As bass opener approaches, allow me to explain one of my favorite angling techniques: the wacky rig. This presentation performs equally well for largemouth and smallmouth bass and in almost any water body.
First, start with a reputable wacky worm plastic; I use the Gulp Power Sinking Minnow or the General. Both provide the slow flutter action in the fall that today’s modern bass demand. Sometimes, bass hit a wacky rig on the drop.
Place your hook in the center of the wacky worm for shallower bass and non- aggressive fish. Try wacky worm jigs for deep fish or when fish want a quicker drop.
When reeling, try twitching, shaking, hopping it, or employing a very slow retrieve with a stop. These are just some of the ways to present this versatile lure.
After the drop and before your retrieve, try letting it lay on the bottom for up to a few minutes. This is a deadsticking move, and quite often, bass can’t resist it. Sit back with a cup of coffee and try twitching it occasionally, but be prepared for a strike.
Cast your wacky rig to fish-holding areas such as weedlines, docks, inside breakline turns, rocks, and riprap. Use 8- to 10-pound fluorocarbon line for maximum sensitivity and minimum stretch.
Color is a factor, so if you’re marking fish, don’t be afraid to mix it up.
You’ll find me using a baitcasting reel and 7-plus-foot rod with a fast taper tip. The center needs to offer power for a strong hookset. Always set the hook firmly and more than once.
The wacky rig presentation requires patience and concentration. Many times you won’t feel the bite, so watch your line – it’s really a gut feeling that comes with experience.