The first thing you need to know about the drop shot rig is that it is easy to fish. Most anglers assume fishing using a drop shot rig requires a method that is hard to learn and harder to execute.
If you can cast accurately, you can fish a drop shot rig.
What Is Drop Shot Rig?
A drop shot rig is a finesse fishing rig that involves tying the line to a hook with a trailing leader at the end with a weight. The hook and bait are above the weight.
The drop shot rig is increasingly becoming popular among anglers worldwide. The effectiveness of this method has been proven by many, and it is considered a finesse technique containing light weights and plastic baits.
When it first came to the US, anglers used it for fishing in deep waters, especially during winters when the anglers would catch winter bass that resided 100 feet deep.
The idea is to sling bait, for instance, a plastic worm into the water at the bottom of water so that it is right in front of the fish. The weight is dropped to the bottom, which shakes the bait lightly to attract the attention of the fish.
Best Conditions for Drop Shot Rig
The drop shot rig can be used all year round because it excels at both post-spawn and pre-spawn periods.
During the winter seasons, a drop shot used with imitation shad bait can be an excellent combination. The cold water in the winter season is also a great place where the bait can be placed in a stationary position at the bottom, attracting a lot of fish.
Drop shot rigs can work with any structure or cover except tall weed beds and matted vegetation. This is where your weight will get stuck, warning the bass to escape.
The best condition for a dropping shot rig is isolated weed clumps, gravel, rocks, stumps, and weed edges. Below we discuss three best locations where you can use the finesse technique for fishing.
Canals happen to be full of locks and marinas, and most predators like to sit close to the bank and the boat. This would be an ideal place to drop your shot.
Slow-moving rivers are great for drop shotting, and the heavier your weights, the better your chances of combating the flow. Lock cuttings and islands are also hotspots for catching fish via this technique.
Still waters, such as park lakes, are a good spot. Look for overhanging trees and plants that cover the water surface such as lily pads.
How to Tie a Drop Shot Rig
A drop shot rig is one of the most effective ways to fish; it features a weight at the bottom of the line and the bait on the line’s hook. Below are instructions on how to tie a drop shot rig.
Tie a hook up the line
Begin by tying a hook around the line with a 12 to 18-inch tag end. Then, move the tag end through the eye of the hook where the pointed part is facing up, run it out the bottom to streamline the hook with the line.
Add weight to the bottom
Add weight to the end of the line; you can either use a traditional weight shaped like a bell or use a specific weight with a clip.
Pro tip: Tie the knot at the end of the line, even if you are using quick clips weight. This is to counter the fish’s jumps, which cause the drop weight to get shot off if not tied to the bottom of the rig properly.
Attach the worm alive or dead, either by using a nose hook or a wacky rig. Nose hook involves attaching the worm to the hook near the nose, whereas in a wacky rig, you attach the bait to the center.
Pro tip: Light wire hooks are better with a drop rig because, in deep waters, the light line with a small gauge wire will penetrate better.
Best Line for Drop Shot
The line you choose for your drop shot will be a critical element of your set up. You can use fluorocarbon or mono will work, but you will eventually get frustrated with the line twisting while you are fishing.
The recommended type of line for drop-shotting is a light braided line with a fluorocarbon leader line that’s about 10 ft to 20 ft long.
Best Drop Shot Hook
Ever since drop shot hook gained popularity, many new hooks are being introduced in the market, and it can make things a little confusing. There are three types of hooks you should consider for drop shot fishing.
These hooks are wide gaped, short shank hooks, and the hook eyes are in-line with the pointed part of the hook. So, when the weight is dropped, the bail stand and the hook get straight and streamlined.
Straight Shank Hook
A straight shank hook is the most popular type of hook used by anglers. With Rebarb hook, you can rig your worm ‘texposed’ easily and fish it without it getting snagged through the cover and grass.
#3/0 is the recommended size for drop shot.
These hooks have swivels built in them, and they are created to prevent the twisting of the line which can be helpful if you are using mono or fluoro line.
