Bass Fishing Hacks

Simple Hacks and Tips to Help You Catch More Bass

How do you fish a plastic worm for bass?

It can easily be argued that the very best artificial bait for a bass is a plastic worm. The plastic worm has probably caught more bass than all of the other bass lures combined. It is probably another safe bet that the majority of those bass where caught on a black or a purple worm. Those were the colors that bass fishermen used the most until a couple of decades ago.

There are all sorts of different techniques that bass fishermen use to fish with plastic worms today. There are methods for shallow water bass fishing. Bass fishing in heavy cover. Deep water bass fishing techniques and techniques for just about anywhere that you can catch a bass.

I am a Bass Fishing Charter Guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been catching bass in the canals, ponds and lakes all over Florida from more than 40 years. In the article below, I will teach you what I know about how to fish with a plastic worm to maximize your bass catching results.

Let’s get started.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Carolina and Texas rigs for plastic worms.

How do you fish a plastic worm with a Carolina rig?

The Carolina rig is one of the most effective ways to fish for a bass. The simple design of the Carolina rig allows you to fish the bottom of any body of water at any depth. You can use this rig to catch bass in one foot of water or 30 feet of water. It works in any depth.

The Carolina rig works great for bottoms that are sandy, rocky, or covered in gunk because the weight attracts that bass’ attention and the worm itself floats above the bottom. That is why the Carolina rig is the preferred bass fishing rig for many bass fishermen all over the United States.

A Carolina rig is very easy to use and an efficient way to cover the bottom effectively. The best retrieval rate is slow. It is very hard to fish a Carolina rig too slowly. You can basically just drag it along the bottom and catch tons of bass. It is really that easy.

What is the best rod and reel set up for a Carolina rig with plastic worms?

You will want to get yourself a medium/heavy action rod that is 7 foot or larger rod depending upon the length of the rigs that you like to use. It is easier to cast a 3 foot Carolina rig with a longer rod. An eight foot rod will cast a long leader better than a 7 foot rod will.

You will want to couple that rod with a baitcasting or spinning reel with a 6:1 gear ratio. That gear ratio is not too slow or too fast for most Carolina rig fishing scenarios. The gear ratio of 6.3:1 means that for every 360 degree handle turn that you make the spool will turn 6.3 times. So the higher the gear ratio is the more line you can get back per handle rotation.

Why do bass eat plastic worms in the first place?

Bass really don’t come across night crawlers and red wigglers very often as they go through life. Worms live in the soil and bass live in the water. Worms are not very good swimmers so they don’t intentionally go into the water where a bass might be lurking. So why do bass eat plastic worms so readily?

There are bass prey items that do look like a plastic worm. There are freshwater eels and snakes that look like your plastic worms. There are also types of salamanders like the mud puppy that look an awful lot like a plastic worm. So I think that bass eat that shape of lure because there are food items that they evolved to eat that also come in those shapes and colors.

I also think that a bass is just keying in on the movement of the worm. Bass will eat just about any creature that gets their attention and will fit into those huge bucket mouths of theirs. They will eat water birds, small rodents, small turtles, lizards and insects too.

I have caught plenty of bass in the pond behind my house by putting a piece of a hot dog on a hook and reeling it slowly past a waiting bass. There is nothing in the bass’ natural environment that looks like a piece of hot dog. BUT that doesn’t stop them from eating them anyways.

Bass eat things for two basic reasons. They are either hungry or they are trying to kill the thing for coming into its territory. Either way the thing get swallowed. Both of those reasons are why you can catch so many bass by using a plastic worm lure of different colors, shapes and sizes.

How do you fish a plastic worm as a Texas rig?

The Texas rig is probably the most popular way to fish a plastic worm for a few different reasons. The first reason is because that technique catches a ton of bass. It is also very easy to rig up. It is also very versatile and can be used in many different bass fishing scenarios.

All that you have to do to fish a Texas rig is put a bullet weight on your line before you tie your hook onto it. Then you add your plastic worm, lizard, crawdad or whatever else to it and start casting.

The Texas rig method of fishing a plastic worm is very versatile because you can use it for just about any underwater fishing scenario. You can increase the size of the weight and use it to punch through thick vegetation and use it like a jig. You can crag it along the bottom like you would with a Carolina rig. You can even lose the weight and use it like a top water bass lure.

What is the best rod and reel set up for a Texas rig with plastic worms?

You can use the same rod and reel set up as you do with the Carolina rig with one exception. If you are using a Texas rig to jig bass out of the deep cover then you will need a stiffer rod and a faster reel. If you like fishing for those big bass that like to hide in thick vegetation, then you will want a heavy, fast action rod that is 7 feet long or more and a 7:1 reel ratio.

The longer and heavier rod will help you pull those big bass out of the weeds. It will also help you get the bass and 5 pounds worth of weeds to the boat better than a medium or medium/heavy rod will.

The faster reel will let you get the bass out of the weeds before it can go down and bury itself. The more line that you can get back on the reel as quickly as possible means that you will get more bass out of the thick vegetation. You will also want to a reel with at least 10 or 12 pounds of drag.

My rod and reel for fishing the thick stuff is 7 feet 2 inches long and a heavy/fast action rod. The reel has a 7.1:1 gear ration and 18 pounds of drag. You need a tough rod and reel combo to get those big bass out of the weeds.

Watch the video above to see some stalking and catching video of a nice swamp bass with soft plastics.

How do you fish a plastic worm with a wacky rig?

The wacky rig is one of the easiest ways to fish a plastic worm. You simply cast the worm out and let it fall. The worm does all of the work for you. It flutters slowly to the bottom and bass cannot resist biting it.

The wacky worm is just a Senko style of worm that has a hook right in the middle of the worm. It is a great choice on very calm days and when the water is exceptionally clear. Do not work this worm like you would a Carolina rig, Texas rig or any other worm rig.

Just cast it out and let it fall to the bottom. Reel it back in and cast it somewhere else and repeat the process until you figure out where all of the hungry bass are.

What is the best rod and reel set up for a wacky rig?

You do not need a heavy rod and reel set up for fishing with a wacky worm. A 7 foot medium action rod will do the trick just fine unless there are some big bass around or you are fishing in structure. Then you would want to step up to a medium/heavy action rod.

The reel that you need is a 6:1 gear ratio that has at least 10 pounds of drag. That will catch just about every bass that is going to bite your wacky rig. A spinning reel works just as well as a baitcasting reel for fishing a wacky rig.

How do you fish a plastic worm with a drop shot rig?

A drop shot worm rig is a rig with the worm hook tied 12 to 18 inches above a weight at the end of the line. This is considered a finesse worm fishing technique and you don’t have to do much to create the worm’s movement.

The best technique is to move your bait with a slack line. you don’t want too much action. The worm will wiggle on its own in the water. This is a great way to fish in deep clear water for bass.

You can also use it in the upper and middle parts of the water column by casting it out with a very small weight and let it pendulum back to vertical underneath you. The worm will flutter its way right back to you in a very natural presentation.

What is the best rod and reel set up for a drop shot rig?

You can use your same rod and reel combo that you have for your wacky rig set up. You don’t need a different rod and reel for each different fishing technique that you use for bass fishing. Even though most of the bass fishing shows will make you think that. Just get yourself a 7 foot medium rod and combine that with a 6;1 gear ratio reel. The reel and rod can be a spinning outfit or a baitcasting combo. It really doesn’t matter.

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