During the spring, aquatic creatures like bass and their prey still have lower metabolisms and move around the water at slower rates than in the summer. Catching bass on a wacky rig stickbait can be an absolute dynamite technique during this time of year and matches this slower movement perfectly! It’s hard for a bass to resist something dropping slow and naturally into its personal space. How would you react if you’re sitting on the couch and a piece of pizza dropped in super slow motion right in front of you?
The wacky rig’s slow natural looking fall imitates dying prey, like shad or a worm, dropped into the water by a bird. Bass are programmed to target dying prey. In my opinion, no bait imitates this better than a stickbait wacky rigged.
I also think it is highly effective because bass get conditioned to seeing multiple weighed baits enter the water and fall quickly to the bottom. Therefore, seeing this slow fall is something different and really gets their attention. Recently, I was working a tree line that had just been fished by another angler who was pitching a weighted Texas rigged. I spoke to him later and he didn’t catch a fish on those particular trees. I was able to catch seven on those same trees. I have seen this scenario play out more than once. I’m never afraid to follow another angler through an area if I’m using a weightless wacky rig and the other person wasn’t.
I like to throw the wacky rig around trees, docks, submerged timber, brush, grass, and rocks, and let it sit on the bottom for a few seconds before working it back to the boat. After it settles on the bottom, I lift the tip of my rod on slack line, which gives the bait that enticing bending/swimming action. Then, I let the bait sit on the bottom for a few more seconds before repeating the process. I’ve noticed that bigger bass normally strike the bait after it sits on the bottom for a few seconds; especially after a storm, cold front or anytime the bass are finicky. The key is to experiment with the retrieve to see what the bass want on a given day.
My favorite stickbait for this technique is the Chopstick by V&M Baits. The Chopstick has the perfect amount of salt impregnation to give the presentation the perfect rate of fall that drives the bass crazy. The bait is very durable and will last several catches. I like to use an o-ring to preserve the bait even longer and save some money. V&M Chopsticks are available in 21 different colors to cover any possible situation.
For my gear, I like to use a 1/0 weedless wacky hook. The wacky rig attracts large bass, so I like to use a Lew’s Speed Spool baitcast reel (6:4.1 gear ratio) with 15 pound test fluorocarbon line, and a 6 ½ foot Falcon Bucoo medium heavy rod.
I prefer to use a sweeping hook set versus a sharp popping hook set. This seems to be the most effective with the smaller hook and lighter line. I’ve seen people lose fish or break their line using a sharp hook set that would normally be used with a Texas rig or a jig.
If you aren’t using a wacky rig, you are really missing out on an awesome technique that will load the boat under the right conditions. Give it a try; you will be glad you did and those poor bass won’t stand a chance. Hope nobody ever tries the weightless pizza rig trick on me, I won’t stand a chance either…man, that slow fall!
Here’s a video of me catching them on a wacky rig, if you want to see proof of its effectiveness:
See you on the water. Go Vols!
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/casscaldwellfishing