7 Best Drop Shot Fishing Tips For Beginners
From choosing the right gear, hooks and weights…we’re going to break the basics of down drop shot fishing, which will make any beginner immediately be effective on the water.
A Quick Overview...
Bass Pro Aaron Martens and many other bass fishing professionals have talked extensively about the drop shot finesse technique and how it won many anglers millions of dollars in winnings.
In this blog post we will cover the 7 best drop shot fishing tips for beginners. It will walk you through step-by-step what the drop shot technique is and how to master it quickly
Tip 1 - Gear For Drop Shot Fishing.
“You do not need the most expensive gear to get started.”
Rod – Spinning rod 7′ – 7’8″ – Light/Medium action with fast action tip. You don’t need to buy the most expensive rod to start with. It’s important to note, as you advance your skills and confidence in this style of fishing, buying a more expensive rod is going to be made with more expensive material and will offer you greater sensitivity in detecting a soft biting fish. With that being said, you do not need the most expensive gear to started.
Reel – Spinning reel – 2500 series. Typically most reels this size are a perfect size to compliment the long spinning rod. Like the rod, you don’t need to start with the most expensive reel. As you gain experience, consequently you need to invest in getting a more expensive spinning reel because the drag will be much smoother and will have a less of a chance to breaking off a fish in case it runs after being hooked up.
Line – To start spool the reel with 5-8 pound fluorocarbon line. Fluorocarbon line is preferred because the line is nearly invisible underwater. Monofilament line is cheaper but it will be visible to the fish and may spook them away. Fluorocarbon line also sinks and will give the bait more action. Finally, fluorocarbon line has very little stretch. This will provide you with a great change to detect those soft bites. When combined with a rod that has a soft tip will be nearly unstoppable.
Tip 2 - Hooks For Drop Shot Fishing.
“If you’re unfamiliar with the area that you will be fishing it is vital to pick up all styles to be ready for what ever you encounter.”
The best hooks to start would be to either circle or octopus hooks in size #2, #1 or 1/0. Circle and octopus hooks will essentially set themselves. Which means you do not have to have a violent up-swing hookset! Just reel in the slack, tug up and start reeling in.
Since you’re just starting out buy the Mythik Lures – Finesse Hook pack. You will receive 150 hooks and a storage box to help you keep everything organized. Click here to buy from Amazon.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area that you will be fishing it is vital to pick up a 3-5 packs of all styles to be ready for what ever you encounter.
Tip 3 - Best Knot For Drop Shot Fishing.
Tip 4 - Weights For Drop Shot Fishing.
“Choose the lightest weight possible to get the bait to the bottom and keep it on the bottom, all while not getting hung up.”
The best drop shot weight to start with would be our lead skinny drop shot weight. Nothing’s more frustrating than having your fishing weight get snagged on the bottom. Use these when you are fishing from shore and/or fishing around rocks and cracks. These resist snagging since the skinny shape tends to slip through better and can really make a difference between having a fun day or a frustrating day! Start with the lightest weight available until you feel the bottom but without getting snagged.
Chose a ball or teardrop shaped weight when fishing in an area without rocks.
When choosing a weight make sure you choose the lightest weight possible to get the bait to the bottom and keep it on the bottom, all while not getting hung up. If fishing from shore, choose a 1/8 – 1/4 ounce weight. Fish will also have a harder time “feeling” that there is a weight attached to the bait the lighter it is.
MOST OF ALL….
If you’re fishing 4 feet or less go with the 1/8 – 1/4 ounce weights. These are perfect for spawn bed fishing!
If you’re fishing in 5-10 feet, use our 1/4 ounce weights.
Fishing in 11-15 feet, use our 3/8 ounce weights.
Tip 5 - Baits For Drop Shot Fishing.
“When it comes to bait choice, it all you need to do is Match The Hatch.”
Because this technique is so versatile you need a variety of baits. Yes, you can use almose anything as a drop shot bait, some work better than others. of those better choices include very soft straight tail worms, fat stick baits/wacky worms and flukes.
