Although drop-shotting was invented by saltwater anglers, it has become a very popular technique for bass fishing thanks to its efficiency. The main idea of a drop shot is to suspend bait or lure off the bottom and at a perfect level that it appears as a natural fish prey. Using weight that is dropped vertically at the bottom, the bait must appear in front of the fish. The bait should be shaken lightly to mimic the movement of fish’s natural prey and to attract the attention of your target fish.
Given the importance of drop shotting, this article takes a closer look at exactly what it is. At the end of this post, you should be able to unravel this mysterious but highly effective technique. You’ll, at least, have an idea how to rig a drop shot and all the things that you need to do it perfectly.
What is a Drop Shot Rig?
A drop shot rig is principally a very popular fishing technique that involves using a weighted leader to cause your bait to sink. The main idea behind this technique is to ensure that the bait mimics the natural movement of your game fish’s prey. This technique is particularly effective for catching bottom feeders such as catfish or bass. If you know how to rig a drop shot correctly, you’ll increase your chances of catching more fish.
As a finesse technique, drop shot involves the use of a small thin-wire hook that has a weight attached to the end of the line. This is to keep the bait off the bottom of the water in a weightless action. Typically, the weight should hit the bottom and allow the bait to emulate the movement of the natural prey by a simple twitch, drag or jig on the fishing rod.
In essence, drop shot rigging is a very simple but highly versatile fishing technique that gives you a plethora of options. You can use different hooks, lures, weights, and combinations. And while this technique is appropriate for bass fishing, you can also use it to catch a wide range of other fish species.
How to Rig a Drop Shot
Here’s is a step-by-step guide on how to rig a drop shot.
1. Choose a Lightweight Rod
One of the most important parts of rigging a drop shot is choosing the most appropriate fishing rod. Generally, it’s advisable to choose a lightweight or medium rod. The main reason why you should use a lightweight rod is that you’ll easily detect bites on your line. A lightweight rod will also bend quite easily, which is important in ensuring that the bait moves more practically and realistically.
While you can purchase a lightweight rod at a game fishing store or online, you should consider choosing rods that are specifically made for drop shot rigging.
2. Use a Braided Line Weighing 10-20lb
The best line to use to rig a drop shot is a braided line. You should remember not to attach your lure directly to the braided line. This is because it’s thick and can be easily noticed by most fish and this might prevent them from biting. Using a braided line weighing between 10 lbs and 20lbs, thread the line through the eyelets of your pole. Make sure that you slither the braided line directly onto the spool of the pole.
You should then turn the fishing reel in an anticlockwise direction so that some part of the line is unwound. Take the free end of the line and thread it through the pole. Pull it out in the other direction so that you can have about 12 inches of free line.
3. Connect 18 inches of Fluorocarbon Leader to the Braided Line
Using a fluorocarbon leader line weighing about 8lbs, attach it to the already-in-place braided line. You can use various forms of knots such as swivel knot, uni knot, Palomar knot (we’ll discuss types of knots in our next article) to firmly connect the braided line and fluorocarbon leader line.
The main reason for using a leader line is to shock-absorb any tension brought about by your weight, hook, and bait. Again, a fluorocarbon leader line is less visible to most fish species, which makes it quite effective.
4. Connect the Leader to the Hook
It is important to tie your leader line to the hook when setting up your drop shot rig. You can do this by threading the end of your leader line through the eye on the top of the hook. Make sure that the leader line is securely tied to the hook. When tying the leader to the hook, make sure that you have about 8 inches of excess line to work with.
Once you’ve tied the leader line to the hook, you should thread the remaining end of the leader line through the other side of the hook. This is of great importance in ensuring that the hook is perfectly adjusted in place.
5. Attach the Weight to the Leader Line
Take the tag end of the line and thread it through the eye of the weight. Make sure that you secure the weight in place. The weight plays a central role in drop shot rigging and must be of perfect weight. Make sure that it’s not very heavy or too light as this can affect your actions.
6. Attach the Lure on the Hook
Whether you’re using artificial or live bait, make sure that it’s perfectly attached to the hook. Generally, it’s advisable to use worm-like lures that are a bit longer as they tend to rise and fall in the water. The best way of attaching the lure on the hook is by piercing the lure on the hook by its nose. This is essential in giving the lure a more natural look of the actual prey of the game fish you’re targeting.
How to Catch Fish Using the Drop Shot Technique
Now that you’ve perfectly rigged the drop shot and everything is in place, it’s time to get on the water and catch some fish.
1. Cast the Line
Like all fishing techniques, you should cast the line in the water. Wait for the weight to hit the bottom. You can then rotate the fishing reel by flicking your wrist in the direction that you’re planning to cast. You have to be patient so that the weight hits the bottom of the water. You’ll know that the weight has hit the bottom if you feel a slight thump on your line (this is why you should use a lightweight fishing rod).
2. Reel in the Line
Rotate the reel line to ensure that you don’t have slack on your fishing line. This is important since you have to ensure that your lure doesn’t sink or hit the bottom floor of the water.
3. Lift the Rod and Attract Bites
Slowly and steadily raise your fishing rod to feel if there’s any bite on the lure. You’ll, however, have to be patient until you feel resistance on the line. Differently, having a thump on your line would mean that there’s a bite.
4. Pull Up the Rod
If you feel a bite on your line, you should use enough force to pull the rod upwards. This is of great importance as it will sink the fish deep into the hook to give it the least chance of escaping. If the fish is fighting, be patient and let it play with the line until it gets tired. This will make it much easier to reel in the fish and land your catch.
Adding the drop shot fishing technique to your repertoire as an angler is of great importance. It is a finesse technique that will come in handy when all other techniques yield nothing. Whether you’re fishing in clear waters or stained waters, drop shot fishing will always work perfectly. Again, you can use this technique to fish in various depths from shallow to deep water or anywhere in between. As an angler, this is a very popular technique that you need to have up your sleeves if you want to increase your catches. Better still, it’s a technique that’s very easy to set up and shouldn’t be a problem if you follow the above-described steps.