How to Fish a Drop Shot Rig

In this article, we will cover all the details about how to fish a drop shot rig. The drop shot fishing rig is a great technique for catching fish. From deep to shallow water, the drop shot offers a great presentation that fish can’t resist. In this fishing article, anglers will learn a few different ways to rig a drop shot and the benefits. 

What is a Drop Shot Fishing Rig

The drop shot fishing rig is a finesse technique used to catch fish of all species. A drop shot hook is tied onto the fishing line to allow the bait to be horizontal in the water. A horizontal bait presentation is more natural-looking and mimics baitfish. Below the drop shot hook, a sinker is tied at the end of the line. The leader length between the hook and sinker varies on weather conditions, water clarity, and where fish are suspended.  

Subtle movements of a fishing rod provide great action and a unique presentation. A drop shot allows anglers the ability to place their fishing bait in front of a fish for an easy meal.

How to Fish a Drop Shot

We will cover three techniques on how to fish a drop-shot. These three fishing techniques are proven to catch more fish and provide versatility. 

Twitch and Shake 

Twitching and shaking the tip of the fishing rod causes the drop shot bait to be noticed more. The bait acts aggressively and gains attention when performing the twitch or shake movement. This is a great fishing method for active fish seeking food. We recommend trying the twitch and shake during the feeding windows.

Verticle Fishing

Verticle drop shot fishing excels well in deeper water. During the dog days of summer when fish are suspended in deeper and colder water, a vertical drop shot is a must. This method also allows more time for the bait to fall, which can gain the attention of many fish. Don’t be shy to pop the bait up, shake it, and have it fall back down. 

Drifting or Dragging

On some bodies of water, such as Lake St. Clair, it’s popular for anglers to cast out a drop shot and drag it across the bottom. This gives a slower presentation and also mimics a wounded or lethargic baitfish. Rather than manually dragging a drop shot, casting out and allowing the boat to drift is another technique. 

What Kind of Hook to Use For Drop Shot Fishing

Fishermen commonly use a smaller drop-shot hook. Starting with a size 1 hook is popular but some anglers opt for a smaller or larger size. Depending on where a fisherman is fishing and the conditions, nose hooking or rigging a drop shot weedless is popular. 

Nose Hooking Drop Shot Baits

Nose hooking a drop shot bait is the most common way to rig a drop shot bait. Thread the hook point through the bottom of the bait and out the top about 1/16 of the way from the end. Nose hooking allows the drop shot bait to move and perform with little movement. This hooking style also naturally presents the bait to the fish. Ideally, use a size 1 or 2 hooks when nose hooking a drop shot bait. 

Weedless Drop Shot Rig

Use a larger hook such as 1/0 when using a weedless rig. Take the drop shot bait and Texas rig it – that’s it. This technique works great when drop-shotting around grass or areas with weeds. Anglers also weedless rig a drop shot when using a larger bait. Larger baits on a drop shot rig give fish a completely different look. Try the weedless drop shot in hard-to-get areas. 

Wacky Rig Drop Shot Rig

If anglers need to give fish more of an erratic presentation then wacky rigging a drop shot bait is a must. The wacky rig allows the bait to pop, flop, and be crazy. Hook the bait in the middle of the bait to perform a wacky rig. This is not ideal if anglers are trying to mimic natural baitfish. Throw on a wacky rig drop shot bait if fish aren’t interested in natural-looking presentations. 

Drop Shot Sinkers

There are three main drop shot sinkers. Each has a time and place when fishing the drop shot. Start with a drop shot weight between 3/16oz and 1/4oz. Make the appropriate adjustments as needed. 

Bell Drop Shot Sinker

Shaped like a bell or teardrop, the bell sinker is more compact and doesn’t get snagged as easily. This sinker also positions itself well once it is resting on the bottom. Anglers choose this as their go-to drop-shot sinker due to those reasons.

