Best Drop Shot Baits for Bass Fishing

best drop shot bait

The drop shot is one of my favorite finesses bass fishing techniques and it may be one of the most effective ways to catch both largemouth and smallmouth bass. It’s a technique that catches both size and quantity and excels when conditions are tough. This technique will catch fish anytime and anywhere.

Although there are many dropshot baits out on the market today there are some baits that seem to always outperform the others in my opinion. In this article we look at the best drop shot baits as well has some helpful tips and tricks that will help you catch more bass on a drop shot.  

The following list includes 10 of the best dropshot baits for bass (in no particular order) as well as some honorable mentions. For smallmouth specific drop shot baits be sure to check out article: Best Drop Shot Baits for Smallmouth Bass. These baits all have a solid reputation and have been proven to catch bass regardless of the body of water or season. Lets get into it. Here is a quick overview if you are short on time.

The 10 Best Drop Shot Baits for Bass Overview

  1. Roboworm Straight Tail Worm
  2. Strike King Dream Shot
  3. Jackal Cross Tail Shad
  4. Zoom Finesse Worm
  5. Berkley Twitch Tail minnow
  6. Strike King KVD Drop Half Shell
  7. Missile Baits Drop Craw
  8. Zoom Z Drop Worm
  9. Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver
  10. Yomamoto Pro Senko

The Best Drop Shot Baits

1. Roboworm Straight Tail Worm

The roboworm is an all-time great drop shotting bait and its number one on my list for good reason. Don’t let its simple design fool you, it can be a killer bait. I have caught more bass using a roboworm than any other bait. When targeting smallmouth, I typically will go with 4.5” because I have the most confidence in it, but I will also go with the 6” if I am targeting largemouth or bigger smallmouth bass. The larger size also works better when using Texas rig, which is perfect for heavier cover.  

My all-time favorite colors are Aaron’s Magic or Aaron’s Morning Dawn, I will also sometimes go with the Baby Bluegill or Green Pumpkin Purple. When fishing a drop shot for bass you can’t go wrong with having a Roboworm tied on. They simply get the job done on a drop shot.

Favorite colors: Aaron’ Magic, Morning Dawn, Baby Bluegill and Pumpkin Purple

Favorite rig: Nose-hooked and wacky rigged with a No.1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot Hook

2. Strike King Dream Shot

The KVD Dream Shot is another all-round solid drop shot bait. This is a popular choice amongst a lot of bass fishing anglers and for good reason. I have caught a lot of nice bass while fishing with a dream shot. This is a super soft bait that is specifically designed for a drop shot rig and excels at imitating natural forage.

It’s flat sided bottom and unique tail makes the bait impossible to hold still in the water even when dead sticking. If you have ever seen this bait worked under water, you will know why it’s tough for bass to resist. The quivering action and coffee scent simply make it a killer drop shot bait.

Favorite colors: Green Pumpkin Purple, KVD Magic and Green Pump Purp/Gold

Favorite Rig: Nose-hooked with a Mustad Grip pin edge No.2 or 3 or No.1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot Hook

3. Jackal Cross Tail Shad

The movement and action of this bait is the reason why the Jackal Cross Tail Shad is one of my favorite drop shot baits.This bait was tailored made for tempting bass to bite on a drop shot and it flat out get the job done. The tail section of this bait it what really makes it shine. This Japanese made lure has a cross shaped design which causes the bait to flicker and move side to side. The action, movement and water vibrations of this bait makes it tough for any bass to resist. If you haven’t already I would highly recommend giving this bait a try.

Favorite colors: Green Pumpkin Purple, KVD Magic and Green Pump Purp/Gold

Favorite rig: Nose-hooked with a Mustad Grip pin edge No.2 or 3 or No.1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot Hook

4. Zoom Finesse Worm

Clear water? Pressured fish and tough conditions? That’s a walk in the park for the Zoom Finesse Worm. This bait is a smaller more finesse version of the popular Zoom Trick Worm and can be rigged in a variety of different ways, but it really excels on a drop shot rig. This bait will get bites regardless of the conditions and the body of water. The Zoom Finesse Worm simply gets the job done and it’s one of my go to drop shot baits.

Favorite colors: Green Pumpkin, Watermelon Red, Junebug Chart Tail

Favorite rig: Nose-hooked with a Mustad Grip pin edge No.2 or 3 or No.1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot Hook or Waky Rigged

5. Berly Powerbait Twitch Tail minnow

The Berkly Powerbait Twitch Tail minnow is the perfect bait to pair with on a drop shot that imitates nearly all baitfish. It’s simple design, scent and great colors make it a great finesse bait that will work well anywhere. This bait has a small profile making it a great option for fishing in tough conditions. It’s a killer smallmouth bait that also catches largemouth as well. The combination of a soft action and great scent make this a solid drop shot bait.

Favorite colors: Bleak, Green Pumpkin, Watermelon Pearl and Pearl White

Favorite rig: Nose-hooked with a Mustad Grip pin edge No.2 or 3 or
No.1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot Hook

6. Strike King Drop Shot Half Shell

The KVD Drop Shot Half Shell is another great drop shot bait that gives off a different action than other drop shot worms. This bait is a little bit different then the Dream Shot. It’s designed to have more of a darting action that moves similar to how a jerkbait does. It also has a slow sink rate, keeping it in the strike zone for longer. This unique action gives the bass a different look and it can be a deadly bait in the right situations.

