REVEALED: Drop Shot Fishing Secrets
Here's Your Comprehensive Strategy Guide To Make You More Effective On The Water.
Are you tired of fishing the same techniques over and over and getting skunked on the lake? Well you’re in luck, this is a FREE tutorial for you! In these lessons, we’re going to break down drop shot fishing from the most basic to the advanced. Tight Lines!
My Drop Shot Story...
When I first started out bass fishing I used to think that all I needed to catch fish were crankbaits. So I would go out and buy a ton of crankbaits and fish the heck out of them. But guess how many fish I caught from those crankbaits? ZERO.
I was a total noob to bass fishing and I thought crankbaits was everything, that’s all I focused on…
Man, I would throw out those baits a million times, but they never would bite…so I came to the conclusion it’s a useless $15 peice of plastic.
I’ve made this mistake over and over and that’s why I never caught any fish my first few years of bass fishing. It was horrible!
Until finally, I’ve started to pay attention to some of the successful anglers. I noticed that were catching fish by drop shot fishing…
Tired of not catching any fish I slowly began to learn and take notes on what the fish really want. I became a student of Drop Shot Fishing…
To help myself, I created an list of tips and reminders. And only after I really applied those tips did I really start to catch ALOT of bass and in bigger sizes!
But luckily I don’t want people making the same mistakes, and I’ve learned from it and I want to teach you guys the lessons I’ve learned over the last 10 years…
And if I can just save some people from making the same mistakes as me I’ll be happy.
So I hope you enjoy this walkthrough.
Pieces To A Puzzle
Most tournaments we got spanked, while others were not so bad.
At the time, it was not about if you won or not. It was all a matter of learning as much as you can.
I began to really listen and analyze what some of the pros or better anglers would talk about.
After each pre-fishing outing, each club meeting, each tournament , I would keep a log of what made everyone else successful.
One technique that kept coming up was drop shot fishing.
I had never heard of drop shot fishing.
So I made it my mission to learn this technique that everyone was using. Becoming a student of the drop shot strategy allowed me to dive deep into all the precise nuances of this fishing niche.
What Is Drop Shot Fishing?
Drop Shot Fishing is a finesse technique when using light diameter fishing line, and where the hook is actually above the weight.
Some special gear is needed, but it’s not hard to find. (More on that later)
Typically a shallow water technique drop shot fishing can be used in 8 inches to 80 feet of water.
A Brief History Of Drop Shot Fishing
Drop shot fishing started in Japan as a deep water fishing technique. Originally the technique was like a 3-way rig, using a 3-way swivel. But as the technique evolved the swivel was removed and the weight (that had a swivel at the end was pinched off) which later became known as a self clinching “bakudan” weight.
Removing the 3-way swivel made it much easier to detect bites and catch rates soared.
Once word spread in Japan about the drop shot rig it was an overnight success.
Once drop shot fishing came to the United States a Japanese angler named, Seiji Kato, of Jackall fame, demolished the rest of the tournament anglers.
He called his drop shot rig, “every time luck rig”.
Soon after the technique started to get extremely popular in the western United States where the waters were very clear and they needed a finesse presentation.
Then in 1998, featured on the Bassmasster TV show it really highlighted the potential of the drop shot technique.
Your Drop Shot Fishing Gear... The Stuff You Need
Here is a list of what you need. We’ll get into more detail of each item in just a bit.
- Spinning rod – 7-8 foot (longer rod), medium, fast tip.
- Spinning reel – 2000 – 2500 series (these series are build to be used with lighter line.
- 7 pound fluorocarbon fishing line.
- Finesse hooks
- Drop shot weights
- Assorted baits
Drop Shot 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. However, you do not need the most expensive gear just getting started. Alot of what is available for beginners works just fine.
Longer rods will give you a better hook set ratio and will allow you to control the fish better as well. Using a longer rod will also allow you to have an increased casting distance. This is especially useful when the fish are shallow and it is in the middle of spawning, and can be spooked easily.
The rule of thumb is you’ll be getting more bites the farther away you have your bait away from the boat.
