up my trailer from a paddletail, I wouldn't get bit. My theory was that it was the paddletail's vibration given off as it sank to the bottom on my cast that made triggered the bass to bite.  

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