For more details about this bait check out this review done by BassMaster.

Favorite colors: Desert Craw, Sexy Shad, Green Pumpkin Purple

Favorite rig: Nose-hooked with a Mustad Grip pin edge No.2 or 3 or No.1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot Hook

7. Missile Baits Drop Craw

The Missile Drop Craw is an outstanding drop shot bait for both large and smallmouth bass. It is one of the few drop shot baits that is designed to imitate a crawfish. It has two flopping claws at the bottom of the bait that will move at the slightest twitch. This is a killer bait especially when bass are keying in on crawfish. I would highly recommend adding this to your arsenal you haven’t already.

Favorite colors: Brown Ghost Craw, Green Pumpkin and Watermelon Red

Favorite rig: Nose-hooked with a Mustad Grip pin edge No.2 or 3 or No.1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot Hook

8. Zoom Z Drop Worm

The Zoom Z Drop Worm is another great drop shot bait made by Zoom. If you look closely on this bait you will notice that it has three distinct edges and a unique crossed tail. This gives the bait a slow falling presentation that moves in the smallest of current. This is a great option for all angler’s finesse fishing on a drop shot rig.

Favorite colors: Green Pumpkin, Watermelon Red and Purple Smoke

Favorite rig: Nose-hooked with a Mustad Grip pin edge No.2 or 3 or No.1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot Hook

9. Reaction Innovation Smallie Beaver

Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver (3.50) is also another one of my favorite baits to fish on a drop shot. I won my fist bass fishing tournament in college throwing a drop shot with a small beaver tied on. Smallmouth bass dig the crayfish and the smallie beaver is a great imitation of a crawdad hopping around in the rocks.This is also a great bait if you are targeting largemouth bass and does a good job at imitating small baitfish. If you haven’t already, give this bait a try next time you are out on the water.

Favorite colors: Watermelon Red, Road Kill and Dirty Sanchez

Favorite Rig: Texas Rigged

 10. Gary Yamamoto Pro Senko

I’m sure you are all very familiar with the original Yamamoto Senko. This bait still possesses all of the original senko’s incredible fish catching action but has a tapered tail and a smaller profile. This bait is a fantastic drop shot worm that is available in a wide variety of great colors. It’s tough to beat this bait on a drop shot.  

Favorite colors: Grn Pumpkin Gn &Pr, Watermelon Bk & Rd Flk, Grn Pump Purple & Copper Flk

Favorite rig: Texas Rigged and Wacky Rigged

Honorable Mentions

The great thing about a drop shot rig is that you can use almost any soft plastic bait with this technique. Here is some other solid drop shot bait options that didn’t quite make my top 10 list but that are still some killer baits.

  • Evolve VibraGRUBs
  • Yum Kill Shot
  • Yum Warning Shot
  • Keitech Custom Leech
  • Zoom Fork Tail Worm
  • Berkley Gulp Minnow
  • Strike King Elaztech/Z-Man 4″ Finesse Worm
  • Keitech Swing Impact Fat Swimbait
  • Megabass Hazedong
  • Damiki Armor Shad
  • Keitech Easy Shiner

Make sure to check out My Recommended Bass Fishing Gear and Tackle Guide to ensure you have the right gear for your next fishing adventure.

Bass Fishing with a Drop Shot

A drop shot technique is one of the most effective finesse bass fishing methods to catch both smallmouth and largemouth bass. However, depending on which species you are targeting your approach, baits and techniques should be different. Here are some helpful fishing tips that will help you catch more fish on a drop shot:


Generally, when anglers go to the drop shot they will typically be fishing in clear open water conditions in rocks and deep structure as well as grass lines. You will have more success in these conditions fishing more natural looking baits and colors. However, if you do find yourself in stained or muddy water you can use darker or flashier colors to help make the bait stand out.

Bait Profile

The baits profile often gets overlooked and you will want to adapt your baits profile to the species you are targeting, the bait they are chasing and the time of year you are fishing. In general, smallmouth bass often prefer a smaller more stubbier bait. A lot of what they eat (gobies, crawfish, bait fish) tend to have a smaller profile which is why the stubbier baits tend to do well. For largemouth I have found that bigger worms tend to outperform the smaller baits.

Drop Shot Leader

Fishing with the right leader length is key in being able to catch fish on a drop shot. Each condition, season, and specie might require a different leader length. Here is a general leader length guideline that I like to stick to:

  • Spring: 1-4 inch leader
  • Summer: 4-15 inch leader
  • Fall: 3-30 leader

With that being said, this is more of a general guideline and what I have found to be successful. Feel free to experiment with the leader length and mix up as needed.

Rigging a DropShot for Bass

There are a ton of a great resources on how to rig a drop shot, so I won’t try and re-invent the wheel. Kevin Hawk does a great job at demonstrating how to properly rig the drop shot is this video created by Wired2Fish.

Final Thoughts

A drop shot technique is one of the most effective bass fishing methods to catch smallmouth bass. In this article we have gone over the top baits and some things to consider when selecting the right bait. We hope you have found this information to be valuable and that it will help you the next time you are out on the water. We appreciate your time and thanks for stopping by.

Tight Lines!

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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