No matter what part of the country you’re in or what species you’re targeting, there are ways to think outside of the box when it comes to drop shot fishing. My tackle setup will vary somewhat when it comes to line size, hook style and even the bait I choose to use, but here are a few general rules I go by when rigging up .
I use a Palomar knot every time. Leaving a long tag end, looped back through the hook eye from the top-down. Then I’ll trim it to the appropriate length for the weight below the bait. Generally around 12 inches is a good all around length which leaves you a little extra in case you need shorten up. On the opposite end of things, I’ve caught fish many times with up to a 4-foot gap between my hook and weight in deep-water situations for spots and smallmouth. Just mix it up until you find the right length.
I’m always fishing this on fluorocarbon and will adjust the line size from 6- and 8-pound for clear water up to 15- and 20-pound leaders for heavy cover.
Lastly, the weight size is critical for presenting your plastic as natural as possible. Contrary to what many may believe, heavy isn’t always best. My favorite weight for all scenarios from shallow to deep is a 1/4-ounce cylinder-style weight for versatility and a quick descent to the bottom. I will bump up to a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce in strong current and waves while fishing deep water or in thicker cover when needed.
Bottom line… think outside of the box when it comes to the drop shot rig. Put in a little time with it and you’ll find that it can be a player in almost every bass-fishing scenario.
Rob Jordan is a professional bass guide and tournament angler specializing in angler development and electronics instruction. Find out more and get in touch with him at RobJordanFishing.com.