By Stan Fagerstrom
Product Review Editor
January 25, 2013
If you haven’t gone a little wacky in recent years it’s probably high time you did.
I suppose there are those who would say don’t encourage the guy who bass fishes to get any more wacky than he is already. It’s not the behavior of that bassin’ man with the rod in his hand I’m talking about. What I have in mind are the different approaches to bass angling that employ a Wacky Style presentation to put fish in the boat.
As experienced bass anglers know, the Wacky Style of worm fishing isn’t new. It’s been around now for years. There’s no mystery about it. What it boils down to is simply attaching the plastic worm you’re using at the middle instead of the front end.
You used to hear a good bit of debate regarding the best way to go about presenting your worms in this fashion. No more. It does catch fish. The main place where different thoughts continue to surface is in what’s the best way to actually rig a worm for this purpose.
Early on a majority of anglers were simply inserting a hook all the way through the body of their worm and just and casting it out there. That worked, of course, and still does. Be that as it may, today some of best fishermen I know take a variety of different approaches.
As I’ve mentioned, you don’t hear any more debates about the merits of Wacky Style fishing. And it does often get its share of fish and then some. But as I’ve also indicated, that doesn’t always apply to the best ways to go about it.
There are those, for example, who continue to maintain the best method of all is to simply run your Wacky Style hook through the middle of your worm. They claim that method gives you the best action and the most solid hook ups.
These views aren’t shared by everybody and that includes some darn good anglers I’ve had a chance to share a boat with. One that comes to mind immediately is Scott Wolfe, a long time guide in Western Oregon.
One of the rivers where Scott spends lots of time is the Umpqua. I’ve shared numerous trips on that beautiful river with Scott while fishing for smallmouth. Fishing a Senko Wacky Style is one of his favorite tactics.
Does he run his hook through the middle of his Senko and let it go at that? No, he doesn’t. He may have changed his approach since the last time I fished with him but I know what he was doing then. He had a collection of small rubber bands in different colors. What he did was wrap one of those rubber bands to fit snugly on the worm and then slide it down so it would stay in place right in the middle of the bait.
Instead of running his hook through the body of the worm he slid the hook point under the worm band and out the other side. As a result even more of the hook point was exposed than if it had been pushed through the worm’s body. It also meant that not having to actually run his hook through the Senko helped keep the bass from tearing one up as easily.
As you’ve probably already discovered, color can play an important role whatever lures you’re throwing at bass. Having those bands of different colors gave Scott a chance to change band colors if he chose to do so.
There’s another approach to Wacky Style rigging that I’ve used a good bit myself. It’s to slide a sizeable split ring onto the Senko you are using. I’ve used it for both fishing both 3 and 5-inch worms with good success.
There was a fringe benefit when I’ve used this rig on Oregon’s Umpqua. The split ring was usually still visible when I cast my darker Senkos. I could still see the ring when the worm itself had blended right into the darkness of the deeper spots as it dropped and I couldn’t see it.
It didn’t take long to discover that when that split ring also disappeared ---set the hook! The sudden disappearance of the ring often meant that a fish had picked up my lure.
I’ve heard from other anglers who like to employ those teensy flexible bands dentists sometimes use in their work. You simply slide one into position on your worm and then run the point of your hook under the band as is done with the other methods. I’ve not tried them myself, but those who have say they work great.
There is one other means of Wacky Style rigging that probably hasn’t gotten all of the attention it deserves. It’s a handy and effective way to rig your worm for the Wacky Style approach. Stay tuned because if you’re into using the Wacky Style method for fishing a Senko it’s something you’ll want to know about.