Largemouth bass being held by an angler by the mouth.

How To Tie Drop Shot Rigs For Huge Bass

The drop shot is an incredibly effective cold water technique for hammering some of the biggest fish. Once you learn how to tie drop shot rigs, you have a great tool at your disposal that will help you land that largemouth or smallmouth bass of a lifetime. It is terrific for clear water. It is also an optimal technique for bed fishing the spawn when you need to stay in the strike zone.

With this awesome technique, you are able to catch some of the biggest fish that swim. Who knows what else you may reel in on the other end. This awesome approach can target pretty much every species that exist. It is effective and targeting largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and even striped bass. The approach itself is very versatile and can be adapted to most situations.

It is a finesse tactic that is slow and very effective in cold water scenarios. In lakes that receive a ton of fishing pressure, being subtle like this can make all of the difference. It is usually fished on spinning tackle although exceptions exist. Before one can use it, they need to tie it first. This process is simple to learn and you should quickly add it to your fish catching arsenal.

What Are Drop Shot Rigs And What Fish Do They Catch?

A drop shot rig is a bass fishing rig that is extremely effective for targeting suspended bass as well as other species of predatory fish. The rig keeps the soft plastic fishing lures off of the bottom. The rig consists of a drop shot hook, a soft plastic lure body, and a sinker. It was originally created for saltwater species although it quickly caught the attention of bass fishermen. Finding fish is meaningless unless you can get them to bite.

As they caught fish in pressured lakes, it really stirred the pot. It is one of many finesse techniques in bass fishing and our analysis, one of the best bass fishing  rigs. Normally, you can use an approach like a  drop shot to catch some of the most  hesitant fish in the lake. It even works extremely well in colder water or during winter months when fish are less likely to bite.

It is for this reason that elite anglers such as Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli, and Todd Faircloth have all seen a share of success on the rig. The rig is not just for bass fishing either. You can use it for any species of  fish and you can even replace the plastic with live bait to entice most predators. The sinker is on the bottom and the hooked lure is in the middle, above the weight.

Drop shot rig with a plastic worm, drop shot hook, and drop shot weight.

Where Can You Use This Rig And Still Be Effective?

This rig is mainly useful everywhere. It does especially well when there are a lot of cover and submerged items to get snagged on. Keeping the fishing lure above the bottom is the key to catching fish when they are located in a place that snags easily. You should  definitely try this around weed lines because fish come out of the weeds to hunt. Weed lines are incredible.

You can use the rig in pretty much every lake, pond, river, or reservoir. Make sure to drop it near points and submerged structure when the contour of the bottom changes. Also make sure to target places like grass mats, lily pads, and sunken trees. You can get the lure down very deep so its imperative to try when the fish are closer to the bottom of the water body.

What Hooks Should Be Used On Basic Drop Shot Rigs?

Generally speaking, you can use any hook you find effective as long as you tie it right. I normally suggest using a hook that is specifically designed for this purpose. Other ones will work too but you cannot beat a specialty hook made for the technique. Make sure your hook is a little bit thinner too. When the hook wire is thinner, it tends to penetrate a little bit better on the set.

It is very common to nose hook baits although you can also Texas rig them. Largely, it depends on what bait you are deciding to use at the time as well as if you will be fishing in the weeds. Drop shots hooks are usually recommended but I have seen many others used as well. It is always important to make sure you never make your hook to big. Smaller is usually better as this will help the action of the plastic in in the water. The hook brand is your preference.

Is There Recommended Types Of Weights Or Sinkers?

You can actually use any type of lead sinker or tungsten weight on this rig. They all work but the ones that work best are the custom drop shot weights. There are a few different types too. The first one is a cylindrical weight. These are best for when you were fishing in cover such as grass, weeds, and vegetation. Next is the teardrop shape. This one travels much better through rocks.

