Drop Shot Fishing: How To Fish A Drop Shot Rig


If you ask around your local fishing community, you’d probably hear that many fishermen are going crazy for drop fishing. This type of fishing slowly but surely is taking over the world of fishing, so it is good to learn what is it, how to do it, and what do you need to do it rightly.

This article will answer these three questions, lead you through some of the most important tips and tricks, mostly used tactics, and help you understand it well enough so the next time you head back to the water, you may try it out and have fun while at it.

What Is A Drop Shot Rig

To simplify, the drop shot rig includes a line tied to a hook, with a leader line behind, and with the weight at the end, so the weight stays at the bottom, while the hook and the bait are above. This means you’ll need a proper line, hook, and weight combination.


In drop shot rig, it is all about technique tact, so using the lightweight fishing line with low visibility will serve you the best. You may go with the fluorocarbon fishing line or some other light braided fishing line that has a fluorocarbon leader line, any of these is a great choice most of the time.


Now it is time to get the proper hook. You’ll need a split shot or a drop shot hook, preferably sized 1-1/O, but finding the best one shouldn’t be a problem. Many manufacturers have a great offer when it comes to dropping fishing hooks. They are also the best for nose-hooking the baits, so you’ll have the best shot at action and natural motion.


If you look at the drop shot weight, you’ll see it has a crimped swivel at the top, so it can easily be attached to your line, but if your weight can only be tied to the bottom of the line, don’t worry, it will work good this way. Sometimes you’ll need lighter, sometimes more heavyweights, but for the beginning, you’ll be good to go with 1/8 oz to ¼ oz. It mostly depends on the water type. For instance, the rougher the water, the heavier weight you’ll need to keep your bait down, at the bottom. There are also different shapes, but if you’re new to drop shot fishing, you won’t make a mistake if you chose the round one. Also, make sure it is made of lead. Remember, while drop shot fishing basically anything your weight touches may feel like a bite, so to avoid any confusion and possible mistakes, it is better to go with the round lead ¼ oz weight.


After you’ve got your line, hook, and weight ready, it is time to finalize your drop shot rig with the best crankbaits. There are many different types of bait you may use, so when you visit your local store with the fishing equipment, ask them for a recommendation. If you don’t know or are too shy to ask for it, look for small, finesse worm bait. Once you’ve chosen the right one, it is time to rig it. You may hook it to the nose, which may be the best one for the starters, but if you have any other way of rigging the bait you prefer better, feel free to try it.

Setting Up Drop Shot Rig

You’re done with collecting stuff, you have them all in front of you, and the time has come to join them together. Start by placing a drop shot hook between your fingers, and then pull the line through the top of the hook eyelet. Make sure you have at least a foot tag end, so you have enough material to make a leader.

When you’ve pulled enough line through the eyelet, use that line to create a loop, then place it back through the bottom of the hook. While your loop is at the bottom of your hook, and the longer tag end is on its top, use the loop to make a single knot, and then take it over the front side of the hook. Once you get the elements of the knot, the time has come to wet the line – you may use your saliva or a sponge and water – and cinch it as tight as possible. This will leave you with a tag end. Guide it through the top of the hook, and then pull it together to secure the hook on the line.

Now clip the line on the tag end, or if that is not possible, tie it and you’re done! Your drop shot rig is almost completely set! The only thing that has left for you to do is to hook the bait, and find the right spot for your drop shot fishing adventure!

The Right Time And Place For The Drop Shot Fishing

You’ve most likely wondered when and where the best time and place are to try out the drop shot fishing. And the answer is quite simple – anytime and anywhere. When we speak about the recommended season, the pre-spawn period works as efficiently as the post-spawn does. For instance, during the spawning period, you may use a bubba drop shot, if you want to fish the beds. When the fall comes, a drop shot with imitating bait may be the best choice, and during the cold, winter waters using the stationary bait can be quite a great option.

As for the place, if no much vegetation and tall weed are floating around, you’re good to go. Find the nearest rocks, gravel, any kind of brush, weed edges, basically any place imaginable, and give a drop shot rig a go, and you may be surprised with the results. Here are some recommended places to drop fishing:

  • Canals are ideal for drop shot fishing, same as marinas or docks. The reason is the fact that most predators love to hang around the boats, so there should be more than enough fish for you to exploit and catch. The area is way smaller than the open sea, and the fish concentration is great, so they’ll be within a hand reach.
  • Rivers are the second-best option for drop shot fishing, but you should avoid those fast-moving ones. Find slow-moving water, get a heavier weight to fight the flow, and keep the bait in place. Finding slack areas, islands, or lock cuttings could also be a great choice.
  • Stillwater like your local lake or the one near your campsite if you went camping is worth checking out, but before you pack your rod and other fishing equipment and cast away, make sure fishing is allowed.

Presenting The Bait

When you’ve found the right location, it is time to find the best way to present your baits. The first one and most spread way of presenting the bait is dropping it below your vessel, to the place your fish finder has marked as the best one. If you see the fish with your naked eye at the bottom, then this is the right choice.

In case you have to cover more space, pitch your rig out, and slowly drag it to retrieve it back. The moment you feel your weight hit something, let the line loose, and the bait should act out naturally, so you just have to wait for the bite.

Some Other Drop Shot Tips


Besides those mentioned above, some other tips could make your drop shot fishing experience way better.

