Rubber or plastic worms are probably the most popular bait among bass anglers. They are economical, easy to use and fish just can't seem to resist them. Anyone who can cast and retrieve a lure will learn to fish the rubber worm in virtually no time at all. That along with the fact that it is inexpensive to replace lost or damaged ones are why this bait is so popular.
The Texas Rig
A Texas rig is widely used by bass fishermen. The outfit is very effective and that is why it is so famous. Weedless design is an asset of this setup. You can fish it through thick grass at any depth. An easy presentation to use is just to bounce it off the bottom. It will virtually go through any kind of structure in any body of water. Here is a tip for you to try. Use this in saltwater too. The results will amaze you. Many different species will take this bait.
Here is how you make this rig. First you thread a bullet sinker onto the fishing line. Tungsten, brass or ceramic should be the material that the weight is made from. Lead causes cancer and should not be used. The second step is to tie a worm hook to your line. A Palomar knot should be used for this. You then insert hook point about 1/4 inch. This is done from the top end of the worm. Next you turn your hook point and push it through. Slide the nose end up to your hook's eye. Twist the hook until the point is facing the worm. Allow this to hang straight. Use your forefinger and thumb to mark where the hooks bend is located. Insert the hook into the worm where your thumb and forefinger have marked it. Now push the point through the worm. Back the hook off a little and place it under the skin of the plastic. You have just made the rig weedless and it is now ready to fish.
The Carolina Rig
The Carolina rig is a versatile rig and considered one of the basic staples used in bass fishing. You can work this rig deep or shallow and it can be fished in clear as well as stained water. Good results can be achieved on rocky bottoms and in weed strewn terrain. Yes it is true that sometimes it gets to be boring just dragging it on the bottom when there are no results, but it is great to use once when you find the fish. You tie this presentation by first threading a bullet weight to the standing end of the line. Next insert a colored bead onto the line and tie a barrel swivel to the line's end. The purpose of adding the colored bead is to make a clicking noise which attracts fish as it gets sandwiched between the barrel swivel and the bullet weight. Next you will tie a piece of leader material (17# test and 18-24" long) to the other end of the barrel swivel. Now you will tie a worm hook to the other end of the leader material and place your worm onto the hook. This completes the process of tying your Carolina rig
A Combination Rig
Are you uncertain about when to use a Texas rig and what situation to use a Carolina rig? Or, are you certain about when to use each but simply don't because it takes too much valuable fishing time to change rigs? There is a solution that I have come up with to get the option of both rigs simply by adjusting the bullet weight from one position to another to incorporate whatever rig you want to present at that time. The two pictures above show the combination rig tied in the Carolina rig style (left) and the Texas rig style (right). To tie this rig you start with a 18"-24" piece of 17# test leader material attaching a barrel swivel to one end of the leader. After that you use a 6" piece of the same 17# test material to tie a bobber stop knot onto the main leader. After tying the knot and drawing it tight clip the tag ends of the leader to about 1/16" in length. Next you will thread the desired size of bullet weight to the leader and place a colored bead right behind it. Another 6" piece of the 17# leader material is used to tie the second bobber stop knot to the main leader at this time. A worm hook is then tied to the leader with a palomar knot, the worm is added and the rig is ready to fish.
To utilize this rig Carolina style slide the two bobber stop knots with the bullet weight and bead up close as possible to the barrel swivel. For Texas style move everything close as possible to the worm hook. I keep a few of these rigs tied and in my tackle box using various sizes of bullet weights for whatever conditions may be encountered. It does take a little more preparation time before you go fishing, but it saves valuable time while you are on the water.
This bass was caught using a Wacky Worm Rig.
The Wacky Worm Rig
This finesse rig gives a unique action to the worm because of the way in which you hook it. By being hooked in the middle this allows the worm to have a pulsating action on both ends which entices more strikes from bass. With the wacky rig you can easily control the depth of the worm by how far up the line you place the hook so this is a great set up when you are targeting those suspended fish. There is also a weedless jig that is used to fish your wacky worm right on the bottom. Stick worms are frequently used with the wacky worm rig because these worms maintain the same diameter throughout the entire length.
All of these bass rigs are designed to be fished slowly pausing frequently to allow the fish to see the worm and pick it up. Don't expect to get those crushing strikes like you get with crank baits or spinner baits, these are more subtle takes. Sometimes all you feel is a little extra weight on the rig and that is when you set the hook. Good luck with fishing these rigs and tight lines to all.