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Wacky Worm tricks

What exactly is a wacky worm, and how to rig it?

he Wacky worm rig is an unorthodox way to attach hook and sinkers to soft plastic baits.

Instead of the bait being rigged so that the front of the bait is lined up with the eye of the

hook, the hook is placed at the center of the bait. With the hook and weight being oriented

at the midsection of the bait, rather than the front, the worm produces a lot of twitching and

movement on the descent that drives bass wild and imitates natural prey extremely well.

This rig can be fished weightless where it is great for shallow water and will stay in the strike

zone of the water longer, and it can also be adjusted to go deep. It’s a versatile rig that tends

to catch fish when it seems like nothing else is working.

Setting up a Wacky Worm Rig

1. The Worm
There is a myriad of soft plastic worms that are on the market. We like worms in the 4-6 inch

range, but you can easily go with longer worms and catch fish with them. The downside to

using longer worms is the larger chance of not getting a proper hook set. As long as the

worm has a pretty thick midsection that will stay on the hook you are good to go.

2. The Hook
There are limitless styles of hooks available and just about all of them can work with a

Wacky Worm rig. We particularly like octopus hooks for this rig. They have a wide hook

shank where the worm will sit giving it great movement, but the curve from the hook point

back towards the eye helps cut down on missed hook sets. The shape of this hook also

makes it great for making your rig weedless by inserting the hook point back into the worm.

3. The Line
I like the Wacky Worm working in tandem with lighter fishing line weights. Again, it’s all about the baits movement, and lighter lines just tend to give a better presentation of the bait. Most of the lakes I use 10lb Seaguar flourocarbon line.

4. The Weight
One of the most important Wacky Worm fishing tips is the weight. We think that the Wacky Worm is most effective when fished weightless or with very little weight. The beauty of this rig is the natural movement of the worm as it slowly descends through the water column. There can be times when adding a little weight to the rig is beneficial, but you need to use specific types of weights that will not affect the worm’s movement too drastically. There are specific wacky weights that keep the weight at the midsection which keeps the natural movement and others like to use nail weights inserted into the worm at both tail ends.

When to use/ how to fish a wacky worm for Spawning bass
If you can locate bass spawning areas, the wacky worm is a fantastic rig to incite some vicious strikes from bass. While bass do not feed as heavily during the spawn, they are highly protective of their nests. Spawning bass are also in more shallow water and the weightless Wacky Worm rig dropped around their nest area drives them wild. The best method for this tactic is by spotting bass nests and dropping the worm as close to the nests as possible. We also like giving a little extra movement to the worm around the nests by raising the rod tip.

Post-Spawn Bass
When bass come off their bed, they are hungry and aggressive. The sight of a hearty worm drifting down slowly in the water signals a big and easy meal for the bass. The fish are still pretty shallow at this point, and we still like the weightless rig, but adding a little weight with an o-ring or nail weight will let you go after the deeper fish and get it there a little more quickly. Be careful with adding too much weight, though, as it takes away from the natural movements of the bait that is seen with lighter rigs.

Dead Winter Fishing
Winter fishing can be tough, and a lot of anglers tend to try their luck in the woods. With some patience and a finesse technique such as the Wacky Worm, you can have a lot of success landing winter bass. Bass during this period are much less active as their metabolism slows. During this period they will rarely chase after fast retrieval lures. It is during this time that the Wacky Worm can turn a bad and cold day of fishing into a successful trip.

Dropping a Wacky Worm without any weight around structures where bass will often hold. The slow descent along with the motion of the worm is often enough to entice a strike out of a bass. This is one of the best methods for landing a trophy bass during the winter seasons.

Searching the water column
We like to use a Wacky Worm rig when we are searching for fish along the depth of the water column. This is especially helpful when working steep banks or channels. When using this technique, we don’t like any weight on the worm, and this allows us to stay within the strike zone for a longer period.

We also like to short raises of the rod tip to give the worm a little more action. Once you know where in the water column fish are you can add a little more weight to get down to the strike zone faster or go with other lures that work that depth efficiently.

Are there any Downsides?

The first downside we find tough to consider a con to this particular rig, but we know there are anglers out there that will. The con is that this is a more finesse fishing technique and it’s only a con because a lot of anglers like high-octane cast and retrieval fishing. The Wacky Worm rig just doesn’t work in that way. It takes a little more patience than most bass anglers are willing to show and it’s a shame because this rig and technique can land you a lot of fish.

The second downside to this rig is that you are going to lose some worms. With any soft plastic baits it’s understood, but with the hook at the midsection, you often get a hit just to find half of the work is gone. This happens more often as you increase the worms length, but in out opinion, it’s a fair tradeoff for its effectiveness.

Honestly, if those are the two downsides, then you have a pretty good fishing technique going for you.


The Wacky Worm might be a bass fishing setup that you are well aware of and know firsthand of its effectiveness. If not, we hope this article has laid out the groundwork for what a Wacky Worm rig looks like and the best times to use it on the water. When fished properly, it can be a game changer on the water with nothing else seems to be working.