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Angler's Guide to Drop Shot Fishing

Angler's Guide to Drop Shot Fishing

Angler's Guide to Drop Shot Fishing

As anglers, learning new techniques and styles for fishing is always exciting. All it takes is that one successful trip to get hooked on a new rig setup or trick. Drop shot fishing is known by many anglers, but others are unaware of its ease and great potential! 

We’ve created this guide to help introduce you to drop shot fishing and let you in on some tips and tricks from experienced anglers. 

What is Drop Shot Fishing?

Drop shot fishing, or drop shotting, is a finesse technique used by anglers to fish plastic bait with light weights. This technique is typically used for deep water fishing, but, in recent years, has been adapted for shoreline fishing as well. While drop shotting can be used for a wide variety of species, it is a very popular technique for bass fishing. 

A drop shot rig consists of a thin wire hook and a weight attached to the tag end of the line. This technique differs from others such as a Texas Rig and a Carolina Rig because of the placement of the weight. 

How to Drop Shot Fish: The Basics

The drop shot technique is considered easy amongst most anglers, so don’t worry, you can do it! In order to begin drop shotting, make sure you have all the elements at hand: a spinning rod and reel, light line, drop shot hooks, drop shot weights, and plastic bait. 

A drop shot rig is tied using a Palomar Knot. To set up your drop shot rig, follow these steps:

Once you have your rig set up, you’re ready to fish! Cast your line into the water and let the weight hit the bottom, just as you would when jig fishing. To be sure your weight has hit the bottom, check to see if there is give in your line. If not, you may need to release more line to ensure your weight has reached the bottom. 

The primary technique when drop shotting is to shake the bait, allowing it to twitch above the bottom of the water, attracting fish in its path. Another common use for drop shotting is when fish are suspended on a deep structure. In this case, you can position yourself above the desired area and drop your bait directly over the fish, shaking it occasionally. 

Check out this video for a more in-depth tutorial on the basics of drop shot fishing. 

Tips and Tactics for Drop Shot Fishing 

So, you’ve mastered the basics and are ready to put your drop shotting skills to the test! We’ve compiled a few tips and tricks from experienced anglers who know the keys to drop shotting success. 

Tip #1: Check your hook

When drop shotting, bites are often so light they’re almost undetectable. Many anglers recommend lifting up on the rig every so often to make sure you don’t have a fish on the line that you didn’t feel. 

Tip #2: Don’t overwork the lure

In order for the lure to be effective, it must look subtle and natural in the water. Holding the rod still and only adding the occasional movement will help maintain the natural look of the lure and let the water do the work for you. 

Tip #3: Keep your weight light

Some anglers make the mistake of using a weight that’s too heavy doesn’t allow for enough freedom of the bait. The best weight to use will be dependent on how deep the water is, but typically weights for drop shot fishing are between 3/16 and 1/4 ounce. 

Tip #4: Get ready to act fast

According to, 90% of the time, your bite will come within 90 seconds of the bait hitting the bottom. This means that when drop shotting, you can’t expect to just cast your line and relax. Stay ready and focused to reel in a bite as soon as you cast. 

Tip #5: Move on from unproductive areas

Fish, particularly bass, tend to congregate in schools in a single area. If you’ve been casting in one spot for a while (around 10 casts) and you’re still not getting any bites, it’s likely that the fish are congregated somewhere else and you should move on. Don’t get discouraged though! If you keep trying, you’re bound to find the hot spot. 

Tip #6: Wear performance fishing apparel

People forget about the importance of performance fishing shirts. When you spend hours on the water in the heat, rain, or cold, the apparel you choose ultimately affects your performance. You need men’s fishing shirts that have UV protection, moisture-wicking, anti-odor, quick-dry, and ventilated features. You should also have fishing shorts with multiple deep pockets, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking, and stain-resistant fabrics. Skin cancer is very dangerous, and wearing 50+ UV sun protection clothing for fishing shields skin from harmful rays.

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