How To Fish Plastic Worms
MEXICO BASS FISHING
If you're after a trophy bass, the worm is probably the best type of lure you can use. Many Bass anglers regard plastic worms as the single most effective lure for big bass. Their long, thin profile and lifelike action suggest a wide range of prey. Yet in spite of their ability to catch bass, worms often are misused and misunderstood. They're a "feel" bait that requires some technique on your part.
It takes many hours of trial and error to master the art of fishing with a plastic worm. Those who are good at it develop an uncanny sense of touch and timing and will frequently pull in the biggest bass. As with most styles of fishing, however, practice is the key. The more familiar you become with the worm, the more fish you catch.
They're an eye contact bait meaning the fish must see it to hit it. Therefore they produce best in clear to stained water. Worms are most effective in warm water (above 55 degrees), especially during Summer. But don't be afraid to use them in the dead of winter - you may be pleasantly surprised.
There are many different ways to rig a worm. Here are the most popular:
The most popular worm-fishing technique, but also the most difficult to master. In this rig, the hook is threaded through the tip of the worm and the point is turned back into the body of the worm to make it weedless, meaning the point is not exposed and will not get snagged in the weeds.
When fishing in heavy cover, you can peg the slip sinker by inserting a toothpick through the hole of the sinker. This will keep the sinker from hanging up, and will increase your feel of the lure. To prevent the worm from sliding down the hook shank, push the eye of the hook down into the plastic worm, spear a 50lb test piece of monofilament fishing line through both the tip of the worm and the hook eye and trim the ends of the monofilament.
This bait is a sight bait meaning the fish must see it in order to strike it. Therefore it works best in clear water. Use this worm weightless, and cast it under over-hanging trees and near flooded bushes in shallow water. Use a float/twitch/float retrieve. Attach a swivel about 8 inches ahead of the lure with heavier pound test line than what you're using. You may have to use a small hook on a buoyant worm to let the rig float. An offset shank hook works best.
The Carolina Rig
This works best on schooling bass and as a search-type bait. The heavy sinker (usually 1 ounce) helps maintain bottom contact. As the sinker bounces along the bottom, the suspending worm, placed as much as three feet from the sinker, darts and settles like a baitfish. The length of the leader is determined by water clarity - in muddy water, use a shorter leader and use a longer leader in clear water. The hookset isn't a snap-set. Instead, use a hard pull-set (sweep the rod to the side).
A 7 1/2 foot flipping stick works best. Retrieve at a medium speed along ledges, sandbars, flats, long points and other structure. Use weedguards when fishing heavy weeds.
A popular variation is the Do-Nothing Worm which has two small, exposed hooks built into it. Lizards, 'centipedes' and 'french fries' are other popular baits to use.
The Swimming Rig
Use a swivel and leader line. Attach a 6-inch straight worm that has been rolled on the hook to make it semi-weedless. Fish around shallow boat docks, grassy shorelines, etc., using a slow, constant retrieve.
Choosing Styles and Colors
Color and style make a big difference so always have a good assortment of different colors, styles and lengths as well as a good supply of different worm weights. An assortment of weenie worms, craw worms, lizards, curl tail, finesse and ribbon-tail worms will cover nearly every situation.
Bulkier worms with twist tails, multiple tails, appendages or similar attention-getting devices usually are best in water of low visibility and thick cover, but can also work in clear water because everybody throws small baits. Use thin worms with straight tails in vegetation. When fish are inactive, try using a smaller worm. In clear water, lighter, more translucent colors tend to work best: blue, green, pearl, smoke, etc. In dark water, dark worms often produce the best: purple, black, brown, etc.Two-toned worms are better when the less dominant color is a highly attracting one, such as bright yellow or red, and the dominant color is a more conservative one, such as black or blue. Metalflake colors are often the key to fishing success. In choosing worm colors, stick to a color that seems to work in your area, but don't be afraid to experiment. Worms are among the least expensive bass lures you'll buy. Most professionals use shades of purple or watermelon color. Flourescent colors retain their color in deep waters whereas other colors turn a shade of grey. Color can be something to consider after you find the bass. If they're following the lure, tapping it, or just not hitting it and you tried different presentations, try a different color of the same lure.
In general, use dark colors in water with little light penetration such as muddy or stained water, and cloudy or windy days. And use light colors in water with more light penetration - i.e. clear water, sunny or calm days, etc.Use natural colors. Big bass learn from being caught not to resort to their curiosity to react to everything unnatural. That's why natural looking baits produce bigger bass.
Use the lightest slip sinker you can. The lighter the weight, the more natural action the worm will have. In most situations a 1/16 to 1/8 ounce sinker will be heavy enough in water less than 6 feet deep; a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce sinker for 6 to 12 feet; a 1/4 to 3/8 once sinker for 13 to 18 feet and a 3/8 to 1/2 ounce sinker for water deeper than 18 feet. Needle nose weights are good for vegetation, but hang up in rocks and gravel. Use bullet weights instead. Tungsten Weights of the same weight as lead are smaller
and have a better feel for the fishermen.
When fishing the Texas rig, use a medium to heavy action rod with a fast tip for better hooksets and more sensitivity. Use 5 1/2 to 6 foot rods - they don't over move the worm like longer rods do. Use 14 to 20 pound test line.
Follow this procedure:
Cast the worm past cover or a drop-off. Always let the worm fall to the bottom on a slack line, then engage the reel. Watch the line for any movement that may indicate a strike. Don't twitch and shake it as it falls, it gives the bass too much time to analyze the worm. Let it fall on his face now - you'll get a reaction strike. When the worm hits the bottom, raise the rod tip slightly, then let it fall. Repeat. Remember to keep the rod high (at about the 10 o'clock position) and face the worm during the retrieve. Be a line watcher. Stay alert for any twitch or side movement of the line. Check for a bass at the end of your line before moving the worm by pulling lightly. If he's tapping it, jiggle it a little, let it rest and check again. Try different techniques to get him to pick it up. When a strike occurs (you'll feel a tap on your line or detect movement in the line), immediately lower the rod tip and bring the rod back overhead sharply. This slack-line hookset will drive the hook point into the bass' tough jaw. Never allow a bass to swim with the worm. On the strike, set the hook as quickly as possible. Always set the hook with a strong upward jerk. However, you don't need to tear the boat seat out of the boat on the hookset. If you're rigged right, the bass will practically hook itself. If you miss, drop the lure back down to the bottom now! (Don't reel up and re-cast) Many times the bass will come back and hit it again. Reel quickly to move the bass away from heavy cover, then slow down and play the fish.