There is no doubt that some of the best smallmouth bass fishing to be had is during the pre & post spawn periods. Many regions in North America don’t even allow anglers to target pre spawn bass, but here in British Columbia we have numerous fisheries that are open. One of the best ways to target the larger smallmouth bass during pre and post spawn is by using finesse techniques such as the drop shot. Drop shotting for pre & post spawn bass is one of the most effective ways to hook into a catch of a lifetime! Yes the fish are aggressive during this period to a point, however for the larger bass they tend to pick and choose when to exert their energy to chase their prey.
During the pre spawn period the bass will be transitioning from the deeper water up to the gravel shoal areas in search for an area to make their beds. They key is to watch water temperature, once it reaches over 55F to 60F degrees the bass will start to move up from the deeper water. Working your drop shot along the ledges of this transition from deep water to gravel flats will provide great results!
During the post spawn period the opposite will happen. The smaller males will stick around the shallows protecting the beds and fry while the larger females will retreat back to the deeper water to rest. During this time anglers will mainly catch the smaller males while they are on guard. However, to target the larger females one should target the bottom of the drop off ledges. Slowly work the drop shot in the deeper water. Timing is everything because once those big females become rested up they become hungry again!
One of the best drop shot baits we’ve found is the Gary Yamamoto, 4″ Shad Shape Worm in the Perch Colour. This bait imitates small invading Perch that the bass find to be a threat to their beds as well as the perfect meal! The key is not to over work this bait. Simply cast it out and always keep bottom contact. Light twitches of the rod tip will transfer the right action to the lure.
When drop shotting using a medium lightaction 6’6″ rod spooled with 6-8lbs braid and a fluorocarbon leader will help you sense the lightest bites. Once you feel the fish start to mouth the bait wait until they are committed and then sweep your rod upwards to set the hook. Once hooked up, HANG ON! You are in for a ride. There is nothing like hooking into a 6-7lbs Smallmouth Bass on light tackle!
Learn How to Rig the Drop Shot