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How to Fish a Wacky Rig for Bass | Bass Fishing

How to Fish a Wacky Rig for Bass | Bass Fishing

Hey folks, Glenn May here with
Today I want to talk with you about fishing wacky rigged worms. This is a great way to
catch fish, almost year-round, really. It’s a great method to do it. And all’s it really
is, you’re just taking a straight-tailed worm, any size, and just sticking the hook through
it. That’s the basic setup. Just sticking the hook right through the middle. That’s
all it is. Looks like that. Okay? Very basic. It’s kind of an odd way of fishing it. There’s
many theories on how it came to that origin, but I’m not going to get into that today. Now, to rig it, there’s all kinds of different
ways to do it. Matter of fact, it’s been so popular that it spawned kind of a cottage
industry. There’s all kinds of O-rings, there’s weighted O-rings, there’s specialized hooks,
special jig-heads. It goes on and on and on. You can go hog wild with all the specialized
things you can get for fishing wacky rigs. For me, I like to keep things simple and basic.
I want to keep my tackle organized and clean. So I try to shy away from one-off stuff, things
that are just one-trick ponies that are useful for only one type way of fishing. You can’t
get completely away from it, but with wacky rigging, you can. So I don’t buy any O-rings.
I don’t buy specialized weights and hooks. I just re-purpose the stuff I already have
in my tackle box. Now if you use all this stuff and you use
those O-rings and you feel that it works great for you and helps the worms last longer and
they don’t tear up and that kind of thing, man, knock yourself out. Have fun with that.
There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just telling you, for me, I try to shy away from
all of that stuff. I just use a jig-head. And in this instance, I’m fishing a four-inch
hand-poured lure, and that’s what you want. You need a bait that’s got a little flexibility,
quite a bit of flexibility. So a hand-poured for me is what I use. And just a little ball-head jig with a wire
guard. Can you see that wire guard on there? And that wire guard kind of keeps the weeds
and stuff off of it. It helps prevent me from hooking up on any wood or branches or weeds
and all that kind of debris on the bottom. A very basic setup if I’m fishing in say rocky
areas, I might switch to a football head jig or if I’m fishing really weedy then instead
of using a ball-head I might use more of a bullet sinker kind shaped head. But that’s
about it. I got a whole bunch of different jig-heads in my boat, so I just re-purpose
what I have. Makes it real easy that way and keeps the clutter down. In the springtime, I might get a little bit
bigger. I might be using a six-inch worm with a heavier jig-head. In those cases, I might
be fishing it on a lot thicker line. Today I’m fishing the spinning tackle. I’m using
six-pound fluorocarbon on it. Okay? Real light finesse approach. Fluorocarbon is really sensitive.
You’re going to need that with a real light bait. I don’t use braid, because braid is
more buoyant and it kind of drags on this bait and inhibits the way it falls. And that’s another key thing. I use a weight
on here. Now some people will fish a wacky rig weightless, but to me, that doesn’t work.
The whole beauty of this bait is as it falls, it does this action, all the way down, okay?
It just flutters, really nicely. The weight accentuates that. The weight it falls down
faster and it wriggles really nicely. If you are fishing weightless, just a hook on there,
I feel it just kind of falls like that. It really doesn’t move. It might move a little
bit but the hook isn’t weighted enough by itself to cause that action. If I’m going to fish it weightless, then I’ll
just fish it Texas rig much like I do a Senko and I’ll fish it that way. So for me, a weight
is critical. This is just a 3/16-once weight, a real light weight, fishing on six-pound
fluorocarbon line, straight fluoro. I don’t use leaders or anything like that. I want
a direct connection to it. The less leaders and less knots I have between me and the bait,
the less likelihood I have for break-off. So it’s straight fluoro. Fishing on a spinning rod. I’ve got a seven-foot
medium light action rod here, perfect for this setup. It’s a light wire hook that I’m
fishing, so the rod has to have some flex and to give to it some bend. So when I’m
fighting a fish, I don’t want to straighten the hook out nor do I want to break the line.
So nice medium light action rod, perfect for this setup. As far as colors are concerned, the colors
of baits … you know it’s funny, I have not found any kind of connection as far as color
and how many fish I catch. It’s all about the action. I don’t even know the name of
this color, honestly. It’s a hand-pour that I get from Don Iovino. You can look them up
online and find his baits. I’ve fished all different kinds of colors, white, black, everything
in between, and I’ve caught fish on it. So I think it’s more about the action than it
is the color. But as a general rule of thumb, natural colors tend to produce in clear water
or most conditions. Green pumpkin is your old standby. So if you really don’t know what
