The Wacky Worm Rig is an extremely popular technique for Bass fishing. Whether you are a beginner looking to catch the first Bass of your life, or a professional tournament angler, using a wacky rigged stick bait is a simple way to consistently catch fish. Proper rigging, technique, and bait color choice are the keys to success with this rig.
How to Rig a Wacky Worm
Rigging a soft plastic stick bait in the wacky style, means to hook it in the middle portion of the bait. Stick worms have a smooth section near the middle of the bait, insert the hook in the center of the worm along whichever side of that section is nearest to the middle of the bait. It is a good practice to keep track of where you are hooking the bait so you can replicate the same action if the fish shakes the bait or it gets pulled off the hook. A wacky rigged stick bait is fished weightless most of the time and offers Bass a slow-sinking presentation with lots of action from slight rod movements. The bait has a slow fall action and stays in the strike zone for a long period of time. The technique is tantalizing to Bass and often entices a lot of bites, even from pressured fish. However, try to avoid some common pitfalls in your presentation like those listed here 5 Wacky Rig Mistakes.
What Fishing Hooks to Use
We recommend using a 1/0 red Octopus style hook when fishing the most popular 5” size stick bait. The 1/0 hook size is perfect for securing enough worm without exposing too much of the hooks shaft. The Octopus style has a short shank with a wide gap, so you can get a good hook set on a quick strike. Definitely alternate hook sizes and styles depending on the size of the plastic you rig on, or the size of the Bass you’re targeting. If you’re exploring alternative Wacky styles, there are high-end hooks for specialized wacky rigging from brands we admire like Trokar and Gamakatsu.
Adding O-Rings to your Stick Bait
Another accessory that will save you time and money is the wacky O-Ring. It is a small rubber ring that is threaded onto the stick bait. Pull the stick bait through the O-ring until its halfway up and secure. Then insert the hook parallel to the bait through the O-Ring, skinning the top layer of worm to ensure a tight fit. While an O-Ring is not required to fish a Wacky Worm Rig, it does make a difference when the fish start to bite. It will allow the bait to slide around the hook and up through the line when fighting a fish. This capability is most important on a hot bite, keeping your lure on the rig after taking numerous casualties from aggressive Bass.
5″ Stick Baits, 1/0 Octopus Hooks, and 8mm O-Rings are included in our Bass Fishing Kit.
How to Fish a Wacky Worm
The coolest thing about fishing a Wacky Worm Rig is its versatility. This rig can be thrown almost anywhere in almost any situation and be productive. The time of the year does not matter as much as the conditions and structure available for fish.
When the fishing gets tough, or your goal is to simply land a few that day, a wacky worm is always a safe bet. It can be thrown anywhere and works any time of the year. While used primarily in shallower water, you can add a little weight or count patiently to work deeper depths. Targeting the structure that Bass are relating to is the key to getting strikes. In the spring, fish will be shallow as they prepare for the spawn. Look for spawning beds near calm shorelines, often found in coves or marinas. In the summer, focus on shade providing cover like docks, weed lines and the open pockets of vegetation. Depending on the lake, winter can be a tougher time to catch Bass on a wacky rig as the fish move deeper.
When fishing a wacky worm, make sure to cast as far as possible and let the bait slowly drop to the bottom. As the bait sinks, a slow-falling action offers dual-tail movement. As you retrieve, offer quick twitches of the rod to repeat this coaxing movement. Be sure to always watch your line while the bait is falling, Bass frequently dart-up and snatch it just before you start to retrieve. Start slow, keeping your line taut to check for a fish before you begin working the bait.
Stick Bait Worm Colors
When fishing a Wacky Worm Rig, there are a few popular colors that seem to be productive all around the country in most any situation. Green pumpkin is arguably the most popular for any soft plastic bait because it mimics common Bass forage. This color can be used any time of year in various water temps and clarity levels. When the water is stained or muddy, opt for a darker color scheme such as Junebug or Black with Blue Flake. These dark colors excel when fishing around shallow cover when water clarity makes it harder for Bass to find the bait. For clear water situations, Watermelon and Pumpkin Seed are more likely to entice a strike. These and other lighter colors are favorable to clear water as they more closely mimic a Bass’ natural forage and are easily visible.