Tyler Brinks is an avid bass angler from Spokane, WA. He works full-time in the fishing industry as a writer and social media marketer and fishes any chance he gets and everywhere he goes.
The drop-shot rig is one of the most versatile and effective techniques in bass fishing. The basic principle is to have the hook tied to the line and then leave a long tag end from the knot. Then attach a weight to the line’s tag end directly below the hook. Add your favorite soft plastic bait, and you are ready to drop-shot.
What Makes it so Effective?
The beauty of the technique is that small movements from your rod allow for great bait action since the hook is tied in line with your fishing line. Also, since the hook and bait are above the weight, your presentation is right in the face of bass looking for a meal.
Rigging it Up
As mentioned, any soft plastic bait can be fished on a drop-shot, but some are better than others. Small (3 to 4”) straight tail worms and shad-profiled baits are the most common but don’t be afraid to try a bigger soft plastic.
Most anglers will tie their weight approximately 12-inches below the hook, but shortening the leader for shallow water and extending the length in deep water is a good practice.
Many different hooks will work with drop-shot fishing, including some specially designed for the technique. One of the most common ways to fish a drop-shot is with a small Size 1 hook with the soft plastic rigged by hooking it through the nose of the bait. For larger baits, try wacky-rigging on your drop-shot for an entirely different look.
Three Ways to Drop Shot
For the most part, fishing with a drop-shot is no different than any other bait that is fished along the bottom. Three proven ways to catch them with this technique are dragging it along the bottom, shaking it on your retrieve, and also vertically fishing for fish seen on marine electronics. If you are fishing from shore, the last technique can be done in deep water along the bank or near bridge pilings.
By dragging a drop-shot along the bottom anglers can simulate a small baitfish slowly swimming just above the bottom. By utilizing this method, you can cover more water and still get the interest of monster bass.
With as much movement as the drop-shot rig creates, shaking your rod can get the bait to act wildly. This is an excellent way to attract the attention of bass from afar. A good rule of thumb is to shake your rod less when the water is cold, and the bass are less active.
The drop-shot shines when vertically fishing. It can be dropped to fish at any depth and then fished with a small shake once it hits bottom. Often, the initial fall is when the bass strike and anglers can drop it, shake, and then let it fall again to recreate that action.
The drop-shot has become a favorite of bass anglers everywhere…because it works.