to use, fish a green pumpkin. You can’t go wrong with that. Like I said, it’s more about
the action than the color. All right, so there’s the lure. There’s the
line we’re going to use, the rod, the setup, the whole nine yards. Now let’s go fish it. What I have here is a long tapering point
that I’m fishing, and I’m right toward the end of it, right where it drops off into deeper
water. That’s a perfect candidate for the wacky worm. All you’re going to do is cast
out there and let it fall on slack line. Watch that line carefully. Watch where it enters
the water. See if it twitches, pops, jerks, does anything unnatural, anything that you
that you didn’t cause, well something on the line is playing volleyball with it so you
better set the hook. So pay close attention to that line when you throw it out there. Just toss it out there, flip the bail over
or engage your reel, and then just carefully watch that line as it falls. Let it fall all
the way down to the bottom, straight down. Just let that worm do its thing as it goes
all the way down. That’s the action that’s enticing. That’s what the fish want. Once it hits the bottom, and it’s really easy
to tell when it hits the bottom, because the line just goes slack on you. So there, it
hit the bottom. Just lift up. I got some weeds down there. It went a little too shallow here.
I’ve got to reel this back up and go back out because I just picked up a weed. What you’re going to do is you’re just going
to work it back to the boat, nice and slow and let the bait do its thing. Let’s cast
that out a little bit further. I’m trying to get right on the weed line. I went a little
too much on the inside of it. So let it fall. Watch that bait. Watch that line as it drops.
Make sure fish doesn’t pick it up as it’s falling, because that’s the key to this bait.
A lot of times those bites happen on slack line. All right, now it’s on the bottom. Lift up
and let it drop. Bring your rod tip right down to the nine o’clock position and bring
it back up to about eleven o’clock and follow it on down. Just go right on back down with
it. So as it’s dropping, you want to reel up the slack, but you don’t want to reel the
bait. Just reel up. Go up to about the 11 o’clock position. Drop the rod tip down as
you’re reeling. Let that bait fall naturally, but you’re kind of keeping connection with
it. And this is what some people call it, letting it fall on a semi-slack line. When
they refer to that, that’s what that’s all about. I picked up a couple more weeds again,
right on the edge of that. But since I’m picking up weeds, I’m going
to show you another technique. This is how you fish it across weeds. This time, you don’t
let it drop all the way down. Let it drop quite a bit, but don’t let it drop completely.
Then what we are going to do, we are going to kind of swim it back. You want to keep
it just over the tops of the weeds. It’s just a steady reel. Hold the rod tip about nine
o’clock, seven o’clock position, eight o’clock, somewhere in there. You want to keep it ready
for that strike. You always want to be ready for that strike. Just kind of reel it back
in slowly, and you are going to let that worm do its thing underwater. I really don’t know
what it is that this bait resembles, honestly. But man, the fish just love it, absolutely
love it. So that’s one way, just a straight retrieve.
So we’ve done the lifting it back up and letting it fall back down and then a straight retrieve.
Let me show you another one. When it reaches down at the bottom, now we’re going to impart
a little more action to it and get their attention. Lift up on it and see if there’s any fish.
I don’t feel a fish. So you’re going to pop it a little bit, just with the rod tip. Bring
it back down and let the rod tip. It’s the same action we had before, but now we’re kind
of jerking and popping it. We’re giving it just a little bit of an action as it falls.
Real great way to catch fish this way. All right? And then finally, one other way I like to
do it, I cast it back out there, let it fall again, pay real close attention to that line
because that’s when they always hit. But let it fall straight down. When it hits down there,
you want to feel, just lift up a little bit and see if there’s a fish on the other end.
I don’t feel a fish right now. I’m a little further off the point right now, and I’m letting
it fall a bit further. Now what we’re going to do, I think I’m away from those weeds,
we’re just going to drag it on the bottom. Just let it fall, let it sit. Give it a rest,
and then you want to drag it a little bit more on the bottom, okay? And here you’re
just crawling it along. I don’t know, you just kind of make it like a fish that’s injured
or some kind of bait fish. Those are just some of the different ways
that you can fish this bait. Experiment. Play with it! There’s all kinds of different things
you can do. There’s no right or wrong way to fish it. That’s why this bait is so versatile,
why so many people like it. They catch so many different fish on it. Different baits,
different techniques, different tactics. It’s a great, fun way to fish. Have fun with it.
For more tips and tricks like this, visit

