Wacky Worm fishing is one of the great new ways to rig a soft plastic. Bass can be very spooky in shallow water, especially clear shallow water. When done properly, even a bass that has seen you WILL take a wacky worm rig. It is truly amazing.
Ever take kids bass fishing? They usually do the fishing and you tend to their needs. This is a great confidence builder method for kids! They will catch fish and you will be able to fish too! A few simple tips like where to cast an how long to count before retrieving the worm will get them wanting more.
The choices of worms that will work the best is very small. Basically it is a heavy bodied stick or straight worm. No curly tails or funny shapes here. Think of a big fat earthworm laying straight and you got the idea. The thick heavy body is a yummy profile to convince a bass to go get it. The mass also makes the worm sink very slowly.
Probably the best known of these wacky worms is Gary Yamamoto's Senko. It is extremely soft and has lots of action when sinking. The bass swim away chewing it so you have time to set the hook. The problem with the super soft design is you loose the bait almost every time you make contact with a bass. That means just about a dollar whether you catch it or not. Ouch!
Strike King has come out with a great worm that is very soft and much more durable than the Senko. They call it the Ocho. Ocho is Spanish for 8, and Strike King called it that because it has an eight sided profile that reflects light subtly and adds wiggle to the dropping worm. All these come with coffee scent that masks human scent. It is arguably the best worm on the market to wacky rig! They are also easy on the wallet as they stay togehter through several caught, or missed bass. Strike King Ocho Wacky Worm
Most any soft bait manufacturer makes a stick worm that is good for wacky wormin' but one more stands out. GanderMountain makes its “Trick Stick” and is an excellent value as you get over twice as many worms as Yamamoto gives. They have good action and come in several colors to match water conditions and forage. They are extremely durable and one pack could very well last you a season. I'm guessing they didn't do THAT on purpose!
The colors should be chosen as with any worm. Generally, colors like pumpkin, watermelon and reds work best in water on the clearer side. More contrast works better in stained or dark water. This is where the white/pearls really shine. Bass fishing is an art without any absolute rules. Don't forget to experiment!
Cast, wait, set the hook! Basically that is it. In the 0-5 foot depths, a stick work hooked right through the middle on a 1/0 or 2/0 worm hook is all you need. The wacky worm is the king of the spawn. Bass are up shallow, less than 8 feet generally. Contact with the biggest bass is much more common during this time of the year. The slow fall of an un-weighted worm is simply irresistible to them in such shallow water. You need to remain fairly still to see the strike though.
is a must to feel the light tick when a bass takes it. A spinning combo with 6-10 lbs line is all you need. Very often the bass will come up an take the wacky worm, so you will see momentary slack in the line as they actually pick it upwards a bit.
If you are drifting and trying to cover more water, use an 1/8 ounce jig head to speed things up a tad. The jig head helps cover more of the water column in the 5-10 foot depth as well. A lot of the strikes come as the bass moves off its nest to “move” the worm away. A bedded bass won't tolerate intruders into its space, but it won't travel very far from it either. If you meet it half way with a faster sinking worm, you stand a better chance of a strike.
Stay away from your target and cast in. Let the wacky rig sink on a semi-slack line and watch VERY carefully. If you see or feel anything different, SET THE HOOK! The strikes will be very light most of the time. If the weed cover allows, let the worm sink to the bottom and do nothing. If there is no hit, wiggle the rod tip gently a few times. This will bend the worm in half and it “swims” away. You'll get just as many strikes when you do this at times. Fish it all the way back to you.