How To Power Shot Like Mark Zona

Power Shotting with Mark Zona by Tyler Brinks

Spring 2020


few times, and then bring it back to the boat to repeat the process.


There is no one single time or place when upsizing your weight will excel, but Zona has learned a few things over the years experimenting with this way to fish a drop-shot rig.

For one, it is ideally suited for deep and clear water, and Zona has done it across the country.

“I add the bigger weight and fish in the same general places I fish other drop-shot rigs, but ultra-clear water with water between 10 and 40-feet deep is a great time to do it,” he said. Zona will alternate between different sizes of drop- shot weights. A 1/2 or 3/4-ounce Strike King Tour Grade Tungsten drop shot weight are his two favorites.

“The whole key to this technique is the heavier weight. It is like a bowling ball dropping to the bottom,” he said. “They do not have time to think about it, and you can get down deep much easier than with lighter drop-shot weights.”


Zona, like many bass anglers, has become a proponent of the braid to fluorocarbon on spinning reels. He utilizes it for this power-shotting technique; but, adjusts the length of his fluorocarbon leader. For most instances, he prefers a leader length that is just long enough to where the braid-to-fluoro

knot is just above the reel. A six

to seven feet leader suffices for

most tactics, but for this way to

fish a drop-shot, he uses 15- to

20-feet of fluorocarbon.

“Doing this helps with two

things,” he said. “The number

one is keeping that braid as far

away from the bass as possible.

Most of the time, I am doing this

in ultra-clear water, and with a

high-visibility braided line, I like

to keep my leader length much


Besides the visibility factor,

he says the longer leader also

helps with the way the bait acts

under the surface.

“Braided line makes your

lure act much differently than

fluorocarbon because it has no

stretch,” said Zona. “The closer

your braid is to the hook, the

more movement the bait will

have. A longer leader dampens

the action and makes it much

more subtle. It is amazing how much it can slow down the action of your bait.” His line of choice is 15-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid in the high- visibility Flash Green color. He connects it with 8-pound Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon.

“The braid helps you launch the bait out there and when you get a bite, just tight-line reel it, that braid will dig the hook right into the fish. You don’t need to set the hook hard to get them hooked,” Zona added.


As mentioned, the whole key to this technique is how quickly the bait falls to the bottom. Just about any soft- plastic bait will do, but Zona has a few preferences. He prefers baits that add to the ability of the rig to fall quickly and chooses those with streamlined profiles.

“My two go-to’s are the Strike King Half Shell and Baby Z Too,” he said. “They are both small baits with a thin shape, so they fall easily. The Baby Z Too is a 2 3/4” minnow profile bait that he says has become his all-time favorite drop-shot bait.

His rod of choice is a Daiwa Tatula Elite Brent Ehrler drop-shot rod, a 7’1” medium action rod that is part of their AGS (Air Guide System) lineup. He pairs it with a size 3000 Tatula LT spinning reel.

As the drop-shot technique has evolved, anglers have found more ways to take advantage of this technique. By using a heavier weight, anglers can fish deeper water more efficiently and still get the benefits of one of the best finesse rigs of all time. •

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