The Texas rig is one of the most common soft plastic rigging methods for bass fishermen. A Texas rig consists of a soft plastic bait, a hook, and a bullet weight. This rig was originally made up in the 1950’s for fishing plastic worms for bass in heavy cover. Plastic worms are a common bait to rig Texas style, but the use of creatures, craws, minnows, and other soft plastics has grown. Texas rigs excel around brush, weeds, and rock, and can be fished many different ways.
Basic Texas Rig Set Up
Texas rig fishing is very versatile and can be done on light line with light rods or heavy braided line and stiffer rods. While it is a versatile rig, the basic setup of a Texas rig is always the same. Be sure to size your weight, hook and bait according to the strength of your line and rod combo. For a basic Texas rig, start by threading a 1/4 oz bullet weight by inserting the line through the pointed end of the weight. Let the weight slide up the line and out of your way so you can tie on the hook. Next choose a 3/0 worm hook to tie onto your line using your favorite knot such as a palomar. Next, grab the soft plastic bait of your choice and stick the point of the hook into the center of the end of the bait, about ¼-inch deep. Push the hook out the belly of the bait and push the bait up to the eye of the hook. Now twist the hook 180 degrees so that the point is toward the bait and the end of the bait is tight to the eye of the hook. Insert the hook back through the bait and skin hook the point on the outside of the bait. The bait should hand straight on the hook and the bullet weight should sit at the front of the bait.
EWG Texas Rig Hook
An Extra Wide Gap (EWG) worm hook is the hook that we recommend for Texas rigging. This hook is similar to a straight offset worm hook, but has a larger bend in the hook shank and a more pronounced jog near the hook eye. These features allow the EWG hook to hold worms and larger plastic baits better than standard worm hooks when rigged Texas style. Most EWG hooks have a slight offset which means that the hook point is set out from the shank and eye of the hook. This offset makes it easier to set the hook. The 3/0 EWG from our bass fishing kit is the ideal hook size and style for Texas rigging.
Finesse Texas Rig Worm
The plastic worm on a Texas rig is a staple for bass fishermen. No rig has caught more fish than the finesse worm on a Texas rig. We classify a finesse Texas rig worm as a 4-10 inch worm with a 3/0 hook and a weight from 1/32 – 1/4 ounce. A 6 to 7 inch finesse worm mimics most bass forage, from minnows to crayfish. This finesse rig performs well on straight 6-8 pound mono or fluorocarbon. However, many anglers prefer braided line for its durability while working through so much cover. The finesse Texas rig worm is all about feel and keeping contact between the worm and the bottom.
How to Fish a Texas Rig for Bass
Learning how to fish the Texas rig is extremely versatile for targeting bass. Our three favorite ways to fish this rig are dragging, lift and drop, and twitching weightless. All three of these techniques excel for bass most of the time, but each one has its time of year and particular conditions for best results.
Dragging a Texas rig
When bass are lethargic, dragging a Texas rigged worm is one of the best presentations. We like to throw our 6.5” green pumpkin finesse worms after cold fronts or when water temps are cooler. Texas rigging allows you to keep the bait tight to cover without getting snagged. Simply cast the rig out and let it fall to the bottom. Sweep your rod in 2-3 foot increments, then reel in the line after each pull. This creates a pause between drags which allow the bass to catch up and commit to the bait.
Lifting and Dropping a Texas rig
When bass are feeding actively in warmer times of the year, a lift and drop technique will entice strikes. A 4” tube bait rigged Texas style is a great option for the lift and drop technique during summer months when bass are tight to vegetation. Short casts or pitches with our baitcasting combo to areas with vegetation or wood cover are productive. Let the bait sink to the bottom after you cast to your target. Lift your bait a foot off the bottom and let it fall back to the bottom. Bass like to strike when the bait is falling back to the bottom, or as it is paused on the bottom. Mixing in some rod tip shakes on the pause is a sneaky addition to this technique that turn nibblers into biters.
Twitching a weightless Texas rig
Our third favorite way to fish the Texas rig is without a weight. A 3/0 EWG hook and a stick worm or jerk shad bait is the perfect combo for weightless twitching. Rig the bait as mentioned before, but omit the weight. Make sure the bait is straight so it doesn’t twist up your line. Cast the weightless bait around mid to shallow depth weed flats or near other heavy cover. First let the bait drop to your desired depth, then twitch it in place with subtle lifts of your rod tip. The twitching cadence can vary, but we have found that a twitch, twitch, pause is the most productive. Like the previous two techniques, bass often strike on the pause when the bait is slowly shimmying downward.