The Dropshot rig is one of the most popular rigs for LRF and ultralight lure fishing. My preferred dropshot rig is as basic as it comes. I use the standard Palomar knot with either a drop-shot type hook or a long-shank, Aberdeen style, depending on what lure I’m intending to use. The length of the drop to the weight is dependant on what species I’m fishing for. It can be as short as a couple of inches if I’m targeting the bottom, or as much as a couple of feet if I want the lure to fall naturally through the bottom layers. For weight design I most often choose a column design with a round eye rather than the standard pinch attachment.
Today I’d like to focus on nose-hooking lures on the dropshot rig, as seen in the attached images. This is nearly always soft-plastic lures. Fake baits like Isome won’t last long mounted this way. That’s where a long-shank hook comes into play.
The advantage of nose-hooking is that the lure has maximum movement. If the lure is slim and flexible enough it can pivot 360-degrees around the bend of the hook. It gives a really natural presentation. The downside is that the hook is at one end of the bait. This is fine for predators with big mouths – fish like bass and perch that inhale their prey. It’s not so great for small mouthed fish like Corkwing.
When nose-hooking a soft-plastic lure, always hook the head end. Give the hook as much purchase as you can, but critically, without completely filling up the gape of the hook. The hook point must remain clear! The image shown here is a good example with a nice, clear hook-point. Well matched hook size to the thickness of the lure.
The technique is up to you. You can fish it vertically on a tight line, twitch it, slow drag it, or let the lure slowly sink to the bottom by allowing slack line, and then repeat. But I think with nose-hooking, a completely tight line is least effective as you need to allow the fish to engulf the lure to guarantee a hook-set.
Hope that helps. Let us know in the comments section below if you have any questions.