St. Croix’s Triumph Spinning Rod gives outstanding sensitivity, plenty of hooksetting power and durability. Made In the USA.
The length of the 7’6″ is the reason this rod made our top recommendation for beginners. This rod can easily be used to flip and pitch lures in narrow areas.
Each rod is made with premium SCII graphite the rod is finished with two coats of slow-cured crystal clear topcoat that delivers its high-performance action and tapering.
The rod also includes an ergonomic premium cork handle so it feels great and well balanced in your hands.
Drop Shot Reel
Having the right reel is important. A dependable reel needs to have a butter-smooth drag after you hook up a fish. You don’t want to have the fish break itself off when you have a junky reel.
Main Line - Braided Line
For all my finesse fishing needs whether it’s drop shot, shaky head, wacky worm fishing, I always have a braid to fluorocarbon line combo! It’s the preferred approach that will catch you more fish and avoid unnecessary headaches on the water.
Using braided main line has many benefits.
First, it’s best benefit is that it has no stretch in it, and is super sensitive. This is perfect for this type of situation when you want to feel the slightest of bites.
Braided line also offers an incredibly small line diameter so it’s very hard for the fish to see.
I’d recommend using 30 pound test line in a bright Hi-Vis Yellow color.
Equipping your gear with this size line on your spinning reels tends to lay nice and flat on the spool and does not cut into itself.
Using the Hi-Vis Yellow is also really easy to see if you have a subtle bite and you can really watch the line move! Again…don’t worry…you’re not going to be tying directly to the braid, you’re going to use a fluorocarbon leader line! So the fish won’t see this bright line at all! I’ve used this type of line for years and it’s never failed me.
Another thing, when using braided line, you need to make sure that your rod (like we discussed in the previous segment) needs to have an extra fast (extra flexible) rod tip. This acts as a shock absorber so you won’t pull out the hook when setting your hook!
Lastly, using a braided main line it severely reduces line twist! You DON’T WANT LINE TWIST!
Leader Line - Fluorocarbon Line
Fluorocarbon is a fantastic leader line, especially Sunline FC Sniper . Definately not the cheapest line, but easily worth the money.
It has some of the best abrasion resistance on the market and one of the most defining qualities is that it is nearly invisible underwater!
It also has very little stretch, meaning it increases the bite sensitivity factor when coupled with your braided main line.
Start Sunline FC Sniper with a 7-pound test line unless you find yourself fishing in an area that can easily snag or cut the line, then increase to 10-pound test.
The best hooks to start would be finesse hooks in size #2, #1 or 1/0. Since the finesse hooks are sooo small, they 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.
Size 2 hooks are good for when you are using smaller soft plastic shad baits or smaller live bait like small minnows, shad or crayfish. Keep the bait selection to less than 4 inches.
Size 1 hooks are preferred to when you are using medium sized worms or medium-sized live bait.
TIP: Size 1/0 hooks will also make your bait sink quickly and give it more action when using the smaller 6 inch finesse worms. This may trigger more reaction strikes from aggressive bass.
Drop Shot Weights
The best drop shot weights to start with would be lead skinny drop shot weight.
Nothing’s more frustrating than having your fishing weight get snagged on the bottom! So make it easier on yourself by using these Mythik Lures Skinny Lead Finesse Drop Shot weights when you are fishing from shore and/or fishing around rocks and cracks.
These resist snagging since the skinny shape tend 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.
If you know you are fishing in an area without a lot of rocks, then chose a ball or teardrop shaped weight.
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.
Using a lighter weight will also give your bait a slower fall. If you are fishing in clear water or fish suspended fish this can be invaluable because it gives the fish ample time to see and react to your bait as you cast it out and let it pendulum through the school.
What Is the Best Leader Length?
The shallower you fish, the shorter the leader length should be, versus the deeper you fish the longer-length it typically will be. However, if you notice the fish are suspended off the bottom this will help you determine what that leader length is going to be.
