Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Plastic Worms

How to use plastic worms for bass fishing

Last I talked about some lures for pre spawn fishing. One being Plastic worms. Worms catch more bass each year than any other lure. There’s lots of good reasons why they catch so many bass; but the number one reason is, bass love them!
A few other reasons they catch lots of bass are, they're one of the most versatile baits available, they’re simple to use, they come in many different sizes and shapes, and you can get them in every color of the rainbow.

The most common way to use this lure is rigged on a "Texas rig" this rig consists of a hook a "bullet weight" and the worm.

Texas rig fishing

Bullet weights come in all sizes. From 1/16oz up to 2oz. A good medium that will normally work well in any texas rig situation is 3/8oz. Plastic worm hooks also come in a variety of types sizes. I suggest you start with a 3/0 or 4/0.

To do a texas rig, you will need to first thread the line through the bullet sinker small end first. Then tie on your hook. That’s it.. all that’s left is to thread the plastic worm on to the hook and you’re ready to fish. To thread the worm on, first insert the hook point into the end of the worm about 1/4 inch. Then push the hook point out the side and pull the worm head up onto the eye of the hook. Now rotate the hook so that the point is facing the body of the plastic worm. Then push the hook point into the worm leaving the point just inside the worm enough to keep it from being exposed. This keeps you worm rig weedless and prevents snagging on cover.
See video
How to tie a texas rig for a visual example.

This is how your rig should look

How to fish with the texas rigged worm

The design of the texas rigged plastic worm is perfect for fishing heavy cover where bass hide. It can be fished directly in thick brush weeds or any other heavy cover easily without snagging.
There’s countless methods used to fish this rig. The standard method however, is to cast, flip, or pitch the bait into the cover, let it sink to the bottom and use the rod tip to slowly work the worm through the cover as you keep slack out of the line with the reel.

The strike will normally feel like a light tap on the bait. When you feel the tap lower the rod tip, reel up the slack in the line and set the hook by swiftly jerking the rod tip upward.

The Carolina Rig

The carolina rig is used with the same baits as the texas rig however is more suited for fishing structure as apposed to heavy cover.

How to carolina rig a plastic worm

To tie the carolina rig, you’ll need a bullet weight, a worm hook, a barrel swivel and a small glass or plastic bead. The bead which will be placed between the bullet weight and the barrel swivel serves 2 purposes. It keeps the weight which is normally much heavier than that used with the texas rig from beating against the knot on the barrel swivel. The other purpose it serves is as an attraction for the fish by creating a clicking sound when the weight which slides freely on the line hits the bead. This sound is similar to the clicking sounds made by crawfish and can ad a great attraction aspect to the presentation.

As I mentioned above, a much heavier weight is typically used with this rig than with the texas rig. Generally a ½ to 3/4oz. The purpose of the heavier weight is also an attraction. As the heavy weight is dragged along the bottom, it kicks up silt and simulates a crawfish or other crustation scurrying along the bottom. The whole rig when presented correctly simulates a small predator (your plastic worm) chasing a small crawfish or other small prey along the bottom.
First thread the bullet weight onto the line small end first. Then thread on the bead, and tie on the barrel swivel.
Next you will need to tie on a leader. Typically the leader is just a separate length of the same line as on your reel. A good practice however is to use a slightly smaller test line for your leader. This may help as if you get snagged many times you will just break off the leader and bait saving your weight and barrel swivel.

Leader length

The length of the leader can vary. As a general rule I never use shorter 18 to 24 inches of leader in clear water. However always be willing to experiment with your leader length until you find what works best.

Now tie one end of your leader to the opposite end of your barrel swivel, tie on your hook to the end of your leader, thread on the plastic worm the same as with the texas rig and you’re ready to catch bass.

Should look like this

How to fish the carolina rig

The design of this rig is not feasible for catching bass in heavy brush or thick matted cover as is the teaxs rig. The carolina rig works very well in sparse weeds or on structure such as humps or points with stumps or scattered rocks.

Cast the rig out, let it sink to the bottom, then slowly raise the rod tip from the 3:00 clock position to the 11:00 clock position then lower the rod back to the 3:00 clock position as you reel up the slack line. Repeat this action slowly dragging the bait along the bottom.

Because of the heavier weight, the strike is sometimes more difficult to detect. I like to keep a finger on the line just in front of the reel as I work the bait. This helps me better detect the tap tap of a strike. When a strike is detected reel up the slack and jerk with a side sweeping motion to set the hook.

Choosing the right rod for plastic worm fishing

It’s critical that you have the right rod for fishing plastic worms. The two most important factors in choosing a good rod for this application are a stiff action and sensitivity. The stiffness of the rod is needed to help insure a good hook set and maximizes the sensitivity which allows you to better detect strikes. A stiff action rod helps to compensate for line stretch and the fact that your hook point is inside the plastic worm and must penetrate the worm when you set the hook. I suggest a medium heavy to heavy action 6 to 7 ft graphite rod. It’s a common myth that you have to spend a lot of money for a decent rod. The fact is, you can buy a rod that will work just fine for around $30.00

A good way to test the sensitivity of a rod is to ask someone to help you, with one hand on the rods handle place the rod tip on their throat and ask them to speak. If you can feel the vibration of the person speaking through the rod, it has good sensitvity.

The right reel

The reel is not so important as the rod for fishing plastic worms. Any good medium to heavy reel will work just fine as long as it holds at least 50 yards of 10 to 20lb test line and has a good drag system. Spinning reel, bait caster or spin cast are all good choices.

One of the most attractive aspects of the plastic worm as a bass fishing lure is its versatility. It can be rigged and fished many different ways for most any fishing situation. Next time I’ll discuss some of the other methods of using plastic worms.

Until then Good Fishing



AdventureJoshua said...

thank you for taking the time to put all this information here. I am a young fisherman and I want to learn everything I can about the sport. My dad isn't that into it so I am learning everything my self. Thanks for all this information I will definitely use it when I go fishing next weekend

FISH said...

you are very welcome b.outdoorsman.
Good luck on your trip. Be sure to check back or better yet get a feed to the blog. I'll be posting lots of tips and advice here.