Going Wacky for Bass


All bass fisherman know that plastic worms are some of the most effective bass lures ever invented. They come in thousands of colors and sizes and without exception they all catch bass. You can fish them a dozen different ways, but one of the most effective worm rigs for shallow water bass is the “Wacky Rig”. If you haven’t heard of this rig before, you need to try it as it catches springtime bass when nothing else works.


To fish the wacky rig you need a 4”-7” straight tailed worm, a laser sharpened thin wire hook and a light swivel. I fish this rig on 8-pound mono with an open-face spinning reel. Tie the hook and swivel on the line so that the swivel is about 12”-15” from the hook making a small leader. The purpose of the swivel is two-fold. It keeps your line from twisting and provides just enough weight to allow the worm to fall extremely slowly. The Zoom “Trick Worm” is one of the most popular worms to use with this rig. Hook the worm in the middle at a ninety-degree angle so that the worm hangs down even on both sides with the hook exposed. If you are worried about hanging up, you can always turn the hook back into the worm to cover the exposed hook. I know this rig sounds strange but the bass love it!


The rig works best in clear water and is absolutely deadly in the Harris Chain canals. Cast the worm out and wait until the line stops moving, signaling that the worm has reached bottom. This could take some time if the canal is over five feet deep. Strikes almost always come on the fall, so be alert for a twitch in the line or for the line to start moving away. If nothing happens, slowly pick up the line with your rod and carefully check to make sure a bass doesn’t have your worm in its mouth. When you feel a fish, reel down and set the hook with a short quick flick of the wrist. You won’t need to set the hook hard because the hook is small, sharp and exposed.

Worm color doesn’t seem to matter much, but my favorite is June Bug, which is dark purple with green flakes. This method is absolutely deadly on bass and is great fun to use because of the light line. Make sure your line, tackle and reel drag are in top-notch condition. Fighting an eight-pound bass on a spinning reel with light line can get exciting in a hurry.


This rig will catch bass everywhere in the country and is especially effective in the spring when fish move shallow. The wacky rig is as close to dynamite as you can get and still be legal!












Captain Phil Kelley

Lakefront Marketing LLC
P.O. Box 325

Tavares, FL 32778