Drop shot is a long known fishing technique but is gaining in popularity thanks to a bass tournaments and PRO’s that are using this technique with great results. Even major tackle companies are now producing specialized drop shot rods, rigs, hooks and weights. The technique itself was originally used for deepwater fishing, targeting lethargic fish by casting it or fishing directly under the boat and working it with the small, subtle rod tip movements.
The sweet thing about the drop shot setup is its simplicity. It’s basically a hook with the soft plastic lure tied to a main line or rig with the weight on the bottom of the rig. The only trick is to use Palomar knot to tie a hook to a line so it stays in 90 degree angle to a line with the hook pointing upwards. Distance between the weight and the hook depends how close to the bottom you want to fish.
Drop shot is a slow bait presentation and the setup enables the lure to stay in the strike zone while we bring it to life with our rod tip movement. When you set up a drop shot rig, test it in a shallow water and you will see that even the slightest movement will make that lure to become „alive“.
Originally as I said technique was used to fish vertically in deep waters, but you can use drop shot in shallow, deep, work it at various speeds, casting it and reeling it in with pauses through the zone where the fish is expected while playing with the rod tip on your way to the boat or shore. Just any type of presentation will work once you get a feeling of it and learn how to use it.
Except keeping the lure in the strike zone drop shot works like a charm on a heavy terrains, with a lot of obstacles, rocks or covers where you would be easily snagged or damage you line if using other techniques.
For fishing this technique I usually use a light to medium spinning rod with fast action, Strength of the rod depends where I fish and what my main target is, so I can use from light fishing rods when aiming smaller fish or fishing on trout dugouts to medium or heavy when targeting large predatory fish or fishing deeper or saltwater where heavier weights have to be used. Fast action of the rod is important for good contact with the lure and hookup and soft tip is recommended especially if you are using thin wire drop shoot hooks. Except better bite detection it’s easy to rip a mouth of the fish if the rod tip is not sensitive and soft if using thin wire hooks.
There are specially made weights for drop shot fishing, they come with a swivel with the groove where you can pull the line through without tying it and this way depth of the lure presentation can be easily set without cutting or retying the weight, although when fishing in the rocks I tie a simple overhand knot because I don’t want to lose my weight easy.
As I already said there any may different brands of hooks made especially for drop shot, but to start with this technique you don’t have to go fancy and use any hook with the eyelet. Before getting to technical I must admit that I don’t use special drop shot hooks most of the time and it works fine for me even without really soft tip rod. When using really light line and setup thin wire hook helps a lot. With light line and setup you have to be careful when setting a hook on a bite. If it’s too hard line could easily snap, and if it’s too weak hook won’t penetrate the fish mouth if hook gauge is too thick. Because of that using a lighter gauge hook is strongly recommended in this case.
Almost any soft plastic bait will do, I have great results with Berkley scented worms and shads, no matter Trout fishing, Perch, Pike or saltwater for Sea Bass, Scorpions fish, Piper Gurnard, Bream or almost any other fish that will take the bait. Berkley minnows and sandworm being among my favorites. I always prefer scented ones because it seems it attracts fish better with the scent trail and more important fish is tricked more easily, grabs the bait more readily and doesn’t let go lure that fast as the ones without scent which equals better hook ratio.
I use braid main line with fluorocarbon leader. Hook is tied using Palomar knot and has to stay 90 degrees on the leader with hook tip pointing up towards main line. Palomar knot is usually used for tying a hook.
The beauty of this technique is it’s so versatile and so easy to use from the kayak in any situation and any water. With just a small modification of weight and the technique it can be used directly under the boat, from the shore, or drifting from the kayak which I personally like a lot because is most dynamic and fun way of drop shooting. I saw people put a jig on the bottom instead of regular weight when fishing offshore saltwater, which might be a good idea if you are sure you are fishing on the clear bottom where you won’t get snagged. Otherwise doesn’t make much sense. To get introduced to this simple yet effective technique start with using gear you already have and from there as you get more experienced you can get specialized gear according to your needs or water you fish at.