Another tip for leader length is at if you are pitching into vegetation such as Cypress bushes or Salt Cedars you’ll need to use a shorter length so you will have increased accuracy on your pitching. The majority of the time when pitching into vegetation the fish will be hugging the bottom and the large pieces of structure closely so you do not need a long leader.
Leader Length By The Season
Winter – The bass are typically hugging the bottom. Keep your leader length short… 4-6 inches.
Spring – If you’re bed fishing, then keep your leader 2-4 inches. You want it really short! Make it look like your bait is trying to seal the bass’ eggs!
If you’re fishing prespawn staging areas, then give yourself a 6-8 inch leader.
Summer – The bass are active, their metabolism is high and there’re also grass patches. Keep your leader length 6-8 inches above the grass. Otherwise, I recommend giving your leader length 12-18 inches.
Fall – The bass are aggressively feeding in preparation for the winter months. A leader length of 10-18 inches works well. Shorten your leader as the water cools.
Best Drop Shot Baits
Because this technique is so versatile you need a variety of baits.
Yes, you can use almost 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.
Fat stick baits/wacky worm baits work well when rigged wacky style. (We’ll get into that technique later). The larger size increases weight which in turn effects fall rate.
When choosing the right bait make sure you just keep it simple a green pumpkin pepper, watermelon with red flake, a transparent pink colored worm ( such as a morning dawn color) or even an all black typically work the best.
In low light conditions black worms and pink worms work phenomenally. They give the bass a great silhouette of the bait. If there are smallmouth in the area small black worms work very well because they typically will resemble leeches on the bottom of the lake floor.
Fluke style baits resemble the shape of a small baitfish.
These also come in many different colors, by far the most effective colors are those 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.
Above is a great video on how to tie the drop shot rig. It’s a slightly modified Palomar knot and it’s incredibly easy to learn and master quickly!
How To Rig Up Drop Shot Baits
“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.
BASS Elite Pro 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.
The benefit of choosing to fish this Texas rig is when you are fishing in snaggy areas, such as trees, submerged brush piles, flooded timber.
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 when you lift it up and allow it to fall, giving the bait a quivering action.
5 Best Locations To Start Drop Shotting
These Locations Are Primed and Ready To Be Fished!
1) Points & Sandbars
The most important thing to remember is that points and sandbars offer ambush points. And a greater number of these locations offer irregularities on the aforementioned structures.
For the majority of time those irregularities can be any type of things. Below is a list of such changes to look out for:
- Finding a large solitary large rock (often a boulder).
- Observing a consistent change in the size of rock in that area. Example; the point has pea-gravel and changes to chunk rock.
- Noticing drop-offs, dips, ledges depth changes.
- Detection of a high-spot on the submerged point.
These structure irregularities will congregate bass and bait.
Fortunately, with the help of advancing sonar, it’s becoming easier and easier to look for these changes in point composition.
Once you find the ambush points it’s incredibly important to note whether or not that specific area has any current running over it.
If it does, you have a recipe for success. Drop shotting points can help you determine the bottom composition and allow you get a better feel for whats down there.
2) Banks & Rockpiles
Just like the points and sandbar section, you need to have the areas that have ambush points.
Below is a list of locations to find and fish when drop shot fishing a bank or rockpiles. Look for these:
- Pay attention to large tree lay-downs into the water
- Submerged brush or timber
- Discover pockets or channels in the submerged brush lines or grass lines.
- Finding a large solitary large rock or boulder.
- Observing a consistent change in the size of rock in that area. Example; the bank has pee-gravel and changes to chunk rock.
- Noticing drop-offs, dips, ledges depth changes to the bank.
- Detection of a high-spot on the submerged point.
These structure irregularities will congregate bait and the bass will follow the bait. These areas are particulary useful with fishing in the morning and evening.
Like points make sure you find these locations that also have current running through it.
The current can be flowing water caused (running river or flowing reservior) or current that is created by blowing wind or breeze.
Fishing docks give the upper hand to the angler because many times it will converge the bass and give them shade and cover.
Docks are great to fish if the lake you’re fishing does not have a large amount of structures near the bank.