You should always try to use the lightest when you can get away with. Regarding tungsten or lead, tungsten versions are more expensive and cost more to lose but are much heavier. This is important for when you are fishing really deep. Lastly, is any old weight you want to put on. Sometimes you just don’t want to buy specialty equipment and around half of the time, you don’t need to. You just need to tie on what you already have on hand.

You can use almost any fishing weight in your box. You can use a pyramid sinker, a jighead, an egg weight, or even a few split shots. Ultimately, you need to find how efficiently something produces for you and stick with it regardless if it is traditional or nontraditional. The weight acts more like an anchor to pin the rig to the bottom and could be less important.

What Soft Plastic Lures Should I Use On A Drop Shot?

To be pretty direct and to the point, choosing a lure to stick on is about as complicated as your imagination allows. They do make special soft plastic fishing lures that are designed for this technique. They generally work pretty much everywhere as long as the color is modified for the situation. Other popular lure bodies include soft plastic jerkbaits, stick baits, tubes, and crayfish.

Almost anything can be used. Your ability to read the water and select fishing lures is vital to your success. Many anglers today like to use specifically designed bait bodies. I like to use the ones that were created for this type of fishing. They all work and there’s nothing wrong with them but they are not the only things you can use. You can even remove the plastic offerings.

You can replace it with live, kicking, forage. This will help you catch fish that will bite live bait but won’t bite lures. Yes, I can be done with bass too but don’t ever try it in a tournament or competition. If anything, it is a great way to get you used to how everything works together to produce fish. You should use what feels comfortable and what you have confidence in.

What Tackle Should You Use To Be The Most Effective?

I always suggest using a spinning rod instead of a casting version. The rig is considered a finesse technique and you will be fishing lighter. I always suggest using medium-light spinning rod with a fast action tip. Lighter is always better when your fishing this way. I like to have that paired up with a good quality extra fast spinning reel. This will provide you with the ability to take line in faster. You can go faster and slower if needed. It is a versatile way to fish.

I like to spool the spinning rod up with a very low visibility fluorocarbon line. It is usually around six to eight pound test fluorocarbon fishing line or lighter. You can also choose to go for a lighter braid and then try using a fluorocarbon leader. This setup is light and it is harder to land big fish on. Even so, it can be done with practice. Make sure to really learn how to use the light tackle correctly. You will catch more fish more often and you will have much more fun doing it.

Invisibility is key and you want to go as light as possible when you are fishing in lakes that receive a lot of fishing pressure. The line will allow you all of the stealth an angler could need. The fast action rod will allow you to feel bites much better and is more responsive. The fast reel will allow you to bring in the fish faster than a slower reel would and you can always reel slower.

How Do I Fish The Rig Properly In The Water For Bites?

As it relates to how to fish a drop shot rig, there are a few things you can try. The most important thing to remember is that it is impossible to fish it wrong. It is much the same way you can fish any bottom bait. There are a few different ways in which you can impart action into your worm or minnow. Make sure to try and experiment to find exactly what the fish want.

  • Vertical – The first and most basic way to fish one is vertically. To fish vertically, you need a boat. Drive the bait over the fish after locating it on thermal imaging sonar. Look at the depth and drop the bait below that fish by letting it fall freely. Once it hits the bottom, give it a shake, and let it fall again. Most fish will hit it as it falls. Make sure to observe line movements carefully and always be ready to reel in quickly to hook and fight the fish.
  • Dragging –  A very great way to make sure bank anglers can catch fish is to just drag the weight along the bottom. The vibrations from the weight impart their own action to your soft plastic. This technique will allow you to cover more water if you are on a search for actively hunting or feeding fish. The main thing to remember is that the weight will be touching the bottom almost constantly so make sure it is the proper shape to be using.
  • Shaking – Shaking the rig is usually all it takes to get some erratic action and some huge strikes. Shaking the rig causes some vibration which results in a very nice action. It allows you too get good strikes in cold water. All you have to do is give the rod a cast, reel in a little, and then start to work it like a jig. They will usually hook themselves with this method. Its great for current and wave fishing when everything is harder to see.

