Since the late 1940′s, the plastic worm has been the number one producing bass fishing lure in America, maybe in the world for that matter. They had a humble beginning with only a few colors being available purple, blue, red, and black. Later on, colored tails were added. Then a hot new revolutionary color, the firetail, hit the market and the plastic fishing worm business was off to the races. Since then a myriad of colors and names you would not believe has hit the market… such as crabapple, Junebug, motor oil, blueberry, tequila sunrise, kudzu, scuppernong, black neon, and the list goes on from there.
New elements were added to the plastic worm – curly tails, slither tails, ribbon tails, tube-like tails, skirted tails, crawfish claws, and even holes in the tail. Air pockets were added. Pockets for rattlers were added. Pockets to put scented oil into were molded into the worms. Eyes were molded to the head of the worms. Some were shaped to look like snakes. And the plastic material itself became very soft and coated with oils and scents. Salt was added in some cases, others were flavored to smell and taste like fruit.
The plastic worm still produces just as well as it ever did; the problem is that the plastic worm is not one of the new “popular” baits. You know the ones I’m talking about… the new spinnerbaits, the new buzz baits, the new suspending baits, the new topwater baits, and I can go on and on and get into detailed innovations in lure rigging and presentation like the Carolina Rig or the Florida rig. These rigs utilize the plastic worm in a different presentation and become a lure category all by itself.
What I’m trying to say is that fishermen seem to give little credit to the plastic worm as a great producer. I am here to state that the plastic worm continues to be a great producer and in several ways that are just as “cool” and innovative as any of the new techniques that seem to be so popular gizmoazure. The plastic worm can supplement any angler’s arsenal of bass-producing lures including the new lures and techniques.
One of the reasons for the plastic worm losing its position in the “glory” circle is that today’s fishermen continually pull out their worm rig only when they are fishing fairly deep water, drop-offs, ledges, channel bends, etc. They have not used the plastic worm as a solution to fishing problems. The plastic worm can often be the best solution above all other lures.
For example, this spring I was fishing on a small watershed lake during the late spring. The water temperature was up and the bass had been active in the shallows earlier so I felt sure that a spinnerbait or a topwater would be just the ticket. I fished all the shallow pockets, the points, the main lake cover, the heavy cover… I fished it all with these baits.
I increased my attack with a suspending Rogue. I worked a Redfin just on top. They just were not hitting the baits. I rigged up a Carolina rig and worked the points. I crankbaits for a while. Then I moved back to the shallows and rigged up a plastic worm.
I put a solid color worm on with a 1/8-oz. slip sinker. This was the lightest I could rig and still cast effectively with a baitcasting reel. I worked the 4-7 foot range but being that late in the spring the bass was either shallow or they were off the points suspended. Casting the worm just up to the edge of the bank I worked it back a few feet jiggling the worm fast then I would swim it a few feet then jiggle it again really hard and fast.
The small bass would slam it hard and head off to the left or right in a run. They practically set the hook themselves. The larger bass in the 2-4 lb. the range took the worm hard and would make a strong run. And is always the case, the giant bass just seemed to swim off with the baits. There was little if any noticeable detection of a “bites “.
These bass were in shallow following the passing of a small high-pressure front and were relating close to the shoreline. The water temperature had dropped by about 8 degrees. This reduced the strike zone and created a desire for a slow-moving meal thus the plastic worm became the natural presentation and it worked well. We caught bass continuously throughout the day. We reverted to the other baits on several occasions but the plastic worm continued to bring us bites.
Another situation where professionals use plastic worms and the novice doesn’t is in and around visible brush piles. Most bass fishermen will work the outside edge, left and right, of a visible brush pile with some sort of bait such as a crankbait, buzz bait, spinnerbait and then move on. Or on some occasions, they just chuck a plastic worm with a 3.8 oz. slip sinker right down the middle and move on. They might take the time to dip it on one my side or into a likely looking crook of a limb, but in essence, they scare more fish than they catch.
This situation is a finesse situation. When fishing a brush pile, please understand that this bass is in heavy cover and for a reason. They are not comfortable being anywhere else. Sometimes when you run a crankbait or a spinnerbait by, the bass, if it doesn’t bite, will back up a little deeper into the cover. On the next cast the bass may back up even a little more or it may move out to inspect the bait then it might even bite.
I know that when I have made four or five casts at a visible brush pile and the bass have not bitten then two things are possible. One is that there is no bass there. The second is that they are still in there and have positioned themselves deep inside the brush pile. That is where I take a worm rig with a 1/4 oz. slip sinker and a straight tail plastic worm and just ease it right down the middle of the brush pile. I don’t let it fall.
I lower it down. Any “thump” on the line and I set the hook. Usually, one or two dips into the brush pile will bring about a bite. I get hung up, I leave the hung bait alone and lower another plastic worm into the middle of the brush pile. Trying to get the hung bait loose will vacate the brush pile.
Another situation when I will use a plastic worm a little differently is when I am fishing lily pads. I do believe that lily pads are the “bassiest” looking things I have ever seen. Every time I pull into an area with lily pads I just know I’m goin’ to get a good’ un.
Since lily pads grow in a soft bottom area, I never expect the bass to be relating to the bottom but that they will be relating to the pad itself lying just under the pad. These fish may weigh less than a pound or they might weigh a whole bunch.
Either way, lily pads mean bass. I rig a plastic worm in a Texas rig and with no weights. I will cast past the primary area I want to fish and drag the worm from lily pad to lily pad letting the worm come across the top of the pad. If I see a boil under a pad I let the worm sit, then I jiggle, it then jerks it off the pad real fast… the bass will react and he’s mine. This is an exciting way of bass fishing. And you can just sit in one spot and fish a rather large area before moving on Myhdfs Login. There is probably not a bass under every lily pad but if there is one, there is more than one.
These are some of the ways I use a plastic worm differently. There are hundreds of different ways of fishing a plastic worm. The point I am making though is that all bass fishermen should use their imagination to solve a fishing problem by utilizing all the elements available to them. And one of the most versatile tools is the plastic worm. Remember, plastic worms are not just for ledges, drop-offs, deepwater, etc.
Use your imagination and fish the plastic worm with confidence. Don’t be ashamed to say, “I caught ‘em on a plastic worm.” What’s cool is not what you used, but what you caught.