Ball Drop Shot Sinker

The ball sinker works well when fishing in current or saltwater. A ball sinker allows a drop shot bait to move around more easily and covers more water. It’s important to note that this drop-shot sinker snags more often than its rivals.

Cylinder Drop Shot Sinker

A cylinder drop shot sinker is known for its ability to prevent snags. This drop-shot sinker is a great option when fishing around weeds or vegetation. Its shape allows fishermen to work their drop shot bait with little obstruction. 

Fishing Line For Drop Shot Fishing

We recommend using a 15-20 lbs test braided fishing line for the backing line. Use a braided line to fill most of the reel. The braided line also lasts for a long time. Use a 6-8 lbs test fluorocarbon line as a leader. The fluorocarbon line is virtually invisible underwater and prevents fish from seeing it. 

Regarding the length of the leader, this is subject to personal preference. Some anglers will use as little as 12” and others will use 25 feet. We believe that a longer leader keeps the braided line away from the fish as much as possible. Braided fishing lines are visible in the water, especially, clear water where most drop-shot fishing is performed. 

The Ideal Fishing Rod For Drop Shot

The ideal fishing rod used for drop-shot fishing is a 6’9” to 7’0” medium to medium-light power. For the rod’s action, try to stick with a fast to extra-fast action. This combination provides enough power and hook-set capabilities for a successful drop shot experience. 

Fishing Reel For Drop Shot Rig

Use a quality spinning reel for drop shotting. A 2500 to 3000 series offers enough line capacity and drag to prevent line breakage. Keep the drag loosened enough to wear down the fish without snapping the line. Some fish require fishermen to tighten or loosen their drag based on size and strength. 

Drop Shot Rig Fishing Baits

Soft-plastic drop shot baits ranging from 3-4” are effective and natural. Drop shot baits can be in the form of soft-plastic worms, baitfish, and other forage. Although it’s good practice to start with smaller drop shot baits, don’t hesitate to experiment with larger baits for bigger bites. 

Some popular and effective drop shot baits include:

The Dart Drop Shot Bait

The Dart is created with vertical impressions on its side and an ultra-slim body. The Dart is perfect for mimicking a baitfish. Its aqua-dynamic design allows this drop shot rig to dart through the water to catch the attention of large fish from a distance. The Dart stops immediately when not active to portray a wounded fish and resumes a natural position. Whether fishing it quickly or with subtle shakes to allow its thin tail to quiver, The Dart’s success rate is unmatched.

The Dagger Drop Shot Lure

The Dagger is a rugged and tough soft-plastic drop shot bait. Its rounded body, thick ribbed structure, and spade-like tail are designed to be compact and aggressive. Created to look fierce, this drop shot soft bait challenges fish and results in more strikes. The Dagger can also be used as a trailer bait and a smaller shaky head presentation for finicky fish.

Spear Tail Worm

The versatile Spear Tail Worm is known for its multi-purpose role when fishing soft-plastic worms. Its size packs a powerful presentation for anglers who need a larger drop shot bait for bigger fish, or a worm for universal fishing applications. The Spear Tail soft-plastic worm is great for many finesse fishing techniques. Its speared tail is designed to float off the bottom when fishing a shaky head rig so fish can’t resist striking it. The Spear Tail Worm offers a ribbed body and flat bottom, allowing fishermen to be versatile with their fishing style.

740 StriKer Bait

The 740 StriKer is a soft plastic bait that offers subtle and natural wobbling action. Packed with a durable ribbed body and three additional ribs in the split tail, it’s designed to decrease unnecessary erratic action, unlike other drop shot baits in its class. Perfected with the right amount of coloring and flake, this soft-plastic fishing lure offers ideal options for what’s needed to catch fish.

How to Fish a Drop Shot Rig Conclusion

The drop shot is a very effective fishing technique when performed properly. Having the right equipment, line, sinkers, baits, and knowledge, anglers will take their drop shot skills to the next level. Follow the details in this comprehensive drop shot rig guide and comment below about fish that have been caught. 

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