If you have used other types of hooks and seem to struggle with the line twisting and turning in the middle of your peaceful fishing session, then you may want to give swivel shot hooks a try.
A small drawback is that there is little sensitivity because the hook is not directly in contact with you. Also, it is possible for the swivel to bend when dealing with a big fish.
Best Type of Weights
Most drop shot weight has a crimped swivel at the top, which makes clipping it onto your line easy. You can attach weights at the bottom of the line, and it will work just fine. There are three factors to consider when choosing the right weight for your drop shot rig.
The size of the weight is an important factor to consider. Most anglers use ¼ ounce of weight, but if it is too windy or you prefer to fish in deep waters, you can go for 3/8 ounce weights. It may seem like the weight of the latter option is too much, and you may consider it to be an overkill. However, the entire concept is to keep your bait or lure hovering just above the bottom, and for that, you need a decent-sized weight.
There are three shapes of the weights
The teardrop or the cylindrical weights are most popular among anglers because they are less prone to breaking off and getting snagged into objects.
Best Baits for Drop Shot
The best baits for drop shot fishing are objects that can float in a neutral way, providing a hovering action that the fish can’t resist.
You can drop shot any plastic baits and will be able to capture the fish successfully; but, there are few baits that are given more preference over others
A finesse worm is your classic drop shot bait. It is a simple straight tail worm. This bait will get bites regardless of the type of water you are fishing in. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
These baits have unique body types and wiggling appendages, which is perfect for drop shot fishing. They present a profile that many bass have not witnessed before, so they gain fish’s attention immediately.
Crawfish baits are some of the best ones in the market and can be fantastic on a drop shot rig.
Paddle Tail Swim Baits
Swim baits do a great job mimicking bottom-feeding fish. Their paddle tail forms an enticing wiggling action at the bottom that will definitely have all the fish swarming towards it in no time.
These may not be so popular with the anglers these days, but they are quite good for catching fish. They mirror a natural forage. Once drop shot, they present a snack-sized silhouette that can drive any fish crazy.
There is no better drop-shot bait that mimics bottom fish than a tube. These baits have a baitfish silhouette, come in a variety of shades and sizes, and get bit almost immediately after they are dropped at the bottom.
Unfortunately, most anglers use an internal jig head for bait, and that could pose a problem.
When a fish feed heavily on minnows and shad, it is best to attach a small shad-style bait on your drop shot; you will not be disappointed with the result.
How to Fish a Drop Shot Rig?
This style of fishing is similar to the natural movement of the prey and is perfect for catching bottom feeders such as catfish or bass. Here are a few steps to fish with a drop shot rig.
A medium or lightweight rod will make it so that your bait moves in a realistic manner. Then, thread the braided line onto the spool on the pole and move the reel counterclockwise to loosen some of the lines.
Take the tag end of the line and then run it through the eye of the pole. Pull it out of the eye, so there is about 12 inches of excess line left.
Use a swivel knot or double uni knot to attach the fluorocarbon leader to your braided line. After this step, hook the weight, and the bait will get attached to the fluorocarbon leader. Tie the leader securely to your hook; once this is done, thread the tag end through the other side of the hook. Your hook should be pointed to the side and upwards.
Cast your line into the water and wait for it to reach the bottom surface, rotate the reel to leave 10-12 inches of line, hold on to the handle of the pole firmly, and move your wrist while pressing the release bottom towards the direction you want to cast the bait.
Wait a few seconds for the weight to hit the bottom surface of a lake or a river. You will feel a slight pull on your line when it hits the lake floor. Once you feel a tug, rotate the reel ¼ clockwise to pull up the line. There shouldn’t be any looseness to the line.
Slowly raise the rod, and once you feel the resistance, it indicates that the fish is biting on your bait. If there is no resistance, you may sink the hook again until you catch a fish.
If you are new to drop shot fishing, it can be intimidating; however, with the steps discussed in this article, you can learn how to use this technique effectively with proper guidance as well as tips to make your fishing experience better.