The “Wacky” Worm Phenomenon
Perhaps there is no finer time in the year to witness the explosion of spring than when a largemouth bass sucks in a “Wacky” worm on light line in shallow water and the fight is on! There is nothing quite like trying to wrench a bass out of tight cover on spinning gear with light line, as the excitement and pure adrenaline will get you every time! For springtime bucketmouths this action has been known to be heart-stopping. When the fishing gets tough, not just in spring, but anytime of the year, get out the spinning gear and try your hand at this easy to master technique. “Wacky” worming can be versatile and productive in a multitude of ways. The versatility of this style of finesse fishing is only limited by the number of ways you can think of to rig it. “Wacky” worming can also be done on baitcasting gear and can be almost as effective as when used on spinning gear. The reason I believe spinning gear is more productive, is that you can use lighter line on spinning gear. When most people think of “Wacky” worming, the thought comes to mind of a worm hooked through the egg sack with the hook exposed; and yes, this is the traditional method of “Wacky” worming. However, there are many other ways to make this particular style of fishing work to your advantage. For this type of finesse fishing, we typically use CastAway medium and medium-heavy action graphite spinning rods, but any spinning rod may be used as long as it is not a light action rod. The light action rods are just not stout enough to horse bass out of the brush and weeds because the tip is too soft to give a good solid hookset. The particular reels that we personally use with this style of fishing are Shimano Spirex SR 1000FB and SR2000FB series reels. We use 10-12# Trilene Big Game line on our spinning reels. The rigging of these rods in very versatile, as we have perfected and use six different variations on this rig: 1. Use a 1/0 Gamakatsu wide gap worm hook tied direct to the line and rig Texas style. 2. Same as number one above, but add a 1/32 oz. or 1/16 oz. bullet weight above the hook. 3. Use a small barrel swivel with a 12-14″ leader and a 2/0 Gamakatsu Super Flipping hook, rigged either Texas or traditional “Wacky” style. 4. Same as number three above, but crimp a small split shot 1/2″ above the swivel. 5. Same as number three above, but crimp a small split shot 1/2″ directly above the hook. 6. Use a small barrel swivel and a 12-14″ leader with a Mustad “Finacky” 1/0 weighted hook and rig either Texas or “Wacky” As to what baits to use, primarily we use either Riverside lizards, Floating Air Frys, Sling Shots or Big Claw crawfish imitations. We also use Zoom Trick Worms and centipedes for this type of fishing. These baits can all be fished either traditional, Texas rigged or “Wacky” (hooked in the middle with the hook exposed). On any given day, any one of the above mentioned rigging methods may work better than the others. You just have to experiment and let the fish tell you which method they prefer. Fish these rigs in anywhere from 2-12′ depths in and around buckbrush, docks, creek bends, points, backs of coves and pockets, inside, and also outside grasslines. In the heat of the summer, this type of fishing can be deadly fished in the heavy grass and on the edges of the grass. Simply cast it out, let it sink, and reel it back in just like you do in traditional worm fishing. This rig will also out perform most all other styles of fishing and is exceptionally deadly when used in frontal conditions. It takes some getting used to, but once you have mastered the spinning reel and using these techniques, your success ratio of catching bass during difficult times will dramatically improve. Remember, you are only limited by your imagination on ways and variations to use this simple technique and the results are explosive! This style of fishing can be a money producer and used as your ace in the hole, if you’ll just learn to use it!
My name is Eric Melson, I work for a non-profit called Public Land Solutions (PLS). We’ve been contracted through the state of New Mexico’s Economic Development Department and the