If you’ve done much bass fishing you know that most bass species love wacky worms. Based on time-of-year and fishing conditions, finding the best hook and wacky worm for your wacky rigging can be challenging.
Adding to the confusion is the fact wacky rig hooks with worms now come in hundreds of shapes and sizes. Depending on who you ask, there are also lots of wacky rigging techniques- some of which work better than others. If you’re a passionate weekend bass angler who wants to fish like a pro, using these worm rigging tips should do the trick.
What Are Wacky Rigs?
A wacky rig is basically an artificial rubber worm threaded onto a wide-gap hook. Rigging a wacky worm is usually done by placing the hook through the center of the bait, causing it to sag evenly on both ends. Some seasoned anglers prefer an off-center hook placement depending on how they want to fish their wacky worm rig.
Once cast out into the water, the fake worm wiggles and shimmies just like a real worm as it falls in the water column. That realistic sinking action draws the attention of nearby bass, inducing reaction strikes as they inhale the bait into their mouth.
Although this traditional method works well for anglers of all skill levels the problem with rigging wacky worms this way is that they get torn up rather quickly, especially when fishing near weed beds or docks. And that’s where weedless wacky rigs come in — a topic that will be covered later in this article.
The quality of wacky rig hooks that you use is also important, as a hook that’s not very sharp nor the right shape won’t get the job done. Over the years as wacky worm rigs have become more popular it’s driven the demand for better hooks, imitation baits, and rigging techniques.
Best Wacky Worms for Bass
Since bass love wacky worms so much, it’s hard to go wrong. But like any other type of bait, you’ll have better success by adjusting your bait size, color and fishing techniques using water temperature, water clarity, and time of year as a guide.
Much like bass, many experienced anglers also love the SENKO brand of wacky worms because of their superior sinking action and unique profile details. Although there are other decent wacky worm brands out there, their worms are hard to beat.
A 5-inch SENKO worm will give you plenty of coverage for most every smallmouth or largemouth in your target range. There are over 100 SENKO worm colors to choose from, which is more than enough to equip your tackle box for any freshwater bass-fishing excursion.
How to Choose Your Wacky Rig Tackle
Once you’ve selected your fishing bait it’s time to assemble your tackle. First, find a good bait-casting rod with medium-heavy action from the Bulldawg Rods Trophy Series. Pair your rod with a high-quality reel and 15 to 17-pound test line.
Next, grab a package of size 4/0 Wacky Rig Hooks from the Kitana Hooks collection. Many professional bass anglers trust Kitana hooks to hold their snagged prey because they are razor-sharp, super sturdy, rust-resistant, and have chemically sharpened precision points.
Here’s a great video showing our friend Andrew Nordbye reeling in a monster largemouth while using a SENKO + Kitana hook weightless wacky worm rig:
Simple Wacky Worm Rigs for Bass Fishing
Designing the best rig for wacky worm fishing boils down to variables like geography, season, bass behavior, weather conditions, water clarity, and desired fishing depth.
But it also depends on your fishing skill level and experience. Even as an inexperienced angler using these simple wacky worm rigs should put more monster fish in your boat:
Basic wacky worm rig
Although it’s the simplest rig of all, a basic wacky worm rig is still very effective. To rig up yours find the smooth part in the middle of the worm and thread your wide gap, size 2/0 to 4/0 Kitana Wacky Hook through it. Tie the wacky worm hook rig to your leader and you’re ready to go!
Once you’ve found a good spot, like a shallow feeder channel bed during the spawning season, cast your “weightless” rig out.
Because it isn’t weighted, the rig will sink very slowly in the water column. The slacker your line, the more likely bass will strike. While patiently watching your line fall, keep your rod tip pointed towards the surface and be ready to lift and set the hook when you see the line move or feel a tug.
If the falling rig reaches the bottom without a reaction strike or hook set, give it a brief rest before starting your retrieve and presentations.
Increase your worm’s life!
To increase your wacky worm’s lifespan, instead of threading the hook through it, you can also tie it onto your hook by using an O-ring or small elastic band!
Texas wacky worm rig
On windy days or when there’s a strong current, a Texas wacky worm rig provides just enough extra weight to ensure cast-and-retrieve accuracy. Because it’s a weedless wacky worm rig, a Texas rig is great for casting into shaded structures or under docks where lethargic bass tend to congregate during hot Summer months.
If you are still having trouble casting and retrieving because of the conditions, add the smallest amount of lead possible to your rig. When bass moves deeper into the water column during cold winter months, you’ll need to be more patient or switch to a Carolina rig.
This video from our YouTube channel shows you how to Rig and fish a weightless SENKO wacky worm Texas style:
Once water temps warm up in the Spring you can catch lots of spawning bass by skipping docks in shallow water with your wacky worm Texas Rig- just like Andrew does in the video!