Wacky Rigging for Summer Bass
Donna Bilbrey, PAA and LBAA Tournament Angler (and my better half) recently taught me an important lesson about summer bass fishing. Her attention to detail along with her experience on the water has provided an uncanny ability to read a body of water. Experience has taught her that shallow bays and flats will hold summer bass after water temperatures have warmed up significantly. “Bass do not mind the warm water contrary to popular belief; they will remain shallow as long as their needs are being met. The bass must have comfort to remain shallow, and weed beds provide everything they need.” the lady bass angler explained.
Donna continued, “The shallow weed beds provide cover as well as forage for bass. Crayfish, minnows, and bluegill all offer bass what their faster metabolism is in need of in the warmer water and those are found in and around the weed beds near deep water. Weeds also filter the water and increase the oxygen level.” By fishing the outer edges of the weed beds for more active bass she quickly was bringing bass to the boat. She credited the rapid success to the conditions of the summer afternoon, a front moving in, cloud cover and scattered showers along with her lure selection. By fishing these areas with wacky rigged worms using the WackOjig along with a Salty Sink Stick worm from Attack Pak Fishing, Donna caught one bass after another. She also did very well by fishing the worm and the jig for deeper weeds probing them for less active fish as well.
“When the fishing slows down I always throw a WackOjig, but it is even more effective when the conditions are favorable.” Donna says. The evolution of the wacky rig has come a long way from the light line finesse tactic for bass to one that can be skipped, pitched or flipped with a bait casting reel since the innovative WackOjig was introduced. “Simply cast the rig and allow the worm to free fall for a second or two. If you don’t get a strike immediately try shaking the rod tip occasionally, pause then continue to let the bait free fall. Repeat this until the bait gets to the bottom. When you get a bite you will feel light pressure on the line, wait a second and once you feel the weight of the fish, set the hook. Just reel in the slack and put steady pressure on the rod and it will drive the super-sharp black nickel Mustad 4/0 hook of the WackOjig deep into the jaw of the bass.” The jig is an all-around great innovation. When paired up with the Attack Pak Salty Sink Stick, the combination can be deadly. These soft plastics are impregnated with the right amount of salt providing neutral bouncy and spiked with the incredible Juiced Up Bait X10 formula making the rig complete for summer bass fishing.
The wacky style of finesse fishing is so effective because the action it is creating on the fall and on the hop is a more natural that many other lure presentations. A wacky rig offers not only a natural action, but a unique action as both ends of the bait shake and vibrate as the worm falls. This is just one of the many secrets that Donna uses to catch the monster bass she poses with often. She is making her sponsors proud on the tournament trail, and she is making me very proud to be her fishing partner, best friend and her husband. Her next tournament will be on her home lake at Chickamauga. Although she is fishing as a co-angler this year, her Skeeter and her F150 are always ready to hit the road and the water for her next fishing adventure. Donna, a registered Master Angler in the State of Tennessee is a member of the PAA, LBAA and has just signed up with the FLW for 2014. I for one hope that she chooses to get behind the helm of her Skeeter on the tournament trails next year.
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