The "Wacky" Worm Phenomenon
Perhaps there is no finer time in the year to
witness the explosion of spring than when a largemouth bass sucks
in a "Wacky" worm on light line in shallow water and
the fight is on! There is nothing quite like trying to wrench a
bass out of tight cover on spinning gear with light line, as the
excitement and pure adrenaline will get you every time! For
springtime bucketmouths this action has been known to be
heart-stopping. When the fishing gets tough, not just in spring,
but anytime of the year, get out the spinning gear and try your
hand at this easy to master technique.
by Virginia Pierce
"Wacky" worming can be versatile and productive in a
multitude of ways. The versatility of this style of finesse
fishing is only limited by the number of ways you can think of to
rig it. "Wacky" worming can also be done on baitcasting
gear and can be almost as effective as when used on spinning
gear. The reason I believe spinning gear is more productive, is
that you can use lighter line on spinning gear. When most people
think of "Wacky" worming, the thought comes to mind of
a worm hooked through the egg sack with the hook exposed; and
yes, this is the traditional method of "Wacky" worming.
However, there are many other ways to make this particular style
of fishing work to your advantage.
Spinning rods and reels. For this
type of finesse fishing, we typically use CastAway medium and
medium-heavy action graphite spinning rods, but any spinning rod
may be used as long as it is not a light action rod. The light
action rods are just not stout enough to horse bass out of the
brush and weeds because the tip is too soft to give a good solid
hookset. The particular reels that we personally use with this
style of fishing are Shimano Spirex SR 1000FB and SR2000FB series
reels. We use 10-12# Trilene Big Game line on our spinning reels.
The rigging of these rods is very versatile, as we have
perfected and use six different variations on this rig:
- Use a 1/0 Gamakatsu wide gap worm hook tied direct to the
line and rig Texas style.
- Same as number one above, but add a 1/32 oz. or 1/16 oz.
bullet weight above the hook.
- Use a small barrel swivel with a 12-14" leader and a 2/0
Gamakatsu Super Flipping hook, rigged either Texas or traditional
- Same as number three above, but crimp a small split shot
1/2" above the swivel.
- Same as number three above, but crimp a small split shot
1/2" directly above the hook.
- Use a small barrel swivel and a 12-14" leader with a
Mustad "Finacky" 1/0 weighted hook and rig either Texas
As to what baits to use, primarily we use
either Riverside lizards, Floating Air Frys, Sling Shots or Big
Claw crawfish imitations. We also use Zoom Trick Worms and
centipedes for this type of fishing. These baits can all be
fished either traditional, Texas rigged or "Wacky"
(hooked in the middle with the hook exposed).
On any given day, any one of the above mentioned rigging
methods may work better than the others. You just have to
experiment and let the fish tell you which method they prefer.
Fish these rigs in anywhere from 2-12' depths in and around
buckbrush, docks, creek bends, points, backs of coves and
pockets, inside, and also outside grasslines. In the heat of the
summer, this type of fishing can be deadly fished in the heavy
grass and on the edges of the grass. Simply cast it out, let it
sink, and reel it back in just like you do in traditional worm
fishing. This rig will also out perform most all other styles of
fishing and is exceptionally deadly when used in frontal
It takes some getting used to, but once you have mastered the
spinning reel and using these techniques, your success ratio of
catching bass during difficult times will dramatically improve.
Remember, you are only limited by your imagination on ways and
variations to use this simple technique and the results are
explosive! This style of fishing can be a money producer and used
as your ace in the hole, if you'll just learn to use it!
Virginia Pierce and her husband Norman have been
associated with the fishing industry for more than twenty years.
Both have regular day jobs during the week and on weekends they
can be found probing the waters on one of Texas' lakes in search
of Largemouth Bass. They presently fish Angler's
Choice East Texas Couples, Amateur and Team tournaments. Both
of them are officers in Port City Bass Club, and fish with the
club whenever their schedule permits. In April, they will be
fishing the pro side of the FLW Everstart
tournament on Sam Rayburn. Norman and Virginia are on the water
approximately 45 weekends per year.
Virginia previously fished the Bass'n Gals national circuit
for three years and qualified for the Classic two of those years.
She and Norman have fished the Anglers Choice Couples circuit for
four years and qualified for the championship three years,
finishing 1998 in 5th place. Virginia is the only woman member of
their local bass club and in 1998, had an overall finish in 7th
Norman and Virginia are sponsored by: Skeeter
Boats, Yamaha Motors, Boots Follmar
Pradco, Team Riverside,
Electronics, CastAway Graphite Rods, AC
Delco Voyager Batteries, Cook Manufacturing and Mr. Blitz Spinner
In addition to fishing tournaments, Virginia has been an
outdoor writer since 1981. She had her own column, Lady on the
Lake, in Honey Hole Magazine, and was a special assignment's
editor for eight years. She has written freelance articles for
Bass'n Gals, Anglers Choice Magazine, and several other
Norman is an IGFA World Record Holder and with over 30 years
of mechanical experience will be answering some of the technical
questions in Ask a Pro at Fishingline.Net.
Virginia is also very involved in the Future Fisherman
Foundation's "Get Hooked on Fishing- Not Drugs" program
which is underwritten in Texas by Texas Parks & Wildlife
Department (TP&WD), Angler Ed Program. It is also partnered
nationally with 4-H to create the 4-H Sportfishing Program. She
is an Area Chief for TP&WD and coordinates youth activity
school programs throughout Houston and surrounding areas.
Email Virginia and Norman at Bbass98@aol.com.