The drop shot is a criminally under estimated technique in the bass world and fishing in general. It is also misunderstood regarding its versatility by many anglers. In this article, we will take a look at what the drop shot technique entails, the benefits of this technique, and some tips on rigging and fishing the drop shot.
What is the Drop Shot Fishing Technique?
The drop shot technique is simply a rig that allows you to fish soft plastics in deeper water. What makes the drop shot so appealing is that you are not adding weight directly to the plastic allowing them to keep their natural and free movement that make them so enticing to bass. What this rig entails is a soft plastic lure with a leader tag coming off the hook and a weight attached to the end of this leader. This can be a finesse or power fishing technique that is great for triggering fish when nothing else seems to be working.
When and Why to Use the Drop Shot Technique
What a drop shot rig does well is it gets the bait suspended up off of the bottom of the lake bed. There will be certain times of the year where bass are suspended off of the bottom and are not looking to the bottom to feed. A drop shot can put the bait right at the bass eye level. It also keeps the line between the lure and your rod away from abrasion which can lead to lost fish.
Another benefit to the drop shot that a lot of anglers ignore or just don’t tend to discuss, is that it is one of the best ways to read bottom structures. It get’s down deep, and you don’t have the high chance of getting hung up. A heavier weight transfers a lot of information up to your drop shot rod, and with a few sweeps of the bottom, you should know exactly what you are working with and can adjust your fishing strategy from there.
And finally, as we discussed initially, this technique gives your plastics incredible movement and is the biggest reason this rig is so successful at pulling bass out of stasis to strike. In cold water situations where a finesse technique and natural movements are needed, this is an incredible setup. While most often used as a finesse technique, going with heavy weight and heavier line, this can turn into a power tactic as well.
Drop Shot Rigging Tips
Choose the hook wisely. The type of hook you use matters. You are looking for 1-1/0 size hooks. We also like hooks with a deeper bend in the shank. This bend helps keep the rig from tangling when casting in high winds and it makes rigging your plastic lures more versatile.
It is all about the weights. Our second tip is to invest in drop shot weights. You can use split shot, but you will constantly be re-rigging as split shot tend to come off the line after a few casts and retrievals along the bottom. Drop shot weights have a swivel attached to the top and can be attached to the end of your leader with a knot, and then you are worry free.
Regarding shot weight, it all depends on the depth you want to reach. 1/8 and 1/4oz weights are pretty common and will get your rig down quickly. Of course, judging the situation, you might want to go lighter or heavier. If fish are hitting on the descent more often than after the rig has settled, you might change to a little lighter weight to keep it in the strike zone longer.
Texas Rig vs Wacky Rig. There are several ways you can insert the hook on these plastics. You have your classic Texas rig, which gives you a weedless presentation and is great if you’re working weed beds or around sunken brush. Another popular method is using a wacky worm set up which gives incredible movement to your plastic baits that are more natural to aquatic worm movements while suspended in water.
How to fish a drop shot rig
Pitch it. The most used method of using a drop shot fishing technique is simply to pitch to an area where you think fish are holding and let the rig reach the bottom. Once there, the only movement you are using until a strike is a slight jiggle of your rod. You might use some rod raises to let the plastic descend, which is often period that often leads to strikes.
This method is often associated with deep water, and while it does work well, this rig is not limited to depths under 15’. Simply adjust the length of the leader, and you can have success with this rig in shallow water as well.
Drag it. Another method that generates a lot of strikes is by very, very slowly dragging the rig across the bottom of the lake. With one or two soft baits tied on, and slowly dragged across the lakebed as you might a Carolina rig, you would be surprised how many hits you will get. You can play around with this technique regarding retrieval speeds. It might be a crawl that generated hits, or you might fish it a little faster.
Roll it. Our favorite tip for fishing the drop shot is to hit areas with gradients. Letting this rig slowly roll down an embankment is a deadly tactic when you’re not exactly sure where bass are suspended along the gradient.
Work it under cover. A drop shot rig is great to work around cover. If you are going the finesse route, dropping it next to cover can elicit strikes on the descent as well as letting it settle and giving it slight motion with your rod tip. You can also garner a lot of action if you can get at an angle where to fish the rig parallel to the cover. The drop shot can also be used to punch through dense cover similar to a jig or a Texas rig.
What do you think about fishing a drop shot? Please share with us your thoughts and comments about drop shot fishing in the comments below.