All You Need to Know For Successful Drop Shot Fishing

Drop shot fishing

Drop shot fishing is one of the most effective ways to catch bass. But it doesn’t work if you don’t know how to use a drop shot rig correctly. Don’t believe the guys who say that it is too difficult to learn and it works only in clear waters. This article will dispel these myths. Just a few tips, some practice and you will master a drop shot fishing.

Why is it worth using a drop shot rig?

Compared to other rigs, a drop shot rig has several advantages. The drop shot fishing technique is rather effective because it creates a natural, weightless presentation of a soft lure. You can fish in one place and don’t need to move your bait in order to attract bass. With a drop shot rig, you can load your livewell quite quickly.

Here are the key benefits of drop shot fishing:

  • Weightless, lifelike presentation. A drop shot rig allows you to move the weight below the hook so that you can place a soft plastic lure in a weightless state. This provides a lifelike action and seems rather attractive for bass.
  • Suspended presentation. Since the drop shot technique requires vertical presentation, it is great for fishing suspended bass.
  • Drop shot rig stays motionless in the strike area. The drop shot rig allows you to fish a bait in place for as long as you want or can stand it. Since the drop shot stays motionless, you don’t need to move your bait to catch bass. It is the water that moves the bait and you just wait to seize the moment.
  • Can fish above the grass cover. Depending on the leader length, you can fish above the plants. Just make a leader a bit longer than the grass and let it dance above the tops. It is natural that the bass will look up to feed, so your drop shot will be handy.
  • Abrasion resistance. The area of the line where you place the bait doesn’t take any abuse of rocks and shells.

However, the drop shot has a disadvantage. It concerns the line twist. To prevent this, you can use a swivel above the hook. There are also hooks with built-in swivels. Another solution is a braid line and fluorocarbon leader.

Where and when can you use the drop shot rig?

Where and when to use drop shot

You can fish a drop shot on any type of structure and cover except the places with matted vegetation and tall weed beds. So use the drop shot when you find a point, a drop-off, rocks, stumps, weed clumps, and edges.

The benefit of the drop shot rig is that you can use it during each season. It is perfect for the pre-spawn and post-spawn period when the bass are hungry and stay at the bottom. During the spawning period, you can use a bubba drop shot to fish the river or lake beds. The drop shot with a shad that looks like a bait can be rather effective in the fall as well as in the winter.

Tackles for drop shot fishing

Drop shot fishing tackles

One of the most important issues for fishermen is a choice of tackles.

Rod, reel & line

The best rod for drop shot fishing is a Medium Light, Fast Action rod. The best options are 6’10” or 7’ rods that weigh about 4 ounces.  Light power rod is good to make hook sets without breaking the line.

As for the reel, you can choose either a spinning or baitcasting reel. Just keep in mind that its drag system must be excellent since it is essential for drop shot fishing.

Since line twists are common for drop shot fishing you should choose the line carefully. If line twists are not an issue for you, then you can take a monofilament or fluorocarbon line. But the best option is to use a light 10-20b braided line as the main line paired with 10-15 feet fluorocarbon leader (6-10lb will be enough for a basic drop shot, for a bubba shot, take a 12-14lb fluorocarbon).


When choosing the weights for the drop shot, pay attention to the following criteria:

  • Size. The most common size for a drop shot is ¼ ounce weight. However, if it is windy or you are fishing at the depth of 20 feet or more, then use 3/8 or 1-ounce weight.
  • Shape. There are 3 standard shapes – ball, tear drop, and cylindrical. The tear drop and cylindrical shapes are the best options since they are less apt to break and snag.
  • Line clips. In order not to tie a knot, the weights come with line clips that self-clinch. The weights with a cylindrical line cinch are the best options.


The choice of hooks is enormous. But there are only 3 types of hooks that will suit drop shot fishing.

  • Octopus style hooks. They have a short shank and a wide gap. The eyes are parallel with the point of the hook, so when the weight is on the bottom, the hook with the bait stands straight.
  • Straight Shank O’Shaughnessy. The Roboworm Rebarb hook is the most common type of this hook. It is really good since you can drag it with a worm through grass without getting stuck. The best size for drop shot is 3/0.
  • Spinshot/Swivel Shot. If you don’t want to struggle with line twist, then try the VMC Spinshot Drop-Shot hook and the Gamakatsu Swivel Shot hook that have a great swivel above an octopus hook. But keep in mind that you will have less sensitivity since there is no direct contact between the hook and line. If you fish a big bass, the swivel can bend because of its weight and pressure.

Drop shot baits

Choose the baits for your drop shot with medium buoyancy. In fact, you can drop shot any soft bait but there are some types of baits that work best.

  • Finesse Worm. It is classic drop shot bait. The most common types of this worm with a straight tail are the Roboworm and Zoom Finesse Worm.
  • Senko Worm. The Yamamoto Senko worms are extremely salty, so the bass hold on longer to the bait.
  • Crawfish style bait. This bait is great for drop shot fishing, especially if you want to catch a big bass. You can choose the Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver, Missile Baits Twin Turbo, Berkley Chigger Craw, Zoom Big Salty Chunk, Zoom Super Chunk, or Zoom Speed Craw. Of course, it is not the limit and can always try new colors, shapes, and sizes.
  • Shad style bait. The variety of these baits is also big. The Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm, Jackal Cross Tail, Zoom Swimming Super Fluke, and Strike King/Caffeine Shad work well for a drop shot rig.
  • Creature baits. These baits are usually thin and feature multiple appendages that give them action and they look natural to the bass. These creature baits are not the best lures for a drop shot but they can work if fish are not interested in other baits. You can get the Zoom Mini Lizard, Zoom Centipede, Zoom Z-Hog, Lake Fork Ring Fry, Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver, and Berkley Havoc Pit Boss.

Drop shot fishing tips

Drop shot fishing tips

Here are some tips that help you master drop shot fishing.

  • Choose a lead weight. Though tungsten is amazing for many techniques, a basic ¼ ounce lead weight is the most effective for the drop shot.
  • Use drop shot in bad weather. Cold or rainy days are good for drop shot fishing. On such days, you have more chances to hook a big bass.
  • Drop it through the grass. Fish like to hang out and feed in the grass, so take the opportunity but be careful and choose the right bait that will not get stuck. When you feel the weight is in the grass, try to pull slowly in order to free it. This will attract more bass.
  • Bubba shot. You can use a drop shot not only for light cover but also for some thicker vegetation. Just try heavier weight from ½ to ¾ ounce on 10-12lb line and fish a drop shot for bedding bass.
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