1507-EDWIN1As the Elite Series season turns its attention to northern smallmouth country, Oklahoma pro Edwin Evers is readying his dropshot gear to go into battle with mean bronze fish. He’s particularly excited to give the new Zoom Z3 Swamp Crawler a workout. Zoom’s first triple laminate worm comes in a range of amazing color patterns.

“For the most part, smallmouth feed visually in really clear water so color is critical,” he said. “When I’m wacky rigging my dropshot bait I want it to undulate easily, and this new lure is so soft it does that perfectly. I just move the bow of the line and it opens and closes. That’s really key.”

He’s keen to test out how the different colors produce, but his general rule of thumb is that “shad type colors are best if you’re fishing around a lot of spotted bass in the Midwest, like on Table Rock or Bull Shoals,” but with smallmouths the color depends on which of their varied forms of forage they’re eating. It could be greens and browns for crawfish and gobies, or it could be shad-type colors if they’re chasing pelagic baitfish.

Sometimes, it’s not just color that makes the difference, though. “Smallmouth are really a pretty aggressive fish,” Evers said. “But I’ve seen them get picky about the size of the bait. That’s why when I’m dropshotting I usually have four or five rods rigged up with different baits, different weights and different line sizes.” The Tiny Fluke is one of his standbys when they’re feeding on downsized baitfish, and the Z Drop and the Swamp Crawler are also go-to choices. Now, with the addition of the Z3 series, he has the ability to fine tune his presentation to the circumstances at hand.