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Shore Fishing
home : features : shore fishing
July 1, 2022

1/14/2022 1:21:00 PM
Shore Fishing

Kimball & Les Beery
Angler's Guide to Kayak Fishing Southwest Florida

Wacky Worms For Kayak or Shore
Worms…almost every angler starts with worms. Just park one on the bottom or suspend it under a cork and it won’t be long before something eats it. It’s a rare fish that refuses a worm. Even vegetarians like tilapia and carp will eat worms. There are several types of worms available to anglers. You can dig garden worms or go to the bait store for red wigglers or nightcrawlers. Bass anglers in particular have taken worm fishing to a new level with plastic worms. Old timers might remember the black pork rind worms that came in a jar, before plastics.
Plastic worms come in a variety of colors and sizes. The basic 7” worm is the standard and black is the color that started it all, but if it isn’t working, there are other colors, lengths, and shapes to try. We break it down into red, green, black, and brown. Variations involving glitter and scent contribute to the selection, but we start with those basic colors.
While real worms come in a basic tubular shape, plastic worms come in several styles and each one has its believers. Swimming worms have a flat, bent back tail that adds a lot of action to a steady retrieve. Ribbon tail worms have been popular for years, but we feel they encourage too many small fish to bite the tail. Trick worms are our favorite but require a little experimentation to see what action is needed to provoke a strike. We find most strikes come on the initial fall to the bottom. Sometimes a little tiny jerk after it hits bottom will get a bite but then the rest of the retrieve is rarely productive.
On all of these worms, the rate of fall can be regulated by putting a weighting bullet weight in front of the hook. Sometimes, no weight at all is best when retrieving across floating vegetation or between openings in cover. We generally use a light weight. Lately we have found the 1/32 oz. weights to be our favorite. They’re small and let the worm fall slowly through the strike zone.
There are too many worm hooks to mention all of them, but a few are too popular to ignore. The one thing they all must have in common is the ability to be rigged weedless. Whether dragging a worm across floating vegetation or through sunken tree limbs and bottom debris, it must be weedless. Tru-Turn™ has enjoyed a big share of the market for years, but a basic long shank worm hook is still our favorite. We also rig with wide gap hooks when we want to switch quickly between worms, frogs, lizards, and other creature lures. All must be rigged so the worm lies straight and doesn’t spiral on the retrieve. Another very important point is to make sure the bend of any hook passes straight up through the worm and not at an angle. This allows the hook to easily slide down the bend and “deploy” the point during the strike.
A relatively recent innovation to worm fishing is the Wacky Worm. We were impressed with how nicely they adapt to a kayak or shore angler’s needs. These fat, short worms should be rigged on a weedless hook placed exactly in the middle of the worm’s length. Weedless hooks that come with whiskers keep the hook point out of trouble in tight spots. There are special rubber bands designed to hold the worm and hook together without actually hooking the worm. This presentation gives a bigger gap to the hook but really isn’t necessary. Just hook the worm through the middle and cast away.
This is strictly a “first drop” presentation lure. Just cast it into the target www.heather-ellis.com/efudix.html spot and let it sink naturally. The ends will wiggle as the hook leads the worm slowly to the bottom. Freeline the lure until it hits bottom-, and your line stops running out. About then, the line should start moving again and track to the side if a bass picks it up and heads away to finish the meal. If it doesn’t get picked up on the fall, give the worm the tiniest of twitches on the bottom and wait. If nothing happens, reel it in and target another spot. Wacky Worms work for kayak anglers to help pick apart a shoreline. Shore anglers will find that Wacky Worms stay in the strike zone longer and entice even reluctant bass to try a taste. You should try wacky worms. You might really like them.

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