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  • Writer's pictureDonavan Clary

Drop shotting for largemouth and smallmouth bass

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Mastering Drop Shotting: A Winning Technique for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass


Drop shotting is a finesse fishing technique that has proven incredibly effective for targeting both largemouth and smallmouth bass. This method offers anglers the ability to present their baits in a natural and enticing manner, often resulting in more bites and increased success on the water. In this blog post, we'll delve into the art of drop shotting, discussing its setup, gear, techniques, and tips to help you become a more proficient angler.

1. Understanding Drop Shotting:

Drop shotting involves presenting a soft plastic bait above a weight, allowing it to dangle freely while maintaining contact with the bottom. This technique mimics a vulnerable baitfish or prey, making it irresistible to bass.

2. Gear Selection:

- Rod: Opt for a medium-light to medium spinning rod, around 6'6" to 7' in length, for improved sensitivity and control.

- Reel: A high-quality spinning reel with a smooth drag system is essential.

- Line: Use a low-stretch braided mainline for sensitivity, coupled with a fluorocarbon leader of 6 to 8 pounds test for stealthy presentation.

- Hooks: Choose a drop shot hook, often in sizes 1 to 2/0, which allows the bait to stand perpendicular to the line.

3. Rigging the Drop Shot:

- Tie a Palomar knot to attach the hook to the fluorocarbon leader.

- Leave a tag end of about 12 to 18 inches below the hook to attach the weight.

- Attach a cylindrical weight (drop shot weight) to the tag end using a simple overhand knot or a specialized clip-on weight.

4. Selecting Soft Plastic Baits:

- Opt for finesse-style baits such as worms, minnows, leeches, or creature baits.

- Experiment with different colors based on water clarity and conditions.

5. Drop Shot Techniques:

- Cast your rig to the desired spot and let it sink to the bottom.

- Use subtle lifts and drops of the rod tip to impart lifelike movements to the bait.

- Maintain slight tension on the line to feel any subtle bites or changes in weight.

6. Location and Presentation:

- Target areas with structure, such as rocks, points, drop-offs, and vegetation.

- Adjust the length between the hook and weight to match the bass's position in the water column.

7. Reading Conditions:

- In clear water, use natural and subtle colors.

- In murky water, opt for brighter or contrasting colors to enhance visibility.

8. Fine-Tuning Your Technique:

- Pay attention to feedback from the fish. If you're getting bites but not hooking up, adjust your hookset timing.

- Adapt your technique to changes in weather, water temperature, and time of day.


Drop shotting is a versatile and effective technique for targeting both largemouth and smallmouth bass. By mastering the setup, gear, techniques, and strategies outlined in this blog post, you'll be well on your way to becoming a more successful angler. Remember, practice and experimentation will help you refine your skills and adapt to the unique conditions of each fishing trip. Happy drop shotting!

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