Keeping it Wacky

By: Matt Johnson


is different for everyone. I’m also sure it can vary depending on the body of
water or region you’re fishing in. The answer might be a swim bait for those
targeting giant California bass. Or maybe a live red tail minnow for those
searching for trophy smallmouth bass on the Mississippi River. Regardless of
the answer, confidence plays an important role. For me, confidence comes in
and clients to use and catch fish on as well. And when you’re talking about an
easy, productive option from spring to fall, then you’re talking about the
infamous wacky rig.

Wacky rigs have definitely evolved over the last several years. Sure, the
method and idea have remained the same, but now you have hooks, weights,
baits and many other products that have been created specifically for wacky rig
fishing. It used to be simple… just hook a soft plastic worm or stick bait in the
middle and cast away. Now you have special techniques and applications for
fishing the wacky rig, but if you ask me, the best technique is to still 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 and patience can play the biggest roles, so
making sure you’re in a promising spot and letting the bait “soak” are 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—especially if you have a little bit of wind. 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.
The other deep approach is to fish it as a drop shot. Same concept for the drop
shot that we all know and love, just with a larger hook. Drop shotting a wacky rig
can be absolutely deadly on deep water bass!

Shoreline Versatility. This might be the best reason to wacky rig—versatility.
Hard to beat a presentation that can be skipped under a dock, pitched 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 it amongst heavy 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. Are the 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 and simply enjoy the day. 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 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 world, 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

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