By Jay Randall
What I am about to tell you is probably one of the most effective ways to catch bass for most of the fishing season. It's called the "wacky rig" and is by far one the best ways to put bass in the kayak under any conditions. This article is meant to educate the fishermen that may not know of this method. From novice to professional, this presentation will deliver results.
The wacky rig is used in many applications but let’s hone in on how the wacky righ has opened my eyes to the world of the Senko worm or stick worm. There are many companies out there that make these baits and if you don't already own any, GET SOME! Trust me on this. You will not find a more versatile bait.
I personally use the Crabby Whacker which comes from the fine people at Crabby Bass Lures. This stick worm kills in so many situations. I have landed many 20-inch-plus fish with this worm and technique and you can too. First, there are a few ways to rig the wacky worm.
The best way to start setting up is to grab a 7-foot medium action spinning rod with the ine of your choice. I prefer 8-pound test. Then tie the hook on. I use a Palomar Knot to attach to a 4/0 Gamakatsu Finesses weedless hook and puncture the worm in the middle and proceed to drive it all the way through as seen in the accompanying photo.
The other way of rigging this worm is almost the same except this time you will use an "O ring" that can be put on your worm with a rigging tool that you can purchase at Bass Pro. I personally think the O-ring is the way to go, especially if you don't want to be going through your bag of worms fast.
You can simply put a single O-ring on the worm and rig the hook to face to the left or the right without puncturing the worm. I use the double O-ring rigging technique which consists of being able to make the hook face forward a lot like the hook through the worm rigging.
The exception is the hook is rigged through the O-rings and is just above the worm, again not puncturing the worm at all. (By not puncturing the worm you will be able to catch a lot more fish on one worm).
Color preference is your preference. I would start with a dark color in most cases but let the fish tell you what they want by switching to other colors if you don’t get bit.
Now you're ready to fish.
Simply cast the worm out and let it sink for a few seconds depending on your desired depth. Raise the tip of your rod to about 1 o'clock and then drop your tip while reeling in the excess line as your rod tip descends to a low position. You can fish at whatever cadence that you want. You are trying to mimic a dying fish or creature in order to get the bass to think that your presentation is an easy meal.
Again, let the fish tell you what they are looking for by trying different retrieve cadences. Continue this method to shore and repeat. You can cast along shorelines, by fallen trees, around rocks, docks, breakwalls, grass along the edges in and under the water, the presentations are endless.
Wait for the double tick, thump or hit on the line. Make sure to watch the line and if it starts to move in any direction you will want to reel in the excess line and lower your rod tip. Then raise the tip of the rod and set the hook. Now you don't need to set the hook hard. Most wacky hooks are designed to let the fish hook itself and all you need do is raise the tip and start reeling. Trust me on this. If you set the hook like it's a jig you will lose that fish.
Now you know everything that you need to know to start fishing with a wacky rig.