The first time I saw a guy toss a “wacky style” bass rig, I laughed out loud and thought he either had no clue how to rig a plastic worm or was just testing me to see if I would notice his screwed up technique. In fact, I was darn near close to grabbing his line and “fixing” it for him. As it turned out, he knew a lot more about attracting a lunker largemouth during the pre-spawn than I did. Never in a million years would I have imagined that a rig so simple could ever bring in a nice fish. Needless to say, I wasn’t laughing long as I watched him reel in bass after bass in front of my very eyes. I quickly decided to test it out myself, and am now a big fan of fishing wacky style in areas where there’s not a lot of heavy cover. Here’s my quick, down and dirty summary of the tackle you need to fish wacky style, how to rig it, where not to try it and why it works:
The tackle you need: 4″ to 5″ stick bait worms (I like the Gambler Ace in X-Mas or YUM Blue Flake Dinger), 8 lb to 10 lb fluorocarbon line, and any hook with an open throat (I use 2/0 or 3/0 Owner offset hooks so I can change up my rig if I need to, but Luck”E”Strike USA also makes wacky jig head hooks with weed guards).
How to do rig it: Insert the hook (no weight) right through the middle of the plastic lure so that the ends hang down on both sides. Then, just cast and allow it to sink to the desired depth. Give the rod tip a twitch every now and then to make both ends of the worm wave. A jig head can also be used if you wish to add weight and increase the sink rate.
Where you can’t fish this rig: Don’t try to fish wacky style near thick weeds or cover since the hook is exposed. You’ll keep getting hung up if you do.
Why it works: The two ends of the bait produce a twitch and wiggle motion when fishing wacky style. The worm flutters to the bottom with more vibration versus the subtle undulation when fishing Texas or Carolina rig.