Have You Gone Wacky Lately?
It’s not at all uncommon to find bass fishermen who are going wacky.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying it’s easy to find bass fishermen who are a tad short of smarts. My wife might choose to debate that after I’ve disturbed her sleep by rolling out of the sack at 3:30 a.m. three days in a row just to play dirty tricks on my elusive bigmouthed friends. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
What I do have in mind is Wacky Style worm fishing. Talk to some of the best bass anglers you can find and you’ll discover this procedure is one of the techniques that helps them put fish in the boat. You won’t have to go far to find experts like I’m talking about.
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Gamkatsu's finesse weedless wide gap hooks enable an angler to fish a plastic worm in almost any kind of cover. One of these hooks is shown here with the weedguard both open and closed. The lightweight plastic used in the weedguard is so light it doesn't interfere with setting the hook.
One who immediately comes to mind is a talented bass fishing friend whose name you see regularly on the Discussion Board here at this web site. I’m thinking, of course, of my friend Roger Luce.
I’ve known Roger for years. I had the good fortune to fish with him while he was guiding on Silver Lake a couple of decades ago. Roger knows a heck of a lot more about bass fishing than some of those dudes who have received a lot more recognition. Pay attention to what Roger has to say on the Discussion Board. You can learn from him.
Talk to Roger and I’ll bet you’ll hear him mention the Wacky Style approach he often takes in his own bass fishing sooner than later. And that’s what you’ll find with other expert bass anglers all over the country.
If you’ve not gotten into this method of bamboozling bass you’re missing a bet. And this applies whether you’re after either largemouth or smallmouth bass. I’ve boated a bunch of both species with the Wacky Style Technique wherever I’ve fished. The largest smallmouth I’ve taken out of Oregon’s Umpqua River, for example, came on a 5-inch Senko rigged Wacky style.
There’s no reason, I guess, why you can’t rig any plastic worm you choose Wacky Style. The baits I’ve used the technique with almost exclusively are those that Gary Yamamoto markets called the Senko. I do so for a number of good reasons.
The first and foremost reason is that the Senko is a fish catching son of a gun. Another is that when matched with the line of the right size it’s possible to throw even the smaller Senkos as far as is usually required without having to add weight.
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Bass often hole up in cover like that shown here. Using a plastic worm rigged Wacky Style with a Gamakatsu finesse weedless wide gap hook is a great way to fish it.
Wacky Style, in event you’re not familiar with it, simply means attaching your hook at the middle of the bait. The usual method of rigging a plastic worm is to insert the hook at the head end. Having your hook in the middle of a Senko allows both ends of the bait to do a deadly dance as it drops down through the water. It doesn’t just dive down nose first as happens when the hook is inserted in the nose in traditional fashion.
A couple of years ago I did a two part series here on how to rig up Wacky Style. If you didn’t have opportunity to read it at that time you can do so by going to the archives of my past columns.
The title of my earlier columns on Wacky Style fishing was “There’s More Than One Way.” Part 1 of this two part series first appeared in March of 2007. Part 2 was posted the following month. If you’re interested in a general run down on Wacky Style fishing, and if you’re serious about bass fishing you should be, I think you’ll find those columns of interest.
One of the things associated with Wacky Style fishing those columns covered was how to rig for the technique without actually inserting your hook through the body of your worm. There are a number of ways to go about and those earlier columns covered several of them.
I mention this because now my friends at Gamakatsu are making it easier than ever to fish Whacky Style where the bass are holding in cover of one kind or another. I’ll get into the details of how they’ve done this in next month’s column.
Stay tuned because I think you’ll find it of interest.
If the guys who call the shots at Gamakatsu Hooks and Yamamoto Baits aren’t good buddies they sure as heck should be.
Why? Because when you put certain products these manufacturers produce together--- and then use them just right--- you’ve got your hands on the next best thing to fish-catching dynamite.
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Gamakatsu's weedless wide gap and the Yamamoto Senko is a tough combination to beat when you're bass fishing Wacky Style in and around cover.
In last month’s column I talked about going after bass with the “Wacky Style” technique. I detailed what that technique is and how effective it can be when properly used. This time around let’s look more closely at how the procedure can be an especially good way to go under conditions bass anglers often find themselves up against.
The conditions I’m thinking about are when bass, as you so often find them, are holding in heavy cover of one kind or another. If you’ve fished bass enough to wear wrinkles on your rump, you’ve got to be aware they usually are under, in, around or next to something that provides shelter as well as an ambush point.
The Yamamoto Senkos I talked about last month work wonderfully well for the Wacky Style method of lure presentation. Don’t, however, plan on simply inserting a bare hook through the body of the Senko and then throwing it into heavy cover without hanging up. It ain’t gonna happen.
Fishing Wacky Style results in just as many hang ups as any plastic worm fished with the hook point exposed. That’s why rigging a worm Texas Style is used so much by bass anglers.
To rig a worm Texas Style you first run your hook into the nose of the worm. Then you bring the hook on through and reverse it so the point is up. The next step is to run the hook back up into the body of the worm. If the hook point is embedded in the body of the worm it results in a bait that’s about as weedless as it gets.
Many bass anglers, me included, prefer to bring the hook all the way through the body of the worm and then just bury the hook point on the top of the worm’s back.
You can also, and this is darned important if you want to catch your share of bass, go weedless while using the Wacky Style approach to bass fishing. The way to go about it is why I mentioned Gamakatsu at the beginning of this column.
Gamakatsu, you see, has marketed special hooks designed for Wacky Style fishing for some time. In the past these hooks were available with plastic weed guards but only in smaller sizes. I’ve been using these hooks in my own Wacky Style fishing ever since they first came to market. I love ‘em!
The reason I do is because these hooks with their plastic hook point protectors aren’t, as sometimes happens with stiffer wire weed guards, “fishless” as well as “weedless.” They aren’t because the plastic used in the guards is so flexible it bends out of the way when a bass chomps down on the bait.
As I mentioned, these hooks were originally made only in smaller hook sizes.
I’ve used them in Size1, 1/0 and 2/0. I varied the size of the hook to match the size of the bait I was throwing. Sometimes being restricted only to just a 2/0 seemed a tad small for use with some of the longer and larger worms I threw at spots like that bass fishing paradise called Lake El Salto in Mexico.
It pleases me to tell you these fine hooks are now available in four new sizes.
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Gamakatsu now makes its weedless finesse wide gap hooks in larger sizes. Pictured at the top on the right is one of these hooks in a size 6/0, the largest size made.
The other hook shown is a Number 2, the smallest size available.
Now Gamakatsu is also making them available in sizes 3/0 through 6/0. Be assured I’ve already ordered a supply for my own use.
The next time I head down south of the border I’ll have these larger finesse Wacky Style hooks in my tackle box. I’m eager to give them a try with something like Yamamoto’s new 12-inch Curly Tail or their 10-inch Kut Tail plastic baits.
I whacked some dandy bass with both of these big baits while using them rigged Texas Style in my last visit to El Salto. It will be interesting to see what happens when the Florida strain largemouth in that bass fishing hot spot get a look at them rigged Wacky Style. Maybe it won’t work, but I’m fixin’ to find out.
If you can’t find these new larger Gamakatsu wide gap weedless Wacky Style hooks in your favorite tackle store, or if they don’t choose to order them for you, don’t sweat it. You can use the Internet to place your order if you choose to do so.
The way to do that is simply go to www.gamakatsu.com
. When it comes up, click on the space for U.S. customers and follow the instructions you find there.