Choosing Drop Shot Hooks

Brandon Palaniuk | BMP Fishing • September 14, 2023

I am going to give you an explanation of how I select my drop shot hooks for certain situations. And most of the time it's determined by two factors. One, the type of cover that I'm fishing around, and two, the type of bait or the style of bait that I am fishing. Depending on the type of cover and bait, my drop shot hook size tends to vary from a 1/0 down to a #2. 

Starting with a Texas rig drop shot, it has the drop shot with the weight underneath, but I have Texas rigged a little Deception worm on there. That is going to allow it to do two things. First, it's going to be weedless, so I can fish it in and around cover. I've gone in about a quarter inch, slid it past the little fluorocarbon keepers, and inserted that hook point just a little bit into the worm so there's enough plastic over it that it's weedless, but it isn't yet poking out the other side of the bait. That's the biggest key with this rigging: allowing it to be able to slide in and out of the cover, giving those fish a different look. I'll throw this around brush piles, timber, and it works really well around grass lines or dragging it through grass.

Secondly, the other thing it does is that it pushes that hook point back a little further down the length of the bait. When I'm throwing a longer worm such as a six-inch Deception worm, I'll use a number one VMC Finesse Neko Hook, and it pushes that hook point back so when those fish bite it, you've got a little bit more meat and you've also got more slack in the worm so the hook point can more easily pierce up through the other side of the worm and into the fish's mouth.

Say I'm fishing smallmouth in open water, around rocks, in places where my hook is not likely going to get stuck as much, then I am typically going to nose hook. Especially when I get into smaller baits like a Hot Shot Minnow, I'll use a number one, a one aught, or even sometimes down to a number two Gamakatsu Split Shot Drop Shot hook. When you nose rig it, what happens is you get a lot more action out of that bait. Generally, I won't nose hook longer baits, but in the smaller two and a half, three, even a four-inch baits, you can nose hook them and get all of the action out of the bait. If you were to jam a big hook in there, you're going to take a lot of the action away from that bait. But a number one or two will help keep that bait nice and straight, while giving it all of the action that it needs. I'll still have a big enough hook and enough worm slack here that I'm going to get good hook penetration and land the fish. Super simple.

Those are really the only two different types of hooks that I typically throw on a drop shot. Keep it simple. Drop shot is a deadly technique. Those are really the only two hooks that you need for any situation that you might see. Hopefully that'll help you put a few more fish in the boat!

Sometimes it's much easier to see what I'm talking about than to imagine it, so be sure to check out the video above for a visual!

--Pro Angler Brandon Palaniuk