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Information for beginners to Angling - Drop Shotting


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A Guide to Drop Shot Fishing



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Drop Shotting for Beginners
Drop Shot the Basics
How to Drop Shot
How to Rig a Drop Shot
Drop Shot Rig Tips
How to Fish a Drop Shot Rig
Drop Shot Tips
Drop Shot Fishing in Summer
Drop Shot Fishing in Winter

Drop Shot Fishing for Perch and other Predators

What is Drop Shot Fishing
drop shot rigDrop shot fishing, drop shotting, down shot fishing, whatever you prefer to call it, is a technique known in America as finesse fishing. You might also hear it called drop shot, down shot or under shot. Basically it is a cross between jigging and spinning with a lure or baited hook using light tackle.


This method of angling is mainly used for perch fishing but is often used to catch other predator fish, pike, zander.

There has been a lot of write ups in the angling papers and magazines lately about Drop Shotting for Perch which seems to be a relatively new fishing method to the UK. In actual fact a very similar method has been widely used by sea anglers around the UK for many many years. Boat anglers regularly use this type of fishing, where a weight is tied to the end of the line and a baited hook tied further up the line.

In boat fishing the idea behind this method is for the weight to rest on the sea bed while the hook offers bait to the fish up in the water. The technique involves the angler lowering the rig to the sea bed. He then proceeds to lift and lower the rig, hopefully attracting fish and enticing them to take the bait.


In coarse fishing the drop shot rig technique often proves more productive in catching perch, pike, zander and other fish when other methods and baits fail. Read on to learn how to set up and fish the drop shot method.

Drop Shotting Tackle
In drop shotting for perch or other coarse fish the ideal set up is a small rod of around 6 and half feet with a short butt (handle) and fixed spool reel (spinning reel).
Some anglers use monofilament as their reel line and tie their rigs direct to this, some say the best line to use is braid while others say fluorocarbon. Then there are those that prefer braid with fluorocarbon for the rig. Fluorocarbon and braid are both good lines for drop shot fishing because they have less or no give and therefore indicate bites better than mono.
Strength of lines is another debate and will depend on the size of fish you will be targeting but as a starter I suggest 6lb.
For the purpose of showing the basics of drop shotting I will leave the choice of line to individual preferences and in the following article I will use the main reel line for the setting up.

The rig itself is very simple with only three components making up the rig. The weight, the hook and the lure or bait.

The Weight.
how to tie a palomar knotAny weight can be used for drop shotting but there is a special weight, which is usually long and cylindrical with a swivel and a line clip built in to the end. This makes altering the depth you are fishing a lot easier than tying the line direct to the weight.
The weight of the weight will depend on the depth of the water you are fishing, how far you will be casting and the breaking strain of the fishing line you are using.

The Hook
Ordinary hooks can be used effectively for drop shotting but there are special drop shot hooks for sale made specifically for fishing this method. Some of these have a swivel through the eye in the thinking that when the rig is cast and retrieved this will help to avoid line twist.
The size of hook to use will depend on the fish you are targeting and lure or bait you will be using.

Lures and Bait
Favoured lures for drop shotting for perch seems to be the floppy rubber imitation fish that average in size from 1 inch to 3 and a half inches. Lures are a personal choice - some anglers prefer dark or dull coloured lures while others prefer brightly coloured ones. It is best to carry a few of each and if one doesn't work you can try the other. To attach a lure, lightly hook it through the head end.
In theory lures are the popular choice for the hook but any bait can be used. One great bait, especially attractive to perch, is the humble worm. In my opinion the worm is not only attractive to perch by sight but also entices fish with its smell This can be the difference between catching and blanking especially in the winter.
The worm can be threaded onto the hook or hooked through the centre but a good tip, especially for winter fishing when bites are hard to come by is : try hooking the worm through the head and nipping off the tail. This gets the worm wriggling more and as well as a good visual attractor it adds more smell to the swim.


Drop Shot Rig Set Up
drop shot hookAfter you have set up the rod and reel, pull about 4 or 5 foot of main line through the rod for the rig. The hook now needs to be tied, preferably at a right angle to the line and pointing upwards. If you have a knot you prefer to use that's fine. A lot of anglers like to use the easy to tie Palomar knot as it helps ensure the hook will point upwards and at an angle.

Taking the main line double it over. Push the doubled over end through the eye of your chosen hook. Tie a loose overhand knot using this line and pass the end through the loop this makes and slide the loop up above the eye of the hook. Moisten the line to lessen the friction and pull on both lengths of the line to tighten the knot. When tightened, pass the tag end line back through the eye of the hook from the top to keep it all in line.

Next we attach the weight. As I have said, any fishing weight can be used but for drop shotting for perch and other fish the special drop shot weight with the built in swivel and line clip is the perfect choice and makes altering the depth you want to fish hassle free and a lot easier..

The actual weight of the weight will depend on the depth of the water you are fishing, how far you will be casting and the breaking strain of the fishing line you are using. The tackle used in drop shot fishing is light and therefore try to use the lightest weight you can get away with. Weights vary in size from mere grams to an ounce. A good starting point is a half ounce.
To attach the weight pass the tag line through the line clip at the end of the weight, Move the weight up the line to the depth you will be fishing. (2 or 3 feet below the hook is a good starting point), double the line back on itself and taking hold of both parts pull tightly into the end of the clip to trap it. see diagram below. No need to trim off the excess line as this may be needed to alter the depth at a later stage.


drop shot weight



Fishing The Drop Shot
Presuming you have been fishing before, you know how to cast. Everything is set up with a lure or bait on the hook so lets try and catch a fish.


Cast your rig to a likely fish holding spot - this could be under an overhanging tree, next to reeds, along the side of a boat or the walls near canal lock gates. Let the weight fall through the water so that it comes to rest on the bottom. Now slowly reel in while lifting or jiggling the tip of the rod up and down approximately 6 inches. Keep doing this, while trying to keep the weight on the lake or river bed.  When you have completely reeled in your rig, if you had no takes, try again, this time varying the speed of the rod jiggling and turning of the reel. Try reeling in your rig dragging the weight across the bottom without the jiggling. What you are trying to do is make the bait dance off the bottom enticingly while the weight stays on the bottom.

Keep casting to different areas and covering all the water while trying different lures or baits should hopefully result in catching fish.


Tight Lines


Video's of Drop Shot Fishing

Sometimes watching how something is done is easier than reading about it. Here you can watch a drop shotting video.


Korum drop shot fishing video


Drop Shot Fishing

Wayne Stocker drop shotting

Wayne's World

Drop Shot Rig

Julian Chidgey drop shotting

Julian Chidgey

Guide To Drop Shotting

video's open in new browser windows . ..


For purchasing drop shot fishing tackle and rigs find your  local fishing tackle shop

You might also checkout online fishing tackle shops


Article and images by Jim Boswell





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