I fell in love with the wacky rig many years back, as I was experimenting with different presentations and trying to catch some highly pressured bass. What I found out is the wacky rig will flat out catch um, when just about nothing else will. Just like many other techniques, it has come a long ways from just hooking a worm in the middle and twitching it back. We now have wacky rig hooks, poles and tools for them. So, I will go over the ins and outs of my wacky rig artillery.
The Bait- My favorite is the tried and true Senko. It has a slender shape and is a proven fish catcher. I will use Zoom trick worms if I want a slower rate of fall or a lighter bait presentation.
- The Color- It really is up to you. I have about 4 colors I use 90% of the time. They are watermelon/red flake, black/blue flake, green pumpkin/gold flake and bubble gum. All but the bubblegum, I will dye one tip of the trick worm with ISPIKE it dipping dye in chartreuse. These colors work for me anywhere I go. You can substitute your own colors like Junebug, California 420, Watermelon/Candy and the list goes on. I just use these 4 to catch most of my fish on the wacky rig.
- Rod & Reel- I typically like to use spinning gear when I am wacky rigging. It is a fairly light set up and I can cast it much better with a spinning rod. I will use an Abu Garcia Orra Power Finesse spinning reel paired with an IROD Genesis II 7’1” MH Spinning Rod. The rod is stout enough to catch big fish and still sensitive and light enough to handle skipping the bait under docks. When I say big fish, I have caught 10 pounders on this set up with fairly light line.
- Line- The line really depends on the water clarity and the cover you are fishing. Myself personally, I throw mine on 10lb Floro 90% of the time. I will occasionally go up to 12lb test if I am fishing a lot of cypress trees or nasty docks. I don’t feel as though most of the Texas waters I fish are clear enough to need to drop any lower than that on line size. If you like to throw braid main line and use a Floro leader, this is a great application for it. I personally don’t, but a good friend of mine who is a Texas Legend named Tommy Martin does. He uses this method when he is guiding on Toledo Bend or if he is on the tournament trail. Try straight Floro and the Braid/Floro leader and see what works for you.
- Hooks- My favorite hook for wacky rigging is the Gamakatsu Octopus Weed less 2/0 or 3/0 hook. Make sure you don’t get the Octopus Circle hook, it is not the right tool for the job.
- O Rings- I ALWAYS use the double O- Ring method for wacky rigging. If you are hooking your worm in the middle, you are going to tear up a lot of baits simply casting it. Get you an O-Ring tool and some O-rings and slide them on your worm. Now, make sure you put 2 O rings on and criss cross them. This will ensure that the hook is running 90 degrees from the worm and you will get a much better hook up ratio. This will also guarantee that your hook will not roll on you and be flat with the bait.
- Presentation- Cast this bait out and let it fall on a slack line and even feed it line if you are fishing deep. Once it reaches the bottom, give it a very subtle twitch, like a few inches. I feel as though the bait falling back down and undulating is what generates the bites, not when you are twitching it up. If you are fishing shallow or trying to draw up suspended bass, keep the bait up higher in the water column and twitch it and let it fall slightly out of sight. When you can’t see the bait is when most of your bites will come. When you do get bit, you don’t need to set the hook like you are pulling a truck out of the mud either. Just start reeling and pull back fast.
The Wacky Rig is an often overlooked presentation by a lot of bass fisherman who reach for more sexy lures they can power fish. When you need 1 more keeper for a limit, or if you just wanna catch more fish, try these Wacky Rig tips next time you are out and see what happens.
G’ Luck and Tight Lines Texas Nation
Story by Shane Smith