Fishing Reports
By: Matt Johnson

The question  comes up often—and who  can
blame—about  “if  you   could  only  pick  one
presentation  for  bass  fishing  what would  it
be?”  I’m  sure  this  question  is  different  for
everyone and can sometimes be  determined
on the body  of water most  frequented or the
region you’re fishing in. The answer might be
a swim bait for those anglers looking to target
giant  California  bass,  or  it  might  be  a live
Redtail minnow for those searching for trophy
smallmouth bass on the Mississippi River, but
regardless of the answer, confidence plays an
important role. For me,  confidence comes  in
the form of “being easy,”  not just  in terms of
catching fish, but easy for friends and clients to use and catch fish on as well.
And when you’re talking about an easy, productive option from spring to fall,
you’re talking about the infamous wacky rig.

Wacky rigs have definitely evolved throughout the last several years. Sure, the
method and idea have remained the same, but now you have hooks, weights,
baits and many other products created specifically for wacky rig fishing. It used
to be simple… just hook a soft plastic stick bait in the middle and cast away.
Now you special techniques and applications for fishing the wacky rig, but if you
ask me, the best technique is to still hook just “hook it in the middle” and cast
away. Don’t over-think wacky rig fishing, but rather just get the bait in the water.
Location can play the biggest role, so making sure you’re in a promising spot is
more than half the battle.

Deep Water Wacky-ing. This might be the only variable where I would ask you
to think about the rigging/technique used when deploying a wacky rig. Reason
being: deep applications require more weight to get down to the strike zone.
Simply hooking a Mister Twister
Comida or Poc’it Fry in the middle and casting it
out won’t be enough; you need to use some sort of weighted hook or attached
weight. The easier method of wacky rigging in deeper water is to just use a
weighted hook. There are many different variations of weighted hooks out there
now, some of which are tailored to the wacky rig concept. This allows you to still
fish wacky style, but the added weight allows you to keep better contact with
your presentation and also drop the bait down to the desired depth. Still easy to
use, but just a change-up in hook type.

Shoreline Versatility. This might be the best reason to wacky rig—versatility.
Hard to beat a presentation that can be skipped under a dock, pitching in a
weed pocket, bomb-casted over a shallow flat, dead-sticked on a weed line, and
the list goes on and on. The wacky rig allows you to fish in so many ways and
around/in so many different structure types. Because the application falls slow,
you can fish amongst heavier weeds without constant snags. You can also fish
shallow water without the presentation plummeting to the bottom right away. A
great option for the bass angler looking to hug the shoreline, casting at every
piece of structure. Bass holding around the lilypads? No problem. Bass hiding
under a dock? No problem. Bass sitting over a rock pile? No problem. The
locations to fish this bait are virtually endless.

Simplicity is Good. Many times we find ourselves finding ways to do things
easier. We update our electronics so we’re running the latest gadgets to locate
fish faster. We install new trolling motors so we can navigate and fish more
effectively. We buy new reels that allow us to cast more relaxed and without
issues. The tools for making our job easier are becoming more and more
available. These tools allow us to skip some of the learning curve to achieve
desired results, and same goes for the wacky rig. With some many different
methods to bass fishing now, we sometimes find ourselves stumped as to which
one to use. I’m not saying they don’t all have their place and niche, but
sometimes having a method that makes things easy can allow you to focus on
fishing. Add that to the fact that now you have a useful, easy to use option to
help the youth and novice bass anglers to catch more fish and you’ve got
yourself a winning method for fishing success.

Durability Catches More Fish. This actually has two meanings for me. One,
you can catch more fish on one bait when using the wacky rig technique. And
two, even though it’s durable by technique, it still appeals to those looking for a
finesse application. One of the beauties of wacky rig fishing is that the bass don’
t rip-up your plastic. You can catch multiple fish and stay in the game. The fish
typically engulf the entire bait and you’re using durable options to begin with.
The Mister Twister Comida and the new Mister Twister Poc’it Fry are two
options that will withstand countless fish without having to retire your plastic.
Then take into account the wacky manner in which you’re fishing the plastic and
you can let it slowly fall or “wobble and shake” to entice even the most negative
of fish. It’s a complete package of durability and finesse, something we’re
typically not used to in the bass world.

So while wacky rigging is nothing new to the bass realm, I still encourage
everyone to consider it as one of your go-to options to not only teach others to
catch fish, but to help yourself catch more fish as well. Big fish, small fish, deep
fish, shallow fish… no matter the situation, the wacky rig can be thrown into
battle to help ensure a successful day of bass fishing!

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Matt Johnson Outdoors 2003-2015
Experience the Fishing
Keeping it Wacky