Catch More Bass & Save Baits
“Rig ‘Em Wacky Style”
By Stan Fagerstrom
In last month’s column I talked about having fished Oregon’s Umpqua River with Scott Wolfe, guide coordinator for the beautiful Big K Guest Ranch. I mentioned how this veteran guide often rigs his Senko plastic worms Wacky Style.
I also detailed how Scott snugs a small rubber band around the belly of his worm. He attaches his hook by sliding it under the rubber band. When I fished with Scott last August he pointed out another benefit of using a rubber band for Wacky Style rigging. The Umpqua is often gin clear in the summer months. You can see the bottom in most of the holes you’ll fish.
Be that as it may, toss a darker colored Senko into one of the deeper holes and it often blends into the bottom coloration and it’s impossible to see it once it has dropped very far. Scott’s rubber bands provide a way around the problem.
“I often use a light colored band around the middle of my Senko,” he says. “Though I might not be able to see the worm itself once it gets down a ways, I can still spot that light colored band because it stands out against the dark bottom. I’ve learned that if my band suddenly disappears, it’s because a fish has grabbed it. The instant that happens I set the hook.”
I took his advice the last time we fished together. I cast a pumpkin colored Senko Scott had rigged with a light colored belly band into where the Umpqua flowed under a rock ledge. I eyeballed the band as the worm dropped and snapped back on my rod the instant it disappeared. The result was a dandy smallmouth just a tad shy of 4-pounds. It was the largest I caught on our last trip together.
There are a number of other ways to go about rigging a worm for Wacky Style fishing using something other than a rubber band. Two of the most popular involve the use of bands cut from a tube lure or metal split rings.
It’s not at all difficult to use either of these two alternative rigging methods. Tube baits come in a variety of sizes and colors. Take the tube of your choice and use a pair of scissors to snip off small sections. Just slide one of these bands up to the center of your Senko and you’re in business.
You can, of course, add a bit of visibility to your worm by using band cut from a light colored tube. I’m not saying that’s always a good idea, but it can realty help when you face conditions like those I mentioned existing on the Umpqua.
Rigging Whacky Style with a split ring is even easier. Visit a well stocked sporting goods store and it’s easy to find split rings of different sizes. Be sure to get a size that fits snuggly around the belly of your worm. I find a #6 split ring is ideal for my 3 and 5-inch Senkos.
Split rings like those shown here provide an easy way of rigging a Senko for Wacky Style fishing.
Another way to rig a Senko Wacky Style is to snip tiny sections off of a tube bait. Slide the ring from the tube to the middle of your Senko and you're in business.
No doubt about it, Wacky Style worm rigging is a technique that’s here to stay. If you’re not already using the procedure you’re missing a bet. It does catch fish. You’re also missing a chance to save a few bucks on worm costs.
There are undoubtedly other ways to go about Wacky Style rigging, but I’ve detailed some of the most popular procedures with you. Got something that works even better? I’d love to hear from you if you do.