Ifish is pleased to welcome
Stan Fagerstrom to Ifish.net!
His columns will be a regular feature here, from now on.
No one in the western United States has written more about bass and panfish over the past half century than Stan.
Stan has fished over much of world. At one time or another his articles have appeared in most major outdoor publications. He is a member of both the National Freshwater Hall of Fame and the International Fishing Hall of Fame. He was also recently honored with a lifetime achievement award and honorary lifetime membership in the National Professional Anglers Association.
Stan welcomes your views on bass, walleye or panfish angling. You can reach him at [email protected].
Stan Fagerstrom Elected into
Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame
Bass, Panfish & Products
By Stan Fagerstrom
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Catch More Bass & Save Baits
ďRig ĎEm Wacky StyleĒ
By Stan Fagerstrom
Get into bass fishing very far and youíre a cinch to hear somebody talking about fishing a plastic worm ďWacky Style.Ē
What this manner of plastic worm presentation involves is inserting your hook in the middle of the lure instead of at the head end. I donít know who first came up with the technique. I do know that itís often one heck of an effective way to fish a plastic worm for both large and smallmouth bass
Undoubtedly one the reasons for the success of Wacky Style rigging is the way both ends of the worm wiggle as it drops. Instead of dropping nose first as a worm does when rigged in conventional fashion, the worm rigged Wacky Style leaves both ends free to flutter as it falls through the water.
Iíve had some of the top bass fishing guides in the West tell me they especially favor rigging Wacky Style when they are after larger fish. One of the guides who shared that information with me is Scott Wolfe, the guide coordinator for the beautiful Big K Guest Ranch on Oregonís Umpqua River.
I doubt anyone spends more time guiding for Umpqua River smallmouth than Scott does. Iíve had the good fortune to fish with him a number of times myself. Because he knows the river so well, Scott can tell you where the larger fish are most likely holding.
You donít come by the kind of expertise Scott has overnight. Heís been a full time guide now for darn near two decades. Whenever youíre around someone who has the know-how Scott does itís best to just shut up and listen. Heíll give you more solid guidance on what to do when youíre after Umpqua smallmouth in a couple of hours than youíd come by in a month of Mondays fumbling around on your own.
It's easy to rig your Senkos Wacky Style. All that's needed are some small rubber bands. Pick the band of the color you prefer and snug it down around the center of the worm.
Slide your hook in under the rubber band and you're ready to go. Wacky Style rigging allows the ends of the Senko to flutter as it drops.
As I mentioned in the beginning, rigging Wacky Style simply means inserting your hook through the middle of the worm. That procedure works, but it didnít take long for anglers to discover it also presents a problem.
The problem is that many of the best plastic worms available---the fish-catching Yamamoto Senko is an example---often tear when a fish picks up. Youíll hook your fish all right, but you may well lose your worm in the process. They donít give away top quality worms like the Senko. Itís another instance of where you get about what you pay for. I doubt thereís ever been a plastic bait thatís done a better job of catching bass on a consistent basis than the Senko Gary Yamamoto brought to market some years back.
It didnít take long for guides like Scott Wolfe to figure a method to get around the constant problem of lure loss in fishing Wacky Rigged worms. There are a number of ways to go about. For starters Iíll share the way Scott does it.
Go out with him and youíll find that he always carries a supply of different colored small rubber bands. He first determines the color of the band he wants to use. Then he wraps the band so it fits snugly around the center of his bait.
The next step is to simply slide the point of his hook under the snugly fitting band. The hook point does not enter the body of his worm. The bend of the hook is held against the body of the worm by the rubber band. The hook point is open and free to nail any bass that attempts to grab the worm.
What Scott and other experts say, and it has also been my experience, is youíre not going to lose nearly as many worms rigging Wacky Style in this fashion. Again, youíre not pushing the point of your hook through the body of the worm and damaging it in the process. Just slip your hook under the rubber band and youíre ready to go.
With a little luck you just might boat a half dozen bass on the same worm. Not only does that cut down on lure costs, it also cuts down on the time your bait is out of the water. Bass arenít going to jump in the boat. Youíve got to have a lure in the water and the bottom line is the more time itís out there the more fish youíre going to catch.
There are other methods of rigging a worm Wacky Style and additional fringe benefits when you do so. Iíll get into more details about both in next monthís column.
-To Be Continued-
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