Soft plastic straight tail worms are typically very soft flexible worms and are perfect for drop shot fishing. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. Most straight tail drop shot worms are 6-8 inches in length and rarely have a diameter over 1/4 inch. The Zoom Trick Worm and the Roboworm Straight Tail Worm are just a couple of many options.
Fluke style baits resemble the shape of a small baitfish. These also come in many different colors, by far the most effective colors that mimic a shad or sometimes a bluegill or a small juvenile bass. The Zoom Super Fluke is loaded with salt and will trigger bass to bite and hold on. The Berkley GULP! Jerk Shad has it’s world-renowned bait scent that will attract fish and has been scientifically proven to work.
Tip 6 - How to Rig Baits For Drop Shot Fishing.
“How ever you choose to rig the bait, make sure its not restricted in movement.”
Overall there are 3 basic ways to rig a drop shot fishing bait. Nose hooked, Texas rigged, Wacky rigged.
First, is nose hooking the bait. There are two ways to nose hook the worm. First is to hook it through the head front quarter inch. Insert from the bottom and exit straight out top the head. This allows the worm to swivel on the hook freely. The second way to nose hook the worm is to insert the hook through the front quarter inch to where the straight point starts its downward bend, keeping the point of the hook inside the soft plastic bait. These options of nose rigging the bait give the worm very natural action. Whenever the line is moved the worm will respond.
Aaron Martens has the belief that this gives the worm a more natural appearance and he prefers it over the traditional approach. He believes that if the worm is rigged hooked from the bottom out the top of the head the worm may just swivel and not have as good of action. However, countless others prefer the traditional nose hooking method and have won many big money tournaments using this approach.
Be careful not to hook too much of the front part of the worm. This will give the worm reduced movement and will likely cause line twist.
The second way is to Texas rig the bait on an EWG hook. Tie the hook onto the line using the same Palomar knot. Then thread the bait onto the hook just like if you were fishing it Texas rigged style. When fishing in snaggy areas, such as trees, submerged brush piles, or flooded timber you need to go with the Texas rigged worm.
The fat stick baits/wacky worm baits work will when rigged wacky style. (We’ll get into that technique later). The larger size increases weight which in turn effects fall rate. The Yamamoto Senko, the Yum Dinger and the Strike King Ocho are phenomenal choices.
The third method is to wacky rig the bait. Using a soft straight tail worm or a stick style senko worm, thread the hook through the middle of the bait. This gives the fish a completely different appearance of the bait.
Tip 7 - Fishing The Drop Shot Technique.
“Pitch the drop shot lure into shadow areas when the fish seek shelter from the sweltering sun.”
The drop shot can be utilized at nearly any time throughout the year. The most productive times are during the spring, summer and winter. Spring is great for drop shot fishing especially if the bass are on beds. Shorten the leader length down to 2-4 inches. Start by choosing a bright colored worm such as white or chartreuse. Slowly drag the worm into the bed and the bass will instinctively pick it up and move it off the bed. If white or chartreuse does not work, go with a natural colored bait such as a pumpkin or watermelon colored. Finally, if that does not work throw in a bright red worm.
Summer is great for drop shot fishing because of the many different ways it can be fished. You can thread on a large worm, swimbait and fish it over a ledge or through a school of suspended fish. You can pitch the drop shot lure into shadow areas when the fish seek shelter from the sweltering sun. You can fish the drop shot in deep water as well by using a heavier weight. A typical leader length from 6-24 inches is recommended.
When fishing in the fall, use a small swimbait instead and swim it through the shad boils and the schools of shad that the bass are chasing.
In the winter downsize the bait to a small soft plastic chunk craw and shorten the leader to 3-6 inches. Slowly work the bait over areas that the bass are holding. The less movement the better. You must be patient and the bites will feel very mushy.
When setting the hook, reel down until you have no more slack in the line, then raise the rod up quickly (but not violently) to about 2 o’clock position and start reeling. Often the hook will set itself and there is no need for a violent hook set because you’ll often break the line.
So there you have it – 7 drop shot fishing tips for beginners. If you want to learn more advanced drop skills and other fishing techniques then check out our VIP community here:
Good luck with this new technique!