Tip # 23 – Using the Drop Shot Method of Fishing

The drop shot rig is an easy rig to put together, and it can mean the difference between going fishless and catching fish on any given day.  Simply put, this rig attaches a hook a foot to several feet up the line while attaching a heavy lead sinker below it.  The method is typically used in bass fishing, but I’ve had success with nearly every species I’ve targeted when using it.

How to set up a drop shot rig

Setting up the rig is simple.  Pull a few feet of line through the eyes on your rod.  Grab the line and feed it through the hook eye, and pull the hook up a couple of feet.  Using an improved clinch knot, attach the hook to the line and leave the two foot tag end attached. (the tag end may be longer or shorter depending on the situation you are in.)  Now, select a large sinker, I prefer to use bell sinkers.  Attach the bell sinker to the end of the line and trim off the tag end.  Thats it!  The drop shot rig is now ready for you to bait the hook and drop it into the water.  Optionally, you can attach a snap swivel instead of attaching the bell sinker directly to the line.  This way you can change up the amount of weight you are using by attaching more or less weight to the snap swivel.

Fishing the Drop Shot Rig

A few pointers in using this rig.  With the weight sitting on the bottom of the lake or stream, your bait will remain suspended a couple of feet or more off the bottom.  Usually, with the exception of a few fish species, the fish will be suspended a couple of feet off bottom.  This rig keeps the bait in the strike zone where the fish are sitting, waiting to ambush prey.  You can also gently twitch your rod to give the bait a little more motion.

Another method I like to use when still fishing isn’t working is to cast out the bait and slowly drag it back to the boat.  Again, because the weight is dragging across the bottom, the bait is suspended a couple of feet up.  Reel in very slowly, keeping your line taught between you and the rig.  Twitch gently every now and the and HANG ON TIGHT!

Tight Lines

Pickeral/Walleye caught on drop shot

Pickeral/Walleye caught on drop shot


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