  • Don’t stick to the drop shot rod. Yes, it is good and it makes things a bit easier, but don’t hesitate if you don’t have it. Any medium to medium-light power rods will do, as long as they are fast-paced. Especially when you’re just learning how to do it. Just choose some of the best bass fishing rods and you’ll be good to go.
  • If you’re a newbie and are just starting your drop fishing career, the reel size may be one of the biggest headaches you’ll face. For the beginning, a 2500 size bass spinning reel will be more than enough. As your skill progresses and you learn new tricks and gain experience, you may end up using the 3000 size reels, as they provide you the space to reduce some line twist.
  • Another important question is the length of the leader. And you won’t have to be too complicated; getting the 12 to 14 inches one will be more than enough and serve the purpose.
  • Overworking the rig may be another possible issue, so try to resist the urge to move it all the time. How to know you’re moving it? It is simple – if you feel the weight, you’re moving the rig. Gently shake the rod on the slackline from time to time, and that’s it. If you let it act naturally, the bite will come.
  • Remember how we’ve mentioned that drop shot rig is the great choice for any time and place? The same goes for the weather. Even if it is raining or a storm approaching, for some reason larger bass will move around and bite more often when a drop shot rig is being used. And you’ll have fun while fishing in the rain.
  • Once you’re nearing the end of your fishing trip and you think you’re almost done with that spot, you may use drop shot as a “clean up rig”. You’d probably be able to catch enough fish so you may say you’ve finished that place.
  • Although recommended, you shouldn’t avoid the grass at all the cost. Much fish is waiting for you among the grass, but the potential problem is the weight getting caught in the grass. Go slowly and use a steady pull in the effort to free it, and you will be surprised how much bites will come while you do it.

Drop Shot Tactics And Tricks

Besides the mostly used “sing the rig and let it do all the work” technique, there are a few other drops shot fishing techniques you could try out.

Locked-Down Bass

When the spring comes and the bass starts to wiggle around and you’re sure there are fish around the area you’re about to cast to, the locked-down bass drop shot fishing technique is a good option. When you feel the weight has touched the bottom, let the bait fall freely, and avoid touching it for about ten or 20 seconds. Then slowly lift the bait without moving the weight, and when high enough, let it free-fall again to the bottom, followed by another pause.

Swift Current Overcoming Technique

The main catch in this technique is to find the best weight for the current. For example, if the weight is too heavy, it will sink and stay on the bottom, preventing the bait from moving. On the other hand, if the weight is too light, then the bait will move too fast to stay down. The key is to find the right weight that will let your bait drift along at the same speed as the current, this way making it look natural to fish. Also, make sure the line is not too heavy or the current may stop the sinker from getting to the bottom.  The natural drift is achieved by keeping the nose of your vessel upstream while drifting downstream backward, trying to keep the pace steady and same the drop shot rig dictates from beneath.

Drop Shot Drag

When the bass is scattered along the wide and long area, and you have to comb it to catch something, the best choice is the drop shot drag technique. The goal is to keep your bait cruising just above the bottom. Go to a deeper part of the water (50 feet, ideally) and then cast away to the more shallow water, like the place where the water is around 20 to 30 feet deep. Once you cast it, drag the rig back to the boat. Along the way, the bass should bite.

Shallow Cover

If the space you have to cover is shallow, this will do the trick. Drag the drop shot weight on the bottom, and stop when you feel it collide with the underwater shelter. Stop for a moment and shake it softly. Stop, wait for about 10 seconds, and after that pull it out to try again. Good places to use this are edges of the grass area, flooded bushes, basically any shallow body of water where bass may be found.

Be Patient And Take Your Time

The two most important things in drop shot fishing, besides your fishing gear, are patience and time you’re willing to give into it. Sometimes it may take a while before the fish decides to take on the bait. And that’s the part of the drop shot fishing that is truly amazing – you may spend as much time as you want or need on the same spot. In most cases, you’ll have someone “knocking at the door” sooner rather than later, but sometimes it may be a while before you feel like it is worth it.

Finding a place with clear water – and when we say clear, we mean really clear – and not too deep will help you observe fish behavior and learn their patterns, so you may plan your next move before them. Also, don’t forget that there is the time when your bait is being checked out while you can’t see it, so don’t rush it. Be patient and you’ll be satisfied with the final result.

Don’t Run Away From A Challenge

It may be challenging at first, but remember – you’ll learn the best by living it, not by listening to the others. Don’t think too much about different tactics, at least not for the beginning. Concentrate on being attractive and realistic enough so the fish think of your bass lure as their prey and want to chase it. The more similar your lure is to the natural food source, the bigger the chance of catching something will be.


A good tip is to practice before you hit the water and cast away. Set up your gear and try casting it somewhere where you may observe the lure movements and try to “catch” on your moves and what they do to it. Once you understand how it works and learns how to control it, it will be way easier outside to know what you have to do to achieve something. Practice different wrist movements, rod movements, try even simple and easy finger taps, and see what they do to the lure and how does it act when you do some action. Try out different lures, rods, etc., and find the one that you feel the most comfortable with. Then try it out in nature, and you’ll see what works for you and what doesn’t. Embrace the learning opportunity and let the information sink in.

Globo Surf Overview

If you’re a newbie in fishing, this may sound like rocket science, but relax, it is not as complicated and heavy as it may sound, and look at the beginning. It is crucial to relax and be ready to learn. This article should serve you as a good place to start your drop shot fishing adventure. It will help you understand what is drop shot fishing, how to set up a drop shot rig, some of the most basic techniques, and all the gear you’ll need for it to work.

If you’re sure you’d love to give it a go, don’t hesitate. Visit your local fishing store, get all the stuff you need, and book a trip as soon as possible. Then put on a fishing vest, take your fishing chair and try out above mentioned techniques and be happy because you’ve learned something new and exciting! And don’t forget the sunglasses. In the end, you’ll have to look cool in your photos!

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!