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Worm Fishing Secrets You May Not Know

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Worm Fishing Secrets You May Not Know

It’s easy to become enamored with the latest tackle trends but one thing is certain—you should never overlook the effectiveness of bass fishing with plastic worms. It may not be as sexy as heaving an umbrella rig on a river ledge or working a topwater frog across matted vegetation, but it’s arguably the most effective bass fishing technique ever created.

 

FLW Tour pro and Bassmaster Classic champion Larry Nixon has made the majority of his living with three simple things—a hook, a weight and a plastic worm. Widely renowned as the best worm fisherman to pick up a rod, he believes there are 10 things you need to know in order to boost your confidence and success with this age-old, fish-catching technique.

 

A pegged sinker loses more fish

 

Whether we peg our Texas rigs with an old toothpick or a rubber bobber stop, we’re all guilty of it. It’s easier to skip under docks and it increases the longevity of your knot, so it’s all good, right? Nixon doesn’t necessarily buy into this theory.

 

“Plastic worms will always catch fish,” Nixon said. “It doesn’t matter where you are or what type of bass you’re targeting. They’re a bass angler’s dream.”

 

“I’ve always believed that a pegged sinker causes me to lose more fish,” Nixon said. “With the weight so close to the worm, a big bass will get both the sinker and the hook in its mouth, which can result in many missed opportunities. Now, if I’m trying to penetrate cover and sink the worm into a small, precise area, I really don’t have a choice but to peg it. If I’m casting a worm, however, 99 percent of the time my sinker is sliding free on the line.”

 

Being the meticulous professional he is, Nixon has spent countless hours examining the action of plastic worms in swimming pools. Years of constant experimentation have allowed him to realize the unique properties of an unpegged Texas rig.

 

“If you throw an unpegged Texas rig into the water and watch it, the weight hits the bottom about eight inches in front of your worm,” Nixon said. “Once the weight hits, the worm sinks downward like a dead-sticked Yamamoto Senko. I’ve always had so many quality bites at the beginning of my cast and I think that’s why.”

 

Your casting and pitching hooks shouldn’t be the same

 

Again, this is something we all do. We pitch to a piece of shallow cover, make our way down the bank and start casting to a brush pile with the same setup. Although it may be easier for us, Nixon advises against it.

 

larry-nixon-casting-worm-for-bass.jpg

 

“If you don’t have a straight shank hook when you’re casting a worm, it’s not going to look right in the water,” Nixon said. “I exclusively use the Roboworm Rebarb Hooks for casting because they give my worms a much more streamlined profile. Not to mention, the plastic always slides down at the hook eye upon a hookset, resulting in excellent plastic penetration and better hookups.”

When pitching a flipping a worm to cover, Nixon avoids big, heavy duty flipping hooks like the plague. In his opinion, the bigger hook you use, the more leverage you give the fish.

 

“I do not like heavy flipping hooks whatsoever,” Nixon said. “I use a thin wire 5/0 Gamakatsu Offset EWG Worm Hook instead. A thinner wire promotes good penetration and the gap is just big enough to penetrate the worm. If I can pin a bass between the hook and plastic, she’s mine—she’s not going anywhere.”

 

Not all plastic worms are the same

 

In order to get the most out of worm fishing, it’s important to realize what situation each type of worm is best-suited for. Just because two worms are green and wiggle when you twitch them doesn’t mean they’re the same.

 

