The Drop Shot Perch Fishing Guide

12 Dec 18


Drop shot fishing for perch is a type of lure fishing that is a must-try for any angler wanting to catch predatory fish and especially perch.

Perch are thriving in UK waters right now and offer the perfect opportunity to try drop shotting

Drop shot fishing for perch has increased massively in popularity in recent years and is especially effective during the cold winter months where time on the bank is limited.

Perch are predators and are naturally attracted to moving baits and lures. Big perch are often found in shoals and locating the fish is one of the main reasons why anglers do not catch. It is important to stay mobile in order to locate the perch and drop-shotting allows this with ease. With lightweight minimal tackle, an angler can easily move swims until they locate the perch.

Drop shot fishing for perch has a number of benefits including

  1. Easy to pick up for any beginner perch angler
  2. A fun and engaging approach due to the nature of the fishing style 
  3. Drop shotting requires minimal equipment with only the need for a rod, reel and basic terminal tackle enough to catch perch

Drop shot fishing for perch is a great tactic that can be used in lakes, rivers or canals with the latter being a perfect candidate for this style of fishing.

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drop shot fishing for perch

What is Drop Shot Fishing?

Unlike the traditional approach of lure fishing where the bait is attached to the end of the mainline, in drop shotting the hook and lure are attached around 12-18 inches up the leader with a weight attached to the end of the mainline to assist with casting and anchoring.

The lure itself can be anything from 0.75 to 2 inches in length depending on the size of fish you are targeting. If you are targeting big perch I would suggest you increase the lures to 2.5 - 4 inches in length. 

Drop shot fishing is an approach that can be used to target perch, zander or even pike. It is worth being in mind that if you were to be fishing for zander or pike a wire trace would be highly recommended due to the fishes sharp teeth that can cut through a standard fluorocarbon leader.

Tackle For Drop Shot Fishing For Perch

As we mentioned earlier, drop shot fishing requires minimal equipment. The following tackle is required for drop shot fishing for perch


Drop shot fishing for perch requires a small and lightweight rod. I would recommend a rod that has a very soft tip as the perch like to shake their heads under the net. This type of rod will ease the chances of losing any fish.


Again much like the rod, your reel should be lightweight as you will be holding the rod and reel for long periods of time. A reel spool size of 2000 is more than sufficient for drop shotting. 


A basic braided mainline that offer no stretch is perfect for any type of drop shot fishing. This no-stretch quality allows the anglers to feel everything going on under the water which is exactly what you require for this style of fishing. I would suggest 0.10mm which is ideal for drop shotting for perch.


A 12-inch fluorocarbon leader is ideal for drop shot fishing for perch. The leader is simply attached to the mainline using a quick change clip. I like to use Korda quick-change clips on all of my rigs which allows me to easily swap rigs without having to cut and re-tie knots. 

Breaking strain of around 6 - 8 lbs is more than sufficient for the majority of perch you are likely to catch.


You can purchase dedicated drop shot fishing hooks that allow the lure to sit correctly in the water ready for the perch to take the bait. For the size of perch, you are likely to encounter I would recommend size 14-16 which is an ideal drop shot hook size for perch. It is always worth having a few different sizes to play with if you are not getting bites.


You can purchase weights or leads in various different shapes and sizes. The more torpedo-like shapes are better suited for weedy and snaggy bottoms. The pear shape leads will allow you to feel the lead down and detect bites more easily due to its density. I tend to use the smallest lead I can get away with, again I will always carry a number of different shapes and sizes which allows me to experiment on the day I am fishing. 


For smaller perch, I would look at lures 0.75 - 2 inches in length and if you are fishing for big perch in commercial fisheries I would increase this to 2 - 4 inches in length. You can purchase a huge variety of lures with different colours, shapes and how they move in the water. This is clearly a case of trying several lures and seeing what works for you. 


A small landing net is essential when fishing for perch and is generally a rule at most fisheries.

Drop shot rig:

As we mentioned previously the hook is not attached to the end of the mainline but is actually attached 12 - 18 inches up the leader. This approach requires a different type of knot known as the Palomar. Check out the following video which clearly shows how to tie the knot. I would suggest you practice this know several times before your perch fishing trip. 

How to Tie Palomar Knot

Drop shotting technique

Drop shot fishing for perch is very different than standard lure fishing. The angler casts out the rig and feels the weight/lead down to the bottom. Feeling down the weight/lead allows anglers to determine the type of bottom they are fishing over and also help avoid the mainline being tangled when hitting the water.

When the weight/lead is on the bottom the angler simply flicks the rod tip to encourage the lure to move and attract perch to hit the bait. As previously mentioned, having a soft rod tip will assist with this and allow the lure to move naturally.

When drop shotting for perch you do not retrieve the lure but keep the rig and weight/lead in a static position.

Drop shot fishing is very easy to implement and does always keep you interested as you are constantly jerking the rod tip in order to get a bite from a big perch.

Locating the perch

Location is a massive factor when fishing for predatory fish such as perch. You simply cannot catch what isn't there.

Whatever venue you are fishing I would start by looking for features, you can almost guarantee perch will be located by the following

  • overhanging trees
  • bridges (river fishing)
  • inlets
  • drop-offs
  • when river fishing looks for slack water and cover of any kind such as locks

Perch will also never be too far away from their prey. Attract the likes of small roach and the perch will be close. I suggest you feed the swim with balls of groundbait and maggots to attract the silverfish.

In winter I would look at fishing the deeper water where the temperatures are more constant and many fish hold up.

If you are still struggling to locate the perch keep any eye of fish-eating birds who are hunting for the same prey. Find these birds feeding and the perch will be close. 

The optimal time for perch fishing is dawn and dusk, so get down to the venue early and enjoy that window where the perch seem to go on a feeding frenzy. 

If you can stay till dusk you can enjoy the same frenzy that could land you a few more perch that perhaps other anglers who have already gone home will miss out on.

One last point is that you should always keep in the back of your mind is to stay mobile and move swims if you have not had any success after say 20 minutes. This usually indicates the perch are not in that area so move on.

So that is it, give drop shot fishing for perch a try and I can guarantee you will enjoy this method of fishing and hopefully land yourself a perch or two.

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