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Worms for every occasion

For every serious Bass fisherman, worm fishing is an art unto itself. But there is a lot more to worm fishing than even most Bass fisherman realize.

Worm shape is a key component in bass fishing, but all too often I see a total disregard in most bass anglers in regards to this. Why? Because very few anglers understand the principals that govern the choices available to them.

First, an angler must analyze the situation he is faced with. Timber? Weed? Shallow flat? What time of year is it? Spring? Summer? Fall? The answers to these questions SHOULD affect your choice.

Go to your local tackle store and look at the various shapes of plastic worms they carry. After a little bit, you start to recognize three basic shapes in worms.

1: The curly tail or Action tail worm 
2:The super action worm

3: The straight tail worm 

You might be asking, what is the difference in the curly tail worm and the super action worm. The difference is this. The curly tail worm has a curly tail that is usually about an inch long whereas the super action worm has a curly tail that constitutes about half of its body length. The straight tail worm is just that. A worm that has no curling whatsoever in its tail section. Various sub groups fall into this category like paddle tail worms and naturals.

From my experience, if bass are relatively inactive, the straighter worms are usually your best bet. And if you can find a thinner straight-tail, you will probably be better off. 

Super-action worms are great for slower drop speeds and murkier water where the tail movement produces a vibration that could aid in bass locating your presentation quicker. But they also work well in clearer water where bass can see your offering at a greater distance. Using a simple hook and worm with no weight in clear water can produce some of the most amazing visual strikes you are apt to see. 

For some reason, my success with the curlytail variation of worms has been limited, as under most conditions the two previous variations of worms can usually be rigged or modified to fit the given situation. 

Often for me, I use the water temperature as a general guide not only to fish activity/mood, but for worm choice. I also keep in mind what time of year it is. In spring and in cooler water, or right after a cold front, your first choice in worms should be the straight -tail worm.. Also, if I find fish, either visually or on a fish finder, but have no luck in catching them on the super-action worms, then the straight worm rigged in a crazy-worm style can usually take them.

Super-action worms are for use with aggressive fish and in warmer water and around heavier cover. The length varies on these, but I usually draw the line at about seven inches. Anything over that on the smaller waters I fish is usually overkill. But again, water temperature should play a key role in determining worm size. Cold water, smaller worm...warm water...bigger worm. Don't rule out larger worms on bigger waters though. Bigger worms have a larger profile, and virtually eliminate all but the larger fish from striking them. U 

Thickness is also an important variable. Thicker worms fall slower than thinner ones due to natural water resistance. In warmer conditions, a thicker worm is generally better. In cold front or cool water conditions, thin is in..

Give the bass what they want, you should see a noticeable improvement in your worm fishing catches. Until next time

Daniel C. Nielsen


Copyright 2000 
Reprinted with permission

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