Beginners should start by throwing a drop shot rig to the outer corners first and then slowly work their way in.
You will have the best chance for success if you have the sun in front of you. That way the bass will not get spooked by your shadow.
4) Bridge Pilings
Bridge pilings should always be on your list to drop shot fish.
You can drop shot a bridge piling multiple ways.
First, cast the drop shot rig as close to the base (I often will intentionally hit it) and allow it to free spool straight down.
The time of year and water temperature will dictate what size weight to use.
In the hottest months, use the heaviest weight possible initially. The fast decent will cause any ultra aggressive fish give you a reaction strike.
If the water is cool to cold, use a lighter weight 1/16th to 1/8th to slow the decent.
The second way to fish bridge pilings is to thread on a small swimbait and cast past the piling 5-10 feet.
Once the bait hits the water immediately engage the bail and allow the bait to pendulum/swing past the bridge piling. Keep your rod tip up to approximately the 1 o’clock position to detect bites.
Always first cast into the current and slowly work the bait back.
If the water temperature is warm target the shadowed side of the piling. Whereas, if the water temperature is cold then cast to the sunny side of the piling.
5) Bluff Walls
It’s simple a bluff wall will hold fish 365 days a year. And you cannot say that about many locations that bass will localize around.
The main two main variables to consider is the water temperature and the time of year. This will tell you if the bass are still in the creeks or out on the main lake.
You would be smart to fish the main lake if the water is less than 46 degrees. Look for channel swings and irregularities on the bluff wall itself or on your sonar.
Bass will primarily feed vertically during this time of year.
Start out in the front and slowly fish to approximately back half of the way close to the creek.
If the water is greater than 47 degrees start drop shot fishing in the primary creek channels associated with bluff walls.
As the water temperature is rising during the spring, you must find south facing bluff walls that are close to spawning flats.
Bass use bluff walls as a type of “highway” going to and from the regional spawning grounds.
As summer approaches, realize that bass need shade and cover to help keep cool and to ambush prey, so find a bluff wall that are north facing or that offers shade during the hot mid-day sun.
One last thing to consider. Look for places where fallen rock or chunk rock nearby the bluff wall. Crayfish will be attracted to this chunk rock and in the warm temperatures bass will feed there.
If you haven’t read our first lesson in drop shot fishing click here.
Best Drop Shot Fishing Accessories
Sunglasses/ Eye Protection
Not protecting your eyes on the water can have devistating damage to your eyes. You need high quality eye protection to protect you from the suns UV A & B rays. The same rays that cause cancer.
That is why we recommend Costa Blackfin Sunglasses because they are rectangular glasses with a nylon sport wrap with polarized glass lenses.
If you plan on drop shot fishing during the spring you need good sunglasses to block the glare and to see the bedding bass from a long distance away you need these glasses.
The Blackfin is designed with corrosion-resistant stainless steel hinges, adjustable wire core temples, and special materials on the saddle nose bridge and temples to ensure comfort and minimize slippage.
These sunglasses have lightweight polarized glass lenses that provide amazing clarity and 100% UV protection. Check the reviews on Amazon.
Protecting your head and neck from the suns damaging rays is also very important. That is why we recommend you get a good fishing hat that can protect not only your head, but also you neck and face.
WARNING: Here’s What Every Serious Bass Angler Needs To Know About Advanced Drop Shot Fishing
Many Pros Want These Techniques To Stay Quiet!
Today our experts are going to reveal 5 Insider Techniques that work!
- Me Time With Your Electronics – Best Drop Shot Settings On Your Sonar
- Power Shotting
- Double Rig = Triple Trouble
- Precise Pitching
- BONUS LESSON: Buoys Aren’t Just For Boats
How ya doin’? You should be pretty comfortable with the basics of drop shot fishing…now for the good stuff.
Here we are getting into some hush-hush techniques that the pros don’t like to talk about. So if you think you’re ready to dive into the advanced drop shot fishing techniques portion simply download the FREE guide now…
See you there…