Best Drop Shot Hooks: A Complete Guide

A drop shot is one of my favorite finesse fishing techniques and is one that I think every angler should be using. You can throw it all year round and it’s an excellent way to catch fish even on those tough days.

One thing that I’ve learned over the years fishing a drop shot is how important selecting the right hook can be. Choosing the right drop shot hook and size can make a big difference and will help you catch and land more fish. 

If you are new to fishing a drop shot or are having trouble loosing fish, you might be wondering what is the best drop shot hook?  What size of drop hook is best and which one should you be using in different situations?

In short the best drop shot hook to use is either a mosquito light hook when nose hooking or wacky rigging your drop shot baits or the owner cover shot when Texas rigging your baits for when you are fishing around cover and structure. These two hooks will give you the best hook to land ratio and best action for almost any drop shot setup.

In this complete drop shot hook guide I’ll share with you what are the best drop shot hooks to use, what is the best size of drop shot hook and other tips and tricks that will help you catch and land more fish on a drop shot.

Let’s get started.

Best Drop Shot Hooks

When you walk down the aisle at your local tackle shop you’ll notice that there are what seems like an endless amount of different hook options. With so many choices it can be hard to know exactly which ones you should use and when to use them.

There are two main drop shot hook categories each having a time and place when they are the most effective. Drop shot hooks that are used for nose hooking baits and ones that are designed to be Texas rigged for weedless applications.

Here are hands down the best drop shot hooks to use in each hook category:

Best Nose Hooking Drop Shot Hook

When fishing a drop shot in open water and around rock the best type of drop shot hook to use is commonly referred to as a nose hook. These hooks are typically used with soft plastic worms and rigged at the front of the bait where the hook is typically exposed.

Using an exposed nose hook on your drop shot fishing setup increases your chances at hooking and landing a biting fish and gives your bait some great action. When fishing in open water and sparse cover this type of hook is the only way to go.

Here are the open water drop shot hooks that I use and have the most confidence in:

Best Weedless Drop Shot Hook

When I’m fishing a drop shot rig around grass, brush piles, wood, or any other type of structure that an exposed hook would easily get hung with in I turn to what I call a weedless drop shot hook.

The two best weedless drop shot hooks are the Owner Cover Shot and the Robo Worm Gamakatsu. Both of these hooks are straight shank hooks which will increase your hook to land ratio and allow your baits to look more natural resulting in more bites.

I have used and seen some anglers also use an EWG style hook when using bigger baits and creature baits, but I’ve found the straight shank hooks to be much more effective. However, I will turn to an EWG style hook when using certain soft plastic creature baits.

Here are the best weedless drop shot hooks that I use and have the most confidence in:

Best Straight Shank Hooks

Best EWG Dropt Shot Hooks

Choosing a Drop Shot Hook Size

If you are looking at purchasing a hook to use on your drop shot rig you might be wondering what size of hook you should be using. Most hook manufactures make a drop shot style hook from a size #8 all the way to a 2/0.

The best drop shot hook size to use is a #1 or 1/0. In my experience these two sizes are the most versatile and are ones that I find myself using the majority of the time while fishing a drop shot.

With that being said most anglers targeting bass prefer a drop shot hook size that ranges from a size #2 to a 2/0. The size of the bait, caliber of fish, and style of drop shot hook being used are all factors that should be consider when selecting a hook size.

In general, it’s best to use the smallest hook that you can get away with. This will make your bait look more natural, give it more action while also increasing your catch rate.

Here is a look at some of the most popular drop shot hook sizes and some recommendations on when to use each size.

Drop Shot Hook Size Chart

SpeciesHook Size
Pan Fish#8 to #4
Smallmouth & Spotted Bass#1 or 1/0
Big Smallmouth1/0
Largemouth Bass1/0 or 2/0
Walleye1/0 or 2/0

Best Drop Shot Baits

Nowadays there are plenty of drop shot baits us as anglers get to choose from. Everyone seems to have their own favorites. After throwing a drop shot for years is a list of what I consider to be the best and most effective drop shot baits on the market.

5 Must Have Drop Shot Baits

  1. Roboworm Straight Tail Worm
  2. Strike King Dream Shot
  3. Jackal Cross Tail Shad
  4. Zoom Finesse Worm
  5. Berkley Twitch Tail minnow

These are the baits that I have the most confidence in and are ones that you can catch fish on regardless of where you are located. They flat out get the job done.

For more detailed information about the best drop shot baits check out this article: Best Drop Shot baits

Drop Shot Hook FAQ

Can you use offset hooks for drop shot?

Yes, an offset hook can be used and is effective on a drop shot rig. Many anglers will use an offset hook on a drop shot when using creature baits and other larger profile baits.

The advantage of this style of hook is that it allows you to rig your bait weedless, resulting in less snags. However, in most cases I recommend using a straight shank hook for bigger baits and a nose style hook when fishing with soft plastic worms. Not only will this give you a better hook up ratio but the baits tend to stay on better and you’ll get more action.

Can you use octopus hooks for drop shot? Yes, an octopus style of hook can be used on a drop shot rig. There are different opinions regarding its effectiveness. I have used them and they can work just fine. However, I prefer the hooks mention in this article. I have a lot more success using them.

Final Thoughts

A drop shot is a finesse bass fishing technique that is extremely effective all year round and is one that every angler should utilize. An often key but overlook aspect of the drop shot rig is the hook. Selecting the right drop shot hook to match the baits, cover, conditions and fish you are targeting is crucial.

I hope this drop shot hook guide has provided you with some value and you use the information in this article to improve your overall drop shot fishing setup and land more fish using this technique.

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Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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