In the world of bass fishing, there are dozens of techniques that have proven to be effective at bringing fish to the boat. The Texas-rig, the drop-shot, the Carolina-rig—the reason they’re all so popular is simple: they work. However, there is another finesse technique that has seen a rise in usage over the years that I’ve found to be very underrated and underused by many anglers: the wacky rig.
Implementing a senko-style worm, the wacky rig is a subtle, but extremely deadly, method of enticing fish. This is due, largely in part, to the steady, side-to-side dancing action that the rigged bait displays while it sinks slowly in the water. Similar to a worm, nine times out of ten, fish hit the lure while it sinks, because of its action, and fish can’t resist a wacky-rigged worm. However, as it sinks, you’ll want to jerk the rod a little every so often, to create a flapping motion.
There are a few different ways to set up the wacky rig, but they involve the same basic principle: a hook in the middle with either half of the senko worm flapping like wings with each twitch of the rod. The easiest way to create the rig is to pierce the worm through the middle with an octopus hook. Simple, right? While effective, this set up also damages the worm quickly, and causes anglers to blow through their supply rapidly.
Another way to rig a worm wacky style is to use a great product that retailers can’t seem to keep in stock. The wacky tool—and the wacky O-rings it comes with—create the setup in a way that reduces damage to the bait itself by incorporating a hollow tube wrapped with rubber rings. Using this tool, you simply slide the worm into the hollow tube, and then roll the small rubber rings along the tube and onto the worm body. Then pull the worm out of the tube and slide your hook between the ring and the bait. This negates the need to pierce the bait, thus causing no damage to it.
One last way to create the wacky rig is to use a jighead specifically designed for the technique, called, appropriately, the Wacky jighead. When insterted through the middle of the worm’s body, this jighead is scary-efficient! You don’t have to do anything besides cast the bait and let it do its thing. The jighead does all the work as it sinks, and the weight creates a little different wobble than other wacky rigs. It’s definitely worth checking out.
The wacky rig is a create way to change up your finesse fishing regimen. Keep an eye on your line as the bait sinks and watch for any movement, as fish often strike such lures on the fall. Experiment with different scents and color patterns throughout the year and stick with what works. If you think that the wacky rig is too simple and too easy to be so effective, give it a try and see just how deadly simplicity can be on the water!