By Steve Graf
Fishing with plastic worms has been around ever since Nick Crème stunk up his kitchen and poured the first soft plastic worm in 1949. This one bait revolutionized bass fishing forever, and it became, and still is today, the number one way to catch bass.
Anglers like Roland Martin and Larry Nixon made a great living winning tournaments with the plastic worm. In the beginning, there were mainly three colors to choose from: black, blue, or purple. But over the years other manufacturers like Zoom, Strike King, Berkley, and V&M now offer worms in a multitude of colors and sizes. Today let’s look at a couple that have made their mark on the bass fishing world.
One worm that has withstood the test of time is the 6-or 7-inch straight tail worm, or as Zoom calls it, a “Trick” worm. More fish have been caught on a straight tail worm than any other worm ever made. Over the years, no bait has brought more fish to the scales or put more money in the pockets of anglers. It’s a bait that allows anglers to use an array of techniques to fish it. A shakey jig head, drop shot, Texas rig, or a Carolina rig are the most popular ways to fish it, but it’s also a great bait when fished weightless.
The straight tail worm will flat out catch fish when other lures will fail. Why? I think it’s because it can be fished so many different ways, and it always seems to look natural in the water. One key for me when fishing this bait is to not over-weight it. Simply put, don’t use a real heavy weight with this worm, as it tends to take away the action of the worm. My personal set up for a 6-or 7-inch “Trick” worm is Texas rigged with a 2/0 Gamakatsu Round Bend Hook and a 3/16 Elite Tungsten weight fished on 14- or 15-pound fluorocarbon line…but I will go to a ¼ ounce weight if the wind is blowing.
Another worm that has caught fire is an oversized version of the Zoom Trick Worm called the “Magnum” Trick Worm. It’s an 8-inch worm and is 2 inches longer than its cousin, “Trick” worm. This bait has really come to the forefront of bass tournaments in our region. There’s a saying among anglers, “Big baits catch big fish.” Well, if you think the 8-inch Magnum
Trick Worm is good, tie on a V&M J-Mag 10-inch worm! This worm defines what a big worm really is and will put fish in your live-well that any angler would be proud to have. Either of these big straight tail worms will work. Some days they seem to want the smaller 8-inch version, but then are days when the big fish want that bigger 10- inch bait. You just have to try both to see which one they want.
Both of these, when Texas rigged, may require a heavier weight like a Tungsten 3/8 or ½ ounce. I like to fish either of these in shallow or deep- water conditions. So, if you want to upgrade your catch and put quality fish in the boat, tie on either the 8-inch Magnum Trick Worm or a V&M J- Mag 10-inch worm. Nothing gets me more excited than catching bass on a worm. There’s just something special about getting a Texas rigged worm bite and you feel that slight “tick” and you set the hook! Warning: this type of fishing may cause heart failure! Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!
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