Gone Wacky

By Jim Noah

 

Go Wacky Worm if you want to catch shallow bass, even heavy pressured spring bass. I used this trick to place 11th in BASSMASTER’s MegaBucks Tournament from the back of the boat on South Carolina’s Lake Murray March 21, 22, & 23. The MegaBucks Tournament was the week after the FLW boys pounded Murray for eight days. I had never even been to SC and I had three aggressive Pros running the boat each day that didn’t want me to catch a bass! All three were throwing the same wacky rig before the day ended because it was catching bass. Alton Jones (my third day Pro) even went on to win the big dance, a fully rigged Ranger 488 Boat, a Chevy Truck, and $76,000.00.

Must have materials:

Super Floating worms (Bass Assassin 7 inch Floating Charms are my choice)

                    2/0 Wide Gap SHARP Hook (Xpoint Hooks are my choice)

1 Inch Finishing Nails (Baits other than the Charms may require different sized nails)

Kick’n Bass Garlic Scent

Freeze Zip Lock Bag

8 Pound Test Line

Light 6" to 7" Spinning Rod (All Star AST844S is my choice)

Spinning Reel (Daiwa RG-Z3500IA is my choice)

 

Assembly Instructions:

Assemble Daiwa reel on All Star Rod

Spool the line on the Daiwa reel

Attach the Xpoint hook to the line using a well wetted Palomar Knot

Push finish nail into the larger head section of the Charm length ways (the nail causes the Charm to stand straight up on its head on the lakes bottom)

Rig 6 – 12 Charms as above and put in the zip lock bag, add about teaspoon of Kick’n Bass and seal for later use (I usually make these up the night before)

Hook the Xpoint about 2.5 inches from the fat end of the Charm through the center of the round part (see photo). I leave the point exposed in sparse cover for a greater catching ratio and hooked back into the body of the Charm in heavier cover.
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Fish the Wacky Rig in shallow areas (less than 6 foot deep) where bass are spawning until they have moved deep. I catch larger females prior to and during the spawn and the males as long as they are guarding and later eating the bass fry. You have to make long casts and let the Charm set on the bottom just verily moving with the current for up to a minute. After the initial setting time gently pick-up the Charm and weight it with the rod. If it feels like it has a leaf resting on it – SET THE HOOK! You will not feel a hit or even see your line move most of the time, the bass will just be there. The bite requires a sensitive rod and the All Star AST844S Rod is perfect for this technique. When the Charm weights the same twitch it slightly and then let it rest again for a long twenty count. The twitch causes the Charm to bend and then gently rest it’s head back on the bottom. Repeat the weighting process and hook setting. I general twitch the Charm and wait at least a dozen times before just reeling in and starting over. The real key is to make the Charm such an easy target that just won’t move out of the bass’s nesting area. The exposed hook almost guarantees a solid hookup.

I refined this wacky finesse way of fishing over the winter doing seminars on the bass tubs around the country. In the clear water it was easy to see how bass reacted to the different presentations and I learn while I worked. Even I was surprised how a bass would suck in the charm and hold on. Big Crappie will eat the charms like candy and they swim off with them!

This is a slow finesse way to catch a lot of bass without all the work some anglers think they have to do. I’ve watched anglers try for two hours to catch a female on the nest and then let me have one cast. The Charm is so subtle just setting in the nest, the Bass just suck them in hook and all. I have added a lot of bass to the Ranger livewell with the Charm hooked wacky style and you can too. I got the check and the plaque to prove it at MegaBucks.

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