Drop Shot Fishing (Tips & Techniques)

For most professional bass anglers, drop shot fishing is the favored fishing style for catching. This is because drop shot fishing is an easy technique to master. It is also effective for catching both smallmouth and largemouth bass.

In addition to its effectiveness, drop shot fishing is also versatile, being suitable for deep and shallow water bodies. For beginner anglers, there is a misconception that drop-shot fishing is a difficult style to implement. This is not true, as you can learn drop-shotting within minutes.

In this article, we will discuss essential tips and techniques for drop-shot fishing.

drop shot fishing
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What is a Drop Shot?

In order to understand what a drop shot is, it is important to have knowledge of finesse fishing techniques. Finesse fishing refers to techniques of fishing that entail presenting your lure or bait in a subtle manner in order to make it appear natural and less imposing.

A drop shot is a reliable finesse technique that is effective for vertical fishing of bass in deep water. The way a drop shot rig is structured, it has a line tied to a hook and a trailing leader.

A weight is attached to the leader, keeping your bait and hook suspended while the weight stays at the bottom. This way, your bait resembles natural prey, helping you to attract bass.

What Do You Need to Rig a Drop Shot?

Your drop shot rig is as good as your fishing gear. In this section, we will discuss the essential fishing gear and accessories needed to rig a drop shot.  

Drop Shot Rod and Reel

Making use of the right rod and reel will enable your drop shot to catch bass with ease. A spinning rod is best for the delicate presentation required for this style of fishing.

A medium-action spinning rod with a fast-action tip is perfect, as it offers you the sensitivity needed for small bass and the power needed for large species. It also works well with a light line.

Your spinning rod should be paired with a spinning reel for the best results. You want your reel to be lightweight in order to enable you to hold and cast your rod comfortably.

The size of the spinning reel you’re using should be between the range of 1000 and 2500.

Drop Shot Line

The main idea behind finesse fishing is subtlety. As such, you need a fishing line that is light and provides low visibility.

For drop-shotting, a braided line is a top choice for bass anglers. This is because a braided line has a small line diameter, which makes it near invisible in the water. Another benefit of braided lines is that they are very sensitive and do not stretch. This enables a fisherman to feel the faintest bites from a bass.

A braided line is best paired with a fluorocarbon leader. A good alternative to braided lines for drop shotting is a six-pound test fluorocarbon line.

Drop Shot Hook

The hook is an essential part of every drop-shot tackle. The two main hooks for finesse fishing are a drop shot hook and a split shot.

These hooks are great for fishing bass, as they produce natural motions and needed action. The best way to connect the bait is by nose hooking. You can also explore options like Texas rigging and wacky rigging.

Drop Shot Weights

The drop shot weight is responsible for keeping your bait suspended above the water. This is why it is crucial that your choice of weight is correct.

For a beginner, drop shot weights between 1/8 oz to 1/4 oz are suitable. A crimped swivel is an essential feature of weight, as it allows you to clip it to the end of your line with ease. You want your weight to blend into the bottom of the water so you do not have fish nipping at it.

Drop Rig Set Up

Drop Shot Rig

Now that we have highlighted the gear needed for a drop shot rig, we can proceed to outline a drop shot rig setup.

Start by putting your fishing line through the top of the hook eyelet. Then pull it through the eyelet until there is a least a foot of tag end to create a leader.

Follow this by making a loop and then putting the line through the bottom of the hook.

Once you have done this, hold one end of your loop and make a Palomar knot on the other end. Then wet the knot and pull it tight to straighten the hook on the line.

With your hook attached, you can clip your weight to the tag end of the line. All that is left is to add your bait via a Texas rig, wacky rig, or even Carolina rig, and your drop rig is ready.

How Do You Fish With a Drop Shot Rig?

There are different strategies for fishing with a drop shot rig. We will discuss the main strategies in this section.


Deadsticking is a popular drop-shotting technique. When deadsticking, you simply have to let the weight fall to the bottom of the water, rest for 15 seconds, and slowly lift it back up.

You can repeat this process multiple times until you make a catch. Deadsticking is most effective when you are aware of the location of the bass.

Current Fishing

Current fishing entails taking advantage of the water current to fish for bass. All you have to do is cast your lure and allow the weight to sink to the bottom. The current will cause your lure to appear natural and attract bites.

What is the Best Drop Shot Bait?

There are different kinds of drop shot baits on the market, with their suitability depending on your fishing needs.

Some of the most common drop shot baits include flukes, wacky worms, stick baits, rubber minnows, craw baits, finesse worms as well as soft plastic lures.

There are three major factors to consider when it comes to bait selection. These are color, tail shape, and the bait profile. When fishing in deep structures, open waters, and grass lines, it is best to go for muted colors that look natural.

On the other hand, fishing in stained, muddy, or dark waters will require bright-colored and flashy baits. This is because you need your bait to be visible to the bass.

The tail shape also plays a role when it comes to the suitability of bait. The tail of bait can be paddled, curly, or pinned, with each shape having its unique form of vibration. The last thing to consider is the profile of the fish that you are baiting.

Smallmouth bass typically goes after smaller baits like craw baits, while largemouth bass is likely to go after bigger baits like worms.

All in all, the best baits for drop shotting are soft plastic lures. This is because of the flexibility and versatility that they provide, as you can find soft plastic lures in different colors, shapes, and sizes.

In this way, you can be sure to find one that helps you catch more fish. It helps to have different baits, as weather and location can affect your fishing style. Minnows like Berkeley Gulp are sure to serve you in good stead.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will provide adequate answers to some of the frequently asked questions about drop-shotting.

What is Drop Shot in Fishing?

Drop shot is a common term that is used in sports like tennis, badminton, and squash. However, a drop shot is also used by professional anglers in the fishing world. Drop shot in fishing refers to a high finesse technique that is commonly used for catching bass. It entails setting up a weighted line that allows you to suspend your bait and make them appear as natural and less imposing as possible.

What is The Best Way to Fish a Drop Shot?

The best way to fish a drop shot is by deadsticking. All you have to do is let the weight drop to the bottom and wait for 15 seconds. You can repeat the process multiple times.

How Do You Fish a Drop Shot Hook?

There are different ways to attach your bait to the drop shot hook. These are nose hooking, Texas rigging as well as wacky rigging.

How Do You Reel a Drop Shot?

Reeling a drop shot is quite easy. It is important to use a lightweight reel for a drop. Reel your line and suspend the bait around 14 inches off the bottom of the water.


Drop-shotting is not a difficult technique to master. As a matter of fact, you can get the hang of it within a short period of time.

All that you need to do is to use the necessary gear, and you will have a reliable setup. Decide on the fishing strategy to employ, and always make sure to use safe fishing practices.

Daniel O’Neill
Fishing Expert
Daniel specializes in fly, predator, and saltwater angling. He has practiced angling from a young age, quickly developing his knowledge of fishing fundamentals. His angling journey began in Ireland, primarily targeting rainbow trout on a fly rod. His passion for angling grew extensively as he ventured into other forms of fishing. He primarily targets freshwater and saltwater destinations in Ireland and the UK. His favorite catch to date was a 7lb / 3.6KG thick-lipped mullet from the Northern Irish coast—a prized fish to target on a fly rod. He is now the owner of DON Angling, a business that intends to inform and educate anglers on the best techniques, methods, and etiquette available.
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