Skip to main content

Wacky Ways

The worm turns bass can't resist.

This largemouth bass charged out of deep cover to grab a wacky worm.

It's so simple: a plastic worm with the hook set through its center, rather than through the head or tail. When submerged, both ends of the worm wiggle from a central fulcrum for an amazingly natural appearance that mimics an earthworm or a wounded baitfish on a slow fall all the way through the water column.

So-called wacky rigs require minimal rod work and bass typically bite such presentations on the fall. However, wiggling the bait along the bottom or over timber is another attractive presentation. Other times, deeper water, wind or current may sweep a wacky worm off course. Bottom line: You may need to weight your wacky.

Dense-bodied stick baits like the classic Gary Yamamoto Senko, Yum Dinger or Wave Tiki Stick sink well on their own, but lighter plastics like a Zoom Swamp Crawler or the Berkley Gulp! Wacky Crawler lack the mass to punch through the water column.

Tungsten-impregnated worm rigged with weighted hook and O-ring.

> Inserts: From nails to peg weights, sticking a piece of metal into the worm's head or tail is old-school simplicity.

> Weighted Hooks: Models like the K Wacky Worm Hook made by Falcon Lures incorporate lead weights affixed to their upper shanks. Adding pinch weights to plain hooks allows easy adaptation.

> Jigs: For dedicated bottom presentations or when longer casts are in order, rig your wacky worm on a specialized jig, like the Jackall Wacky Jig Head that sits with its shortshank hook and the worm facing upward. Gamakatsu's elliptically flat Wacky Head adds weight, plus an enticing side-to-side rolling action and red finish. Wiggle a wacky jig head in one spot with subtle rod twitches or work it more aggressively in open water where the weight's rise and fall shimmies the worm with incredibly convincing action.

> Line: Four- to 8-pound fluorocarbon line is the popular choice for wacky rigs, and not just for its low-vis properties. Fluoro's denser composition sinks a bait faster with less weight. (In heavy cover, use 6- to 8-pound braided line with a fluorocarbon leader.)

For areas thick with vegetation, weedguards like that of the Mustad W37754R weedless Wacky Worm Hook will save you from snagging headaches.

When it comes to hooking a wacky worm, some run the hook right through the plastic body, while others slide an O-ring over their bait and slip the hook under this attachment accessory. You can catch fish both ways, but proponents of O-rings replace fewer worms because the baits are less likely to get mangled during fights. O-rings also improve hookups with thicker worms that can impede penetration—a concern rarely seen with thinner worms.

Extending the design's usefulness, wacky rigging is often used on dropshot rigs. A common finesse tactic for bass fishing, the dropshot positions a small weight at the end of a 12- to 14-inch tag line coming from a hook tied directly to the main line. Wacky rigging replaces the dropshot's usual head hooking arrangement.

Unlike the standard wacky presentation, dropshots are designed to stand in one spot and hold the worm at a certain depth—often for several minutes at a time—to pester a bass or at least pique a curiosity strike.

Finally, don't hesitate to fling a wacky-rigged worm into tight quarters. A centrally balanced wacky rig is well-suited for delivering a finesse presentation. Use a short snappy cast to whip a wacky rig under docks or overhanging limbs. The resident largemouth will be duly impressed.

FS

 




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

How to Buy and Rig a River Fishing Kayak

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Power or Paddle? Bonafide PWR129

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

It's a Skiff, It's a Kayak: Bonafide SKF117

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage Lynx to the Next Level

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight Packed with Features

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Extend Your Range in the Salt Marsh

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Florida's Capital Fishing

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 FULLY RIGGED Fishing Machine

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Mounting Forward-Facing Sonar on A Kayak: Mounts, Scanning Applications and More!

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

On The Water with Old Town: Bass Fishing at PRIVATE GEORGIA LAKE

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

DECKED-OUT Old Town Sportsman BigWater ePDL+ 132 Complete WALK-THROUGH

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Dreambuild: Old Town ePDL Gets Rigged to the Hilt

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now

Never Miss a Thing.

Get the Newsletter

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

By signing up, I acknowledge that my email address is valid, and have read and accept the Terms of Use