Here are some presentations and tactics using a bait I call a “Zoomie” developed by a fishing partner, my wife and I. We have caught a lot of bass using the following methods and I wanted to share this in hopes to add to your bass fishing arsenal.
Starting with a package of Zoom Speed Worms in Watermelon/Red. I cut off the tails at the narrowest part of the worm. Then rig the worm weightless, texposed on a 2/0 bent shaft worm hook. To do this, I first tie the hook to the line and then texpose the hook so the hook point is exposed and laying flat against the bait. When texposed properly, the worm will hang very straight on the hook. This lure immediately looks very much like a Senko type bait, but it has no internal salt or sand to weight it down, it has a very natural slow fall on its way to the bottom. This gives a bass a good chance to see it on the way down and not being in a hurry makes it look like easy prey.
The presentation. I most often use a sidearm skipping cast, let it fall to bottom, watching the line at all times. Quite often it won’t reach bottom before a bass will pick it up, they seem to prefer it on the fall. However, if it does get to the bottom I simply let it set for 20 or 30 seconds before lifting about two feet s-l-o-w-l-y. While lifting I am feeling for the weight of a fish. If I don’t feel that heavy sensation or see my line moving after this slow lift, I tremor the bait once and let it fall to the bottom again.
The “Tremor” process is done by simply grabbing the rod handle suddenly tighter, not trying to move the rod tip, just a sudden micro twitch. After waiting 15 seconds or so and lifting the bait one more time, if I still have not got a bite I’ll reel in at a moderate pace and try another likely spot. The moderate pace has produced strikes on occasion.
My wife’s presentation. Connie casts to a likely spot near cover or structure, lets it sink to bottom and only waits 15 seconds before turning her reel handle one very s-l-o-w turn. Pausing again for 15 seconds and then one more s-l-o-w turn. She does this until her bait has traveled 8 to 10 feet across bottom. When pausing, she watches the line very closely with the line over her index finger for feel. She also uses, by preference, a Zebco 33 and I suspect the distance of one slow turn isn’t very far compared to most open faced spinning reels such as those I use. So, if using an open face for this retrieve, one may want to use a half turn instead of a full turn.
In weeds, cast to an opening and let it fall. When it stops pause for 10 seconds or so then pull it in gently just a little and let it fall down to the next level. We call this the “Bump and Fall”, because when you pull it toward yourself you can sometimes feel it bump the next set of weeds. Working it down to the bottom is often possible and often produces bass.
The weightless “Zoomie” casts like a bullet and skips very well under logs, rocks and docks. It works very well on 6 or 8 lb mono.
Zoom also makes an ‘Ultra Vibe’ Speed worm. If you get those, cut the tail off a half inch up on the body of the worm. The ultra vibe bodies are a little thinner, but longer so losing a half inch makes the final bait just the right size. I prefer the plain Zoom Speed Worms myself as they are just a tad fatter.
We’ve fished “Zoomies” up in Canada at Rice Lake, Ontario using the above presentations and caught a slew of nice smallmouth and some very nice largemouth three years in a row now. Here in Tennessee, while taking my son fishing I set him up with the “Zoomie” and on his first cast he caught a nice three pounder. Made a quick believer of him. In Canada I told a neighbor in the next cabin over about how this technique and set him up with one to try and on his first cast a 4.3 lb largemouth. It’s really neat to see it work for so many people.
If you are drifting too fast and the bait isn’t getting down far enough, you can weigh the lure by inserting a piece of finishing nail just under the skin even with the exposed hook point. If you place it near the point, the lure acquires a tiny side to side wiggle on the fall, showing off the glitter. If you place the small piece of nail further to the side of the worm but still even with the point of the hook, it will have a slow and wide back and forth movement on the fall. You can experiment with the nail placement to get a fall that the fish will strike.
As for conditions, I’ve fished this lure a lot through the years in all kinds of weather and water conditions and found it to be my most consistent fishing lure I’ve ever used. I also found the watermelon with red glitter to be the best overall color of those offered in the speed worm by Zoom. With the vulnerable body design, coupled with the color, it’s truly a winning combination of a superb lure with an outstanding presentation.
Good Fishing, Mac