How to Fish a Dropshot for Bass Fishing


Ever encountered deep fish that would hold on to the deep cover for long enough?

You know what I mean about the prevailing conditions where the bass would be no longer interested in feeding.  Your fishfinder is telling you that the lake is full of small-mouth around 3 to 5 pounds and you wanted to catch them. And Bass is rarely taking a bite.

You’ve tried several lures, but there’s no catch, in those situations depending on the water depth and the bottom composition of the lake I would choose to go with a drop shot. There might be a lot of conditions for bass not taking the catch, your conventional rig would have been too light, in those situations I would consider using the drop shot rig a versatile and widely used finesse technique.

What is a Drop Shot Rig?

The Drop shot is a handy rigging technique that gives you best chances of fooling bass in every situation and this technique always keeps the Bass in the strike zone. And, widely used by every angler around the world. And it is getting more popular every year,  a Drop shot rig is a tremendous way to fish because of its low cost, efficient and easy to set up.

Generally, drop shot rig considered to be finesse technique involving light weights or lightweight plastic baits. And the term drop shot came because we end up tying small weights at the end of the line. The Beauty of drop shot rig is it lets your bait to glide in a horizontal position down in the water, so smallmouth bass can't wait to take a bite.

How to Tie a Drop shot Rig?

The most critical aspect of the dop shot is to know the Palomar Knot to rig correctly. If you aren't familiar setting up the drop shot rig then here are a few simple steps to setup hook.

  1. Take the drop shot hook into your hand so that the hook lies horizontally, make sure that the tip of the hook points towards you.
  2. Run down the line towards the eye of the hook to until there is enough distance between the hook and bottom weight.
  3. Run the end of line back up through the eye of the hook and make sure to give a 2-inch loop below the hook eye. 
  4. Slightly wet line and tie your Palamor knot and make sure that the knot is firm around the eye of the hook and you’ve left the long tag end.
  5. Take the tag end and pass it down to the hook of the eye and then pull the end of the line tight to ensure that the hook lies perpendicular to your line.
  6. And finally, tie up small weights at the end of the line.
  7. Once you finish tying the knot nose hook the bait to the finesse hook and make sure that the bait won't lose action when tying up.

If you find these steps are vague, then you can merely buy drop shots pre-tied from Gamakatsu they are eco-friendly and used by professional anglers worldwide.

Here are few things that you need for a Drop shot rig

Drop shot hooks

There is a vast range of drop shot hooks are available, but most anglers choose 3 to 5-inch straight tail or minnows. I have found that the Gamakatsu drop shot hooks just works great as they as specially designed for finicky fish and finicky anglers. These specially designed barbed steel hooks increase chances of landing the catch.

If you are fishing fresh or salt water, this hook is going to be incredible, and it will amaze you. Gamakatsu is one of the manufacturers who make quality hooks, So you can’t go wrong with these hooks, and they work very well for a drop shot, slip shot or wacky style.

Gamakatsu is my personal favorite, and they are perfect for nose hooking soft plastic drop shot baits and is being used by professional anglers worldwide.

Drop shot weights

The selection of drop shot weights is endless, and I mean there are ample varieties of drop shot weights. Where you can get one from your local tackle shop for few bucks, or you can grab a pack of the pro-quality drop shot loads from Amazon.

If you are fishing in rock, then choose the finesse hooks because they tend to slip more comfortable and try out the round ones if you want to feel more contact with the mud and sand.

 When choosing the drop shot weights, you need to look for the sinkers that will hold the line without cutting the line. Remember that finesse associated with a light line that means you are going to use 3 to 4 inches bait, a fully transparent line, light rod and small weights which is typically around 1/8 to 1/2 oz.

If you are hardcore drop shotter, then you can go for the sinkers that weight from ½ to 1 ½ oz and a can make drop shot presentation. I’ve used 17-pound fluorocarbon line and the big plastics and the drop shots that weight 1 ½ oz which gives entirely power drop shot presentation for fishing in shallow cover.

Drop shot baits

When you drop shotting a small movement with lure will often draw strikes so that the bait that you are choosing should have a lot of action. If you are fishing in the freshwater or clear water, then I highly recommend using the KVD strike king dream shot. These excellent finesse lures are about 3 ½ inch size, and these lures do work when none of the reaction bites work for you. I can't stress enough that this is the excellent soft plastic bait that inevitably brings the catch.

Drop Shot Rods and Reels

Let me explain the basic tackle setup, you know that bass shouldn’t see your line, so use either braided or fluorocarbon line for drop shotting. When it comes to dropping shotting rod, you can either use a light rod which you already own or grab a lightweight drop shot rod with a split handle design for excellent balance and weight reduction. I have found that the drop shot rods with a rubber grip handle give excellent support and firm grip.

I’m currently using inexpensive Okuma Scott Martin Drop shot rod, and this thing is a nice compromise between quality and the firm price, and it is one of the beautiful feeling rods. While you can through hundreds of dollars on specialty rods, depending on your preferences regarding length and power. But for many years Okuma Scott Martin Drop shot rod served me very well.

Next on the list is finding out the fishing reel that keeps your line twist to a minimum. It’s a known fact that all spinning reels do put some spin on them. I would not suggest a braided line for drop shotting as it is too stretchy, sensitive and does cut down the line on twists. Shimano spinning reels that come with Propulsion Spool Lip which provides a longer casting distance compared to standard spool lip design. It comes with a good spool design and line management for either vertical or near vertical presentation. 

How to Fish a Drop Shot Rig?

If you can fish a plastic worm, then you can fish drop shot. Remember that you're going to use the lightest rod when drop shotting. Start with the lightest weight available until you feel the bottom. Drop the rig straight down into water reel up the line until its firm and drop shot weight is at the bottom. You want your bait to pass to the bottom and wave fishing rod gently.

Once the weight reaches the bottom pay attention to the line to be able to feel the weight. Slightly jiggle the rod remember that a slow movement with bait will often draw strikes. If you don’t get a catch, then let the rig settle and slowly pull the rod tie up towards you. Slightly lower the rod and slightly shake the rod and settle the line for few seconds. Regardless of how you fish the drop shot rig most crucial thing to remember is to keep the line relatively tight at all times because bite can come at any moment. If you get a bite, then mark your line where you catch the fish so you can always go back to the same depth again.

To Summarize

Many anglers avoid using drop shots because the dangling sinker bangs into the side of the center console or gets tangled up on the rods. The only thing you need to know is to set the hook correctly. Once you master setting up the hook, you'll find that there's no better way to catch bass. Drop shot rig is ideal for the beginners and a great way to introduce fishing.

Here are few takeaways from this whole article:

  1. Drop shot rig remains the most effective rig for bass fishing particularly when fish is finicky.
  2. Drops shot is a useful rigging technique that gives you best chances of fooling bass in various situations.
  3. What makes Drop shot rig so powerful is drop shots are not only good for catching bottom fish, but they are also excellent for finding suspended fish.
  4. Palomar knot is the most critical aspect of this finesse technique.
  5. Remember to nose hook soft plastics with a drop shot hook.
  6. Look for the fish out on points that are no deeper than 20 feet.
  7. It is essential to be aware of how long it takes the weight to reach the bottom as the suspended bass will often hit the plastic bait on its descent.
  8. Alternate your retrieve until you figure out what the fish want on that particular day
  9. The most important thing to do is to keep the line relatively tight at all times as bite can come at any moment
  10. You can use drop shot technique for catching large-mouth and small-mouth, in dirty and clear water and shallow and deep waters.

Good luck fishing and good fishing, share your Drop shot fishing experience with us.

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