When Should You Throw A Drop Shot Rig? (3 Things You Should Know)

Throwing a drop shot rig is one of the best methods an angler can use to catch bass. In fact, many anglers give it the top spot. 

The beauty of fishing with a drop shot rig is that it can be used in waters that are shallow, deep, or anywhere in between. It is also a method of fishing that can be used all year round, with winter and the summer months being the best time to catch bass.

When Should You Throw A Drop Shot Rig (3 Things You Should Know)

While setting a drop shot rig up is relatively easy and a great choice for beginners, if you don’t understand what a drop shot rig is, when to use, and where to use it, you might not have the best success.

To improve your knowledge and understanding of the drop shot rig, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know. 

If you want to learn what a drop shot rig is, when to use it, and the things you need to know when using one, make sure you stick around!

What Is A Drop Shot Rig?

Before we dive into when and where to use a drop shot rig, it is important to understand exactly what one is. 

Drop shot rigs consist of a fishing line tied to a hook and a trailing leader that ends with a weight. This ensures the hook and bait sit above the weight which then sits at the bottom. 

Used in a style of fishing known as drop shotting, drop shot rigs are designed to mimic baits. Working well in both freshwater and saltwater scenarios, some of the baits a drop shot rig imitates well are worms and shrimp.

This is a hugely popular method amongst anglers, particularly those trying to catch bass, as it offers a highly effective way to lure the fish in. Unlike most traditional lures that feature plastic rubber baits on the end of a wire trace, this setup presents the lure in a completely different way. 

It is this difference that brings more success.

Setting Up Your Drop Shot Rig

Setting up a drop shot rig may seem quite complicated at first if you’ve never done it before, but when you know-how, setting up only takes a couple of minutes. 

To set up your drop shot rig, you’ll need a standard hook, a drop shot weight, and a soft plastic worm. Once you have those things, you can follow the steps below to set the rig up.

1. Pull the line through your hook, leaving approximately 3 feet of extra line at the end. Then, put the line back through the opposite side to create a loop on one side of your hook.

2. Take your loop and tie an overhand knot. Do this with the two other strands of fishing line. Don’t pull the knot tight.

3. Bring the loop over your hook and above the knot before then pulling the knot tight. 

4. Pull your tag end through the hook’s eye. Take the weight and attach it to the end of your line. 

5. Finally, attach the worm to your line by placing the hook through it. Your best bet is to push the hook into the bottom of the worm’s nose and out the top.

When Should You Throw A Drop Shot Rig?

One of the best things about the drop shot rig is that it can be used any time of year in varying depths of water. They can be thrown in water ranging from 2m in depth all the way to waters 100m deep. 

This method of fishing was primarily designed for vertical fishing in deeper waters, but it has since been developed for casting in shallower water too.

Drop shotting is such a versatile method when fishing for large fish like bass that it could quite easily be the method you use every time. Having said that, there are times when this method brings more success.

Here are some of the best times to throw a drop shot rig:

  • When the bass is sitting at the bottom.
  • In summer and winter when bass has retreated into deeper water.
  • When temperatures are too hot or cold and the bass is lethargic. 
  • When the bass isn’t feeding aggressively.
  • In water with little to no cover or open water.

Best Use Of A Drop Shot Rig

While the reasons above are the best times to use a drop shot rig, each scenario you find yourself in will differ. Therefore it is important to understand what technique you need to use in each situation you face. 

When Should You Throw A Drop Shot Rig (3 Things You Should Know)

To give you a good idea, we’ll show you three ways you’re most likely to use a drop shot rig.

1. From The Shore

Fishing from the shore is perfect when it comes to fishing with accuracy and finesse. 

When fishing from the shoreline, it is important to use a lightweight spinning rod and a reel that has a 10 to 12 lbs test line. Thanks to the line’s lightweight, you’ll be able to use a slow retrieve speed without disturbing the bass. This will help you lure them in and get a bite.

It is also a good idea to use a bigger lure when fishing from the shore. This will attract bigger bass and fewer smaller fish.

2. In Deep Water

Bass can be quite aggressive fish, happily taking a bite out of anything thrown in the water. This is great for us as it means we can catch one with virtually any rig or lure. However, when the bass moves into deeper water, things start to change.

In the summer, the bass moves to cooler water at the bottom of lakes, rivers, and the sea. It is during this time of year they typically become less aggressive too. As a result, you need to get your tactics to spot on. 

Using a drop shot rig is absolutely perfect. You can use your drop shot rig to bottom fish along the bottom of the water where the bass now resides. By adjusting the line length and hook to suit the conditions, you should be able to catch plenty of lethargic basses.

3. Time Of Year

As we mentioned earlier, you can use your drop shot rig with success all the way through the year. However, you need to make sure you’re using it correctly in order to catch fish during certain seasons. 

For example, in spring, you should think about using a shorter leader and brighter colors to lure the fish in. You might also want to use red worms that the bass will love. 

In the summer, which also happens to be the most popular time of year to use a drop shot, you should aim to use a larger bait before casting into darker waters with a larger depth. Otherwise, you might struggle to lure the bass hiding in cooler water.

When Shouldn’t You Use A Drop Shot?

The only time using a drop shot rig isn’t suitable is when the water you’re fishing in is thick with vegetation and seaweed. While drop-shotting is still possible, getting tangled up is quite easy and can quickly become frustrating.

If you decide to drop shot in areas with high levels of vegetation, you should at least use a spinnerbait. This is the only option you currently have for avoiding a negative experience. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it, everything you need to know about when, why, and how to use a drop shot rig. 

Throwing a drop shot rig gives anglers a quick and relatively easy way to catch larger fish that like to sit in deep waters. While drop-shotting is a method primarily designed for deep water fishing, adjustments have made it possible to also use the rig in shallower waters too.

Used successfully all year round, drop-shotting is also a fantastic option for beginners who want to try and catch bass for the first time. 

If you’d never thrown a drop shot rig before reading this post, we hope we’ve now given you all you need to get out there and give it a try. 

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Tommy Bull
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