  • Straight tail worm—“A straight tail worm is the most versatile worm in existence, without a doubt,” Nixon said. “They’re more erratic, they sink very differently and come through cover well—there is no bad time for a straight tail worm. If you’re just starting out, I suggest using the Yamamoto 6.75-inch Long Pro Senko and a 5-inch Yamamoto Pro Senko to cover all your bases. During cold fronts, stick with the smaller size and bump up to the 6.75-inch model when you’re fishing in warmer water.”
  • Curly tail worm—“The curly tail worm, such as the Yamamoto 12-inch Curly Tail Worm, is at its very best when you have vegetation in a body of water,” Nixon said. “Whether you’re fishing milfoil, hydrilla or lily pads, it provides an extremely realistic swimming action in cover. I’ll also use it in brush piles and heavy cover so the fish don’t get a great look at it—just work it over limbs and let it fall through any holes.”
  • Stretch it—“If you haven’t been out in a week or so, take two minutes to hook your line to something and stretch it,” Nixon said. “Reel it back in with some tension and your first cast will feel like brand-new line. Fluorocarbon doesn’t absorb water, so it will coil if it sits on your reel for too long. If it coils, you’re not going to be able to feel what your worm is doing down there.”
  • Wet your knot—“Regardless of the knot you tie, it’s important to wet your knot every single time you tie it,” Nixon said. “Fluorocarbon will burn itself if you cinch a dry knot and I can guarantee you’ll lose fish if that happens. Always take the extra time to tie a solid, wet knot.”
  • Don’t over-spool—“Try not to put too much fluorocarbon on your reel,” Nixon said. “When you pack a bunch of line on, you’ll have a hard time controlling it. I use cheap monofilament line as backing followed by about 60 yards of fluorocarbon. Anything more is overkill—you won’t find any bass that’ll strip more than 15 yards of line, so there’s no sense in wasting a bunch of nice line.”

 

          big-bass-jumping-with-yamamoto-worm-in-m

 

 

Original Article

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I fish texas rigs probably more than anything else and I have learned a lot here. I am guilty of pegging my bullet sinker at least 95% of the time. I feel like pegging that sinker gives me more control and less confusion about light bites. I also have never tried the line stretching . I'll give some of these tips a try next time out.

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All excellent advise.  I would like to know how many bass fishermen have used the Carolina Rig, and what they think about it compared with traditional Texas Rig.

 

Graham

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All excellent advise.  I would like to know how many bass fishermen have used the Carolina Rig, and what they think about it compared with traditional Texas Rig.

 Graham

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I know Carolina rig is good and catches lots of bass. But...I don't like it nearly as well as a standard Texas-rigged worm. I think I feel the bottom and bushes, rocks, trees, depth change, nick, bite, tap, thump better with that rig. My favorite setup: 1/4 or 3/8 oz slip sinker, 12 or 14 lb mono, 5 1/2 or 6 foot graphite rod, 6" plastic worm in black or purple on 1/0 hook.

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Thanks for the comments guys.  You made me rethink why I switched predominantly to using the Carolina Rig.  Frank,  It's been so long  since I began using it, I'm experiencing a senior moment regarding why I left the Texas Rig method of worm fishing in the first place.  I think the rationale was using a significantly lighter line as a leader between the hook and sinker, you would create more worm action on the lake floor when retrieving it back to the boat.  Especially if you slightly popped the rod tip causing a hopping motion of the worm.  Also, the Carolina rig enables you to sling a heavier hunk of lead to reach out farther to touch fish and not deaden the action of the worm because it's suspended back behind the lead by several feet.  Like I said Frank, I've been using the Carolina Rig technique so long I can't really recall exactly why I switched other than for the reasons I've  I stated.

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I've never liked the Carolina rig much primarily because I seem to stay hung up with it too much.  I may be fishing it in the wrong water/lakes though.  I prefer Texas rig or split shot rig.  

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Great read thank you.....back out west I used neither hardly at all. Now I gotta get er dun as they say!!

I am definitly not really a slow fisherman though but this year could be a little different.

:)

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i love carolina rig and texas rig, definitely caught more with texas but only because ive used it much longer.  Carolina rig is good when you need to know for a fact that your bait is on the bottom and going to stay there

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That was a good read, and will be read again and again I,am a bit dense some times,things just don't go the first time. Thanks

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i really like texas rig for shallow to med water brush rocks or grass, u can feel the bite, its very hang resistant. i hate the carolina rig , cant feel the fish bite (mushy), hang in rocks, hangs in brush.

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i really like texas rig for shallow to med water brush rocks or grass, u can feel the bite, its very hang resistant. i hate the carolina rig , cant feel the fish bite (mushy), hang in rocks, hangs in brush.

Glad I'm not the only one with a dislike of the Carolina...with that said, a lot of folks seem to catch a lot of fish with them so I need to keep trying it I guess.

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