September 17, 2018

Drop Shot For Speckled Trout: Parts You Need & How To Tie It

A drop shot for speckled trout is an excellent choice when fishing deep water. Here's the tried and true method to tying it right the first time.

Fishing a Drop Shot for Speckled Trout

Catching speckled trout here in Louisiana has less to do with lure color as it has to do with presentation, or getting your bait in front of the fish.

And achieving a good presentation becomes more difficult the deeper water gets.

That is why throwing a drop shot for speckled trout is such a great rig for us inshore anglers, especially in deeper, faster moving water.

In fact, this rig has been one of my best producers as of late.

 What is a Drop Shot?

A drop shot is a simple rig requiring only your favorite soft plastic, a hook, and weight.

drop shot setup

Click to Enlarge

Why a Drop Shot for Speckled Trout?

A drop shot is great because it's easy to tie and even easier to fish.

It only requires spinning tackle and braided line (though specific types help) and doesn't need a trained hand to be effective.

Why A Drop Shot Is So Easy To Fish

A lot goes into achieving a good presentation, and the trickiest part has to be selecting the proper weight, especially with a jig or Carolina rig.

Go too light, and your bait will never reach speckled trout in strong current.

Too heavy, and the bait won't look natural, sticking in the mud instead of drifting along.

weight selection swift current

This graphic does a good job depicting why we use different weights.

But, on a drop shot, the bait is separated from the weight, two to three feet above it, in fact.

So, it matters less how heavy the weight is, because the bait will remain out of the mud and present where fish are feeding.

All that really matters is that the drop shot reaches the bottom.

Which Tackle To Use

This is the tackle I use for throwing a drop shot for speckled trout:

  • Gamakatsu Size 1 Drop Shot Hook
  • 15lb Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon (leader line)
  • 3/8oz and 1/2oz drop shot weights
  • Daiwa Tatula TTU731MXS
  • Daiwa BG 2000
  • 10lb Daiwa J-Braid x8 in Chartreuse

Tying It All Together

Cut off three feet of leader line, tying your drop shot hook to it with a Palomar knot, leaving about a foot above and two feet below.

Then, join your main line to the leader line with a uni-to-uni knot.

As for the weight, you can use pretty much anything, whether it's a bank sinker, swivel sinker or whatever.

I recommend a drop shot weight because it's easier to attach because the eye pinches the line, not requiring a knot.

drop shot weight

Fishing a Drop Shot

Fishing a drop shot for speckled trout is pretty easy!

I prefer to hook the bait through the nose, like what you see here.

drop shot bait

Then, simply cast it out, and keep your line tight.

  • Knowledge Bomb

The extra fast tip of the Daiwa Tatula, combined with the light J-Braid, will help you feel the tiniest bite, making it easier to catch finicky fish.

Lift on it from time to time, raising the weight off the bottom and letting the bait flow with the current a little.

Just be sure to reel up slack so you can feel that bite.

How well does it work?

Incredibly well!

In fact, on my last fishing trip I caught 52 speckled trout (all keepers) by myself, mostly on a drop shot (but also on my favorite jigging combo)

So yes, it's super effective. I find it to work especially well when trout are being finicky or there are throwbacks to sift through.

But there is a problem with the drop shot...

It's simply too weak to stand up to larger, tougher fish like black drum and redfish.

The drop shot is kind of dainty, so a solution I came up with is to make it tougher, and the resulting rig is called the Heavy Drop Shot.

Visit the link above to see how to tie it and what tackle it's best fished with!

Tight lines, and thanks for visiting my website!

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

  • Yes, and you’ll have to get that line twist out. I know that swivels, according to the book, keep line twist out but not so much in this case.

    A good way to get twist out is to grab the line a few feet above the hook and pull down and let the rig spin the twist out.

  • I don’t think that, for inshore fishing, you’d have such a substantial advantage with the more expensive rod, and I really can’t give you any feedback on the Elite because I haven’t fished with it.

    I think the Tatula is a great option.

  • Just curious as to the advantage of a longer drop shot rod vs the TTU6101MXS, TTU701MFS, or TAEL701MLFS?

    I was looking at the TTU731MXS you recommended above and also saw the TAEL731MXS for the same price. If given the option, would you recommend sticking with the regular Tatula vs going with the Elite?

    I know the Elite is normally more expensive. I have heard it has a little more sensitive rod blank and the reel seat is slightly lower than than regular Tatula. Otherwise it is very similar.

    Planning to match it up with the recommended 10 lb J-Braid & a Lew’s CI200.

  • Thanks for the quick reply! Makes sense.

    One more question… Do you ever have trouble with line twist when fishing this drop shot setup since it doesn’t use a swivel?

  • What I used in Inshore Fishing 101 is radically different from this, and the rig I used to use. It’s really setup more for live bait, whereas now I pretty much only fish “artificial” lures (aren’t all lures artificial?)

    For the diehard angler wanting perfect presentation, what you see here is the best way.

    For someone wanting to use live shrimp (like what’s recommended in IF101), then that rig is better.

    It depends on you and your needs.

    A rod that’s used for jigging or suspending baits would be a casting rod, and not a spinning rod.

    So yes, those are two different rod/reel combos.

    Hope that answers your question.

    Tight lines (and thanks for commenting). :)

  • During inshore fishing 101, you recommended using a 3 way swivel with a monofilament leader. Have you found the flourocarbon leader without the swivel to be better?

    Also wondering if you strongly prefer a dedicated drop shot rod setup with super light braid vs using a rod with 10 -12 lb flourocarbon that could also be used for fishing a suspending bait or jigging.

  • Hey Dale, there’s no large loop in any of the pictures. If you can be more specific as to which picture there appears to be a loop, I can better explain what you’re seeing.

    Thank you!

  • I noticed in one picture your drop shot seemed to have a large loop. If I’m correct I wondered why.

  • Thanks man, great idea – that’s what I was looking for :) I always get the weight tangled up – rubber band makes a lot of sense.

  • I didn’t see this addressed – how do you secure the drop shot rig to your rod while in transit? You had a great idea for double rigs, sure you have one from drop shots too :)

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