What Makes a Drop Shot Rig Effective

Using a drop shot rig to reel in bottom feeders is as effective as it is for one simple reason: it very nicely mimics the natural movement of their prey!

Of course, this only works if you’re using your drop shot setup properly. If you’re unsure of the basics but would love to get started with this unique rig combo, we’re here to offer you a short and to-the-point primer on what to keep an eye out for.

What is this Rig, anyway?

The drop shot is a unique finesse fishing rig that combines a regular hook and a trailing leader with a weight attached to the end. In essence, it allows for easier depth fishing, making it a perfect match for bass, catfish, and the like.

What’s so Unique about a Drop Shot Setup?

In practical terms, it’s the weight. By adding a light, uniquely shaped weight to the end of your lure, you’ll ensure that it reaches greater depths faster than it otherwise would.

The drop shot targets specifically bottom-feeding predators, meaning that you’ll be able to dangle your hook right in front of them. More often than not, simply knowing where your target is roughly located will result in you catching it with one of these bad boys.

Where should I be using it?

There are three major locations where you’ll want to be using your drop shot to get the most out of it. Word of warning, though: this kind of rig gets caught up in aquatic cover easily. You’re going to want to avoid stuff like tall weed entirely. 

Otherwise, there are three main locations where a drop shot will prove most effective.

  • Still waters: ideally, you should look for a spot with overhanging trees and surface plants like lily pads to cover your approach. The drop-shot bait will be perfectly camouflaged that way.
  • Rivers: slow-moving ones, to be exact. Equip your rig with a heavier bait to compensate for flow and you’ll make your bait as enticing for the fish as it could be.
  • Canals: since the majority of bottom-feeding predators enjoy skirting the bank, dropping your shot should be easy around canals. Look around marinas, too, as they’ve proven to be phenomenal hot-spots for this kind of fishing.

When should I be using it?

A drop shot setup will get you great results no matter the season: both pre and post-spawn periods are viable, so feel free to use it all year long.

What do I need for Drop Shot Fishing?

The list of requirements is delightfully short, if you’re trying to set up a drop shot bait:

  • A hook
  • A line
  • A weight

Neat, right? It’s the technique that matters the most, though. Unlike most other rigs, the hook itself doesn’t attach to the end of the line here. Instead, you’re going to want to tie it at about 14 to 18 inches from the end, which is where you’ll be attaching your weight, instead.

Another thing worth keeping in mind: while a regular fluorocarbon or a mono line will work, it’s also going to get twisted. Instead, we’d recommend going with a light braided line instead. Should prove more reliable, if nothing else.

Can I use any Bait with this Rig?

While any kind of bait can be used with a drop shot setup, there is one specific kind that will get you the best results. Tube baits!

A tube bait has the silhouette of a small baitfish. This, combined with the propensity for natural-looking movement afforded by the drop shot, basically ensures a catch. Don’t miss out on it!

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