How Are You Supposed To Set The Hook Correctly?

Because of hook placement, setting the hook may be a bit more difficult. Nose hooked baits are harder to set because of how the hook is placed. How you set the hook largely depends on if it is traditional or if it’s a circle hook. When a fish is nose hooked, it has to attack the head of the lure to get the hook in its mouth. If it does not attack the head first, you need to wait.

A few seconds before you start to reel. This is where fish attractant works it’s fish usually spit the bait out before you can react. When a bait is nose hooked, it has to attack the head of the lure to get the hook in its mouth. If it does not attack the head first, you need to wait a few seconds before you drive that hook home. This is where fish attractant works well enough to use.

Fish usually spit the bait out before you can react. You don’t really set the hook on a drop shot rig. You just sort of reel into the fish and do not pull the rod at all. Just start reeling and that rod will load up. Not only that, the way you hook the fish is absolutely amazing. It always gets them in the roof of the mouth. You can fight the same fish for hours and not worry about it.

How To Tie Drop Shot Rigs For Big Bass

A few different steps go into making the right drop shot setup. The method is not very difficult to remember but it does take some practice first. It is very simple once you learn to do it.

  1. The very first thing you need to do is to tie a basic Palomar knot. The Palomar knot needs to have a very long tag end so you can attach the weight to it later. Make sure you are also using a technique specific hook too. Specialty ones will work better.
  2. To tie a basic Palomar knot, you have two options. You need to pass a doubled line through the hook eye. You can pinch the end together or run it through and reverse it. Now, you should have a doubled fishing line going through the hook eye one way.
  3. Now, you need to tie a very loose single overhand knot with the doubled line. If you did it right, there will be a loop on one end exiting the knot. This loop is important for completing and dressing the knot. Pull the hook through this loop and pull tight.
  4. Next, feed the line back through the eye so that the hook sits horizontally and perpendicular to the line. Alternatively, you can buy special hooks that have metal inserts that allow you to tie one directly on one end and the other. These work well too.
  5. Next, you need to tie a sinker on. Tie it on with a weak knot so it can break if it needs to without you losing fish. Choose a special drop shot weight for best results. They vibrate and really do cause fish to notice it. Alternatively, you can use any other weight you want.
  6. All that is left to do is to add your soft plastic. Select a special drop shot lure body or opt for something else. You want to nose hook the bait and not forget how durable the plastic will be. Texas rigging plastic baits also works around cover and places with snags.

Can Drop Shot Rigs Produce Some Nice Fish For Me?

The answer to the question of whether this incredible rig will work for you, is surely a resounding “probably”. If I could say to anyone that this will certainly work without a chance of failure, I would be telling them incorrect information. This rig is so incredibly effective that even the best known names in the entire sport of bass fishing like to use it. I don’t really know where you live.

I also do not know how the locals like to catch the fish in your area. One thing I do know though, is that if you can select the proper soft plastic bait and fish it correctly in front of a huge bass, you will likely catch that fish. I do not guarantee success by recommending the rig but I do guarantee that it has a great track record for getting fish to bite in most places largemouth and smallmouth swim. If anything, we suggest giving it a try to see how it works for you.

The Drop Shot Is A Very Hot Shot Bass Rig

When it comes to catching enormous black bass such as smallmouth and largemouth, the drop shot is one of the best. How to tie a drop shot rig for bass and other fish is not an essential skill to learn but it is another tool to add to your arsenal. We highly suggest giving it a try the next time you are out fishing. It allows you to present your bait in a way that is natural, enticing, and truly effective. See why so many people are in love with it already. It might just make you a believer and put your personal best bass in the boat for you. It is just awesome for fishing.

What is your favorite way of using this rig? Tell us below to be a part of our active community!

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