over the years I have used a modified dropshot technique as my go to method for fishing in trees or heavy cover. This has worked well for bass, crappies & panfish. Simply stated it is a drop shot concept using texas rigged small worms. Use any small 1/4 or 1/8 ounce hook/weight you like... I use the Spyder shakey heads, but you can peg any slip weight to the line. Smaller hooks and 3-4" worms. Simply lower the rig vertically down through the tree branches... so this is more like vertical flipping except just reach out with the rod and open the bail. Let it hit the bottom, engage the bail and raise the worm 6" to a foot up and very easily shake it. The shaking action imparts the hit which is usually subtle. work the whole tree from shallow to 20" until you find the depth where the fish are, and then just concentrate on that depth range. Since you are burying the hook point in the worm I rarely get caught in the branches. Many times I get on to panfish or crappies and they grab the worm tail without eating the hook... so I just keep biting the worm shorter until it is short enough for them to get into their mouth. Try it with small twisters, or grubs.
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