100 comments on “How to Fish a Wacky Rig for Bass | Bass Fishing

  1. I have never fished a worm wacky style!. Since I have watched this video and seen ways to present my bait to the fish and how to rig it correctly, I wanna try it now more than ever. Great video! Thanks Bass Resource!!!

  2. Haven't spent much time fishing a wacky rig. Can't wait to put some time in and work on these techniques. Thanks for the great tips and video.

  3. Very informational video! I'll keep it in mind in the future when I wacky rig for sure! In addition to that I did all asked and those baits would be nice addition to help catch some bass

  4. Thank you for the awesome tips i have Larned a lot of good information from your videos that have got me caching a lot more bass on my home waters thank you for all the helpful tips

  5. That's how I fish wacky with the exception I use an unweighted 1/0 weedless wacky VMC hook. If I need the weight for deep wacky fishing or it's windy, I'll put shot on the line 6-10" up from the hook/bait

  6. Love fishing weightless especially in small lakes and ponds. Weights attract weeds and grass more. I have be rigging worms through the head, or tail or middle since I was a kid. As a kid I could not afford to buy new worms so I had to be creative in my rigging. Today I am just cheap. :). I will reuse a worm til it is just too short to use. I rarely use a jig head but will give it a try a bit more.

  7. To be honest, I have never fished this way.  I know it works, but it just seems so weird, but I will try it.  Great video!!

  8. I have tried wacky rigging my tubes and no joy. For some reason I have never used a senko and plan on using it this weekend both weightless (10 ft depth water) and weighted on some 30 ft holding fish to see what happens.

  9. I fish a 5" senko early rigged, weightless on a gamakatsu 1/0 offset worm hook. I caught 16 bass today. The senko wacky rig requires it being weightless for maximum wiggle. It also gives the bass the most time to grab it on the fall.

  10. Love wacky rig with a 1/16oz tungsten bullet weight, weedless wacky hook and a trick worm. Catches big and small fish alike.

  11. This is an awesome way to catch fish. just don't wait to long to set the hook bc they swallow the bait quickly!!

  12. use wacky rig a lot but usually insert weight in senko or worm. never tried on jighead but will. good video, thanks

  13. Very informative. The video was great and I would like to know if I can use actual worms for this if I can't find and lures of natural colour

  14. I've not tried this yet but this video explains alot more than most who are just tring to sell something.  another great one form yinz guys.

  15. Thanks. I have never tried Wacky Rig fishing but am going to give it a shot this morning. Great video instruction.

  16. Haven't had much luck wacky rigging myself. both times I've tried it I've gotten snagged and broken off. I may have to look around some stores and grab some of the weedless hooks, or try making the regular hook weedless as I saw on a website the other day.

  17. That's what I told The girl I'm datint "expirament play with it there's all kinds of different things you can do" and "have fun with it" well she slapped me

  18. I wanted to tell you how great this video was. I recently got back into frequent fishing after many years of it being rare due to life things. I inherited my father "small tackle shop" worth of rods, reels and tackle. He loved to fish. Probably slightly more than he loved to find and buy more gear and tackle "just cuz you never know what they will want" I kept hearing about wacky rig and I had to find out what it was. I googled videos and yours popped up. So I tried it out. I have about 8 bass this year and 6 of them on wacky rig. I was using various size rods/reels and line weights. Some braid some mono. KVD Coffee scented green pumpkin sticks ( I just ran out of them so time to shop haha) I use them with weedless weighted like you show, with standard J hooks, Circle hooks and off center circles too. Basically the fish just cant say no. Well except this one lake in the WMA I fish. So far those bass only hit rattle traps from rapala. Anyway, many thanks this is one video that definately improved my catch.

  19. Glad you didn't completely bash people who use o-rings. When you use a cenko weightless it has a vibrating/flutter action so you don't really have to use a jig, unless you're in deeper water which I think you were. The o-rings help us average Joes to not waste our hard earned money by having to buy a ton of worms. You will lose a lot if blue gills are around and short striking bass and even weeds without o-rings.

  20. your videos are awesome I haven't caught any bass yet with wacky rigs but hopefully I do so I get more experience for senkos and other baits for bass and some color senkos work amazingly for drop shot because of what they like I guess

  21. At 3:55 or so you appear to say that you tie the jig directly to the spinning line. Is that the case? I'm always forced to use a swivel in order to not get twists in the line after a few casts. As a result, I put it about 18" from the jig. What am I missing, here?

  22. I'm new to fishing. But when you're reeling as you move the rod up and down, your bringing the bait in correct? I noticed you said keep a slack line. I fish two spin rods. no good at bait casters. please clarify how to work that bait.

  23. First time on this channel. I already like this guy. Honest and not trying to do a bunch of unnecessary stuff and use ridiculous amounts of gear to impress people or make himself sound more educated. All about the honest, simple approach that works best for him in his experience. And amen to the worm color not making a massive difference. I'm always debating people on that topic and I'm with you. It's all in the action.

  24. Weights on most baits that are MEANT for wacky rigging remove the flutter. Like a Senko, worms that arent stick baits and are heavier on one end like the one you use will not flutter as well. Ive done multiple tests on it and the only reason to wacky with a weight is to get it in deeper water. Plus its a finesse style of fishing and that massive jig head takes away from the presentation. Some of that is my opinion but some is also a fact.

  25. Just started using this set up and been getting plenty of bites, but having trouble sticking em

  26. "don't know what it is this bait resembles". RIGHT? i ignored this type of lure until this year, cause i just never thought it'd be worth anything. using it this year? i've caught more and bigger bass on this lure than any other lure i've ever used. i've now got about a dozen colors, in 3 and 4 inch size since i'm in ohio, and it's something i CONSTANTLY have on one of my poles as i fish from my kayak. i never thought to use a jig head, but you've convinced me to give it a shot. i'm going to try that out this evening.

  27. You need to get a little higher up towards the head end of the worm with your hook. And I don’t understand how he doesn’t understand the benefits of weightless. When I fish googan, zoom, culprit and get nothing at this time of year (early June) in NC, the wacky rig bright watermelon red zoom finesse worm weightless is tearing em up. You make 3 or 4 small quick jerks and then let it sink for a second or two then repeat, snatch fish out of water, let cool for 2 minuets and enjoy

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