I think last time I talked about how to find bass. Today, with Spring just around the corner, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite techniques of rigging a soft plastic bait not only in the Spring, but basically any time of year. The term "wacky worm" is not a brand or particular type of plastic bait. It is simply a different method of hooking a plastic worm or other soft plastic lure which gives it an erratic fish attracting action and folks believe me when I say it's deadly! on bass.
How To Rig A Bait Wacky Style
Rigging a worm or whatever soft plastic you choose to use wacky style is not complicated or difficult. In fact it's the easiest of all the popular rigs. And the method can be used on almost any rig. It can be rigged to fish shallow with nothing more than a hook tied to the line, Or fished deep on a drop shot, carolina or texas rig.
To rig a worm or soft plastic wacky style, you can simply estimate where halfway is in the length of the worm or bait and stick the hook through the center of the bait. Or use the kid in this video's cool idea.
How to fish a wacky worm shallow
What makes this method of rigging a soft plastic lure so deadly, is the action that it gives the bait. When bass aren't in a feeding mood, it's important to keep in mind that you need to trip their killer instinct and get them to strike out of reaction. And rigging the worm wacky style allows the angler to give the bait lots of strike triggering action while keeping the bait in the strike zone.
As I mentioned, the wacky worm can be extremely effective fished deep or shallow. But it's most often used much like a jerkbait, but on a weightless rig to fish shallow cover such as wood, vegetation or rock. The rig can be used on bait cast or spinning tackle. I personally prefer spinning reels for this technique.
To fish the rig around shallow cover, simply cast to the target, holding the rod tip low in a downward position give it a couple of short twitches. I like to use the twitch and pause method. I give the bait 2 very short twitches then pause for a few seconds and let it sink then repeat. The strike will usually come while the bait is slowly sinking. It's very important to remember, this is simply the standard wacky worm retrieve. If you're not getting bites using it, you should ALWAYS! experiment with different retrieve's until the fish tell you how they want it.
2 methods of fishing the wacky worm deep
Rigging a bait wacky style is equally as effective on bass in deep water, as it is in shallow. Probably the most used technique to fish wacky style in deep water these days, is to fish it on a drop shot rig. The rigging method for the bait is no different on the drop shot than for fishing the rig shallow. The difference is in the size of the bait and hook. The wacky worm on the drop shot rig will usually be most effective when its downsized to a small 3 to 4 inch worm and fished in a more vertical fashion. I don't think I've written anything on the drop shot yet, but I will very soon. The drop shot is a very effective deep finesse fishing method. which allows the angler to present the wacky worm to fish on deep water cover or structure with the same erratic action as in shallow water with the weightless rig.
A second method of getting a wacky worm down to those deeper bass is one of my personal favorites, the carolina rig. This rig can be just as effective on deep water bass as the drop shot. However It's a more horizonal fishing method that works best for fishing structure such as points with scattered stumps or rocks.
Tips for fishing the wacky worm
1. One very useful tip for fishing a bait wacky style in shallow water on a weightless rig, is to use a 16 to 18 inch leader connected to the main line with a small barrel swivel. the erratic action of the bait fished wacky style causes a lot of line twist. Using the barrel swivel and leader will minimize or completely eliminate this problem.
2. when fishing the wacky worm weightless in shallow clear water you will often be able to visually see the fish come up and hit the bait but not completely engulf it. The first reaction is to immediately set the hook. However you will have a much higher chance of hooking and catching the fish, if you wait until you can no longer see the bait in the fish's mouth to set the hook.
3. This tip is a good rule with a wacky worm as well as any other lure. If you are seeing fish chase the bait but not hitting it, try changing to a different color or size lure. Many times the simple color or size of a lure can be the difference in catching a limit of bass, or catching nothing.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have questions just use the comment section and I'll do my best to give answers. Meanwhile if you find yourself having trouble catching bass this Spring, Try a wacky worm!