Bam !

I have gone through this in my head plenty. What would I say ? What would I forget ? Does anyone give a damn ? ( They damn sure better.)

Fishing for me is very personal. I am a people person but as I grow older I am perfectly content more and more every day of being by myself. What fishing has given me is the ability to compete against myself, be by myself, be tan, and enjoy nature. I will get into my Origin more sometime down the road but for today, the topic is something I have become really, really passionate about,. the plastic worm, specifically but not always on a baitcaster.

I got back into fishing a few years ago and slowly got involved in Bass Fishing. It took me a long time to learn one of the org. baits of fishing, the plastic worm. I would watch, I would read and I would not catch squat. So finally one day in Sept. of 2016 after a morning and afternoon of bird hunting with my friend James, we went back to his pond. I had made up my mind based on something I read in a book by fishing legend Denny Brauer. The gist of it was leave all the other baits at home and commit. That was the only way you were going to speed up the learning curve and actually learn. James was one hell of a worm fisherman. He was a worm God in my eyes. So I pull out a couple bags of worms, my hooks and weights and watched him and worked with him, not having a net. I was going to learn or I was not going to get a catch yet again. He worked with me and got me to get the feel and worked with me on my cadence and Bam ! It finally all connected for me. His worm of choice was the Zoom Mag II in Electric Blue and it became mine as well at his pond. From then on I got more and more confidence and it was all we would fish except on occasion a topwater plug. Santa Claus had gotten me a kayak and as I took it out in late 2016 and in 2017 I would go to my goto baits and rarely even use or take worms. I fished the stuff I enjoyed to throw and when with James I would throw the worm and love it but it had become a only at his place bait. On occasion i would throw it at Buck Creek, and I would catch, and I would say to myself I really need to be throwing this more, but next trip out I would be back to my specialty. In 2017 James passed and some of the trinkets I left for him in his coffin to remember me by was the worm I caught my first fish on with him.

So fast forward to January 2018. I attend Bass University for my second time and as always I love the hell out of it. It was here that I met another exceptionally in my knowledge growth of worms. I have had lots of influences and I will write about them sometime, but this is strictly me and my worms. This huge influence was the one and only Jeff Kriet, aka The Squirrel . He taught us classes that I still regularly watch today. One was on the floating worm, and the wacky worm rigged in a weedless way for skipping and pitching under and to targets. He made one hell of a good impression on me. I took his knowledge and studied and studied, I made one of his famous sayings my battle cry “You can’t out slow me.” So now you know. So now spring summer fall I am still basically fishing the way I always do, but do have my new found knowledge. I am incorporating lots of things from BU in my arsenal but still not throwing the worm a lot away from James’s ranch. But I am throwing the wacky worm quite a bit especially as water rose on my local lake and having lots of success. While that is a finesse approach, it is continuing the ball rolling as you can see. So sometime during last year, I cannot exactly tell you when I am watching some of Kriet’s teachings on YouTube, I am watching over his classes and I see a video and a light bulb goes off. He mentions how much money he had made late in the previous season just pitching a normal size 6″ Kriet tail worm. Just flipping and pitching like lots of shallow water people do but rather than a creature bait, a jig or a beaver style. His reasoning was he was cleaning up behind people because it was an old man bait that no one threw any more and you know what ? He was right. Only old guys throw the damn thing. In modern fishing lots of guys use is in finesse applications but no one throws, it bottom hops it, bounces it, drags it in shallow or mid depth. Only old guys put it on their baitcaster and use it. There are just too many fast more modern, techniques. So his premise hit home in a big way. Fish have not forgot it, we as anglers have. He was throwing a bait they never see and having success because it was “new”

Now fast forward to August. I am at the FLW Cup and there shaking hands is the greatest worm fisherman ever, Larry Nixon. I had been lucky enough to meet and visit with him in the past for a couple minutes here and there but now armed with more thoughts and a ton more interest in his specialty I asked him a bunch of questions then just listened and took notes , as well as mental notes. Between my solid foundation from James, and Kriet motivating me, Nixon just blew me away with information on when , how and why he used it. It had accounted for majority of his career earnings and wins. Seldom in life can you meet a guy that is the best of the best at the highest level. He really opened my eyes to the potential of the bait and so many more uses than people would ever think. We shot the bull for an hour with a couple minutes here and there where he would visit with people that came by to see a living legend. I went back and listened to old podcasts he had done on some of my favorite shows like BassEdge radio and Stray Casts. Things he said and taught had a whole new meeting and comprehension for me. The more and more the thought about it the more I got pumped up. I made the decision last fall that while I would continue to learn and throw other baits that a huge emphasis was going to be on the old man bait, the Texas rigged plastic worm.

My year started out bad, cold weather, high winds on days off and me just not catching. For the first time in four years I did not catch a fish in the month of January, February and caught one on the last day of March. This was just bad luck not a result of the worm But then all good things came. I had a real good April not only was I getting numbers but I was getting size with these numbers. I was thr
owing the Bass Pro Stik-o worm, the Kriet tail and some Zoom worms and I was getting catches. My May was a little slow but I was gone a couple weekends so that cut into some of my fishing. I was ok with that because I still caught just not like the outstanding April. My June got out of the gate really fast. Again I was catching more numbers than before and a definite size diff. than before. I always amused myself if I caught two that was a good little day three was a real good day. I am having days like that and more a ton and again all on a bait that no one throws anymore. The moral of the story is I had a good July, a good August in a month that you can easily struggle I had a really good Sept., October and now November. I am fishing with unbelievable confidence and honestly feel like I am throwing a “new” old bait and getting them simply because it is not cool to throw.

In August as I am talking about all my success because of the worm this year I mentioned a true story. I bought some top of the line creature and beaver baits. These are a brand that any guy would love to have in their boat. Proven fish catchers. I felt freaking stupid buying them. I did but I questioned myself the whole time. Why am I not buying more worms?

What worm fishing has done for me …
I am doing things that are almost 180 degrees from what you are taught. I am not saying that my way is right, I am saying my way has become right for me, and I have the catches to prove it. Some of the popular theories that I have successfully not done and had success include the following.

As you get better you are constantly told get fluorocarbon , get tungsten. I am not saying my fishing would not improve, it honestly probably would but I am doing really well on plain old mono and lead weights. I lost a lot of hooks and weights in break offs in rocks and occasional bushes. A lot of times from the bank because I have no way to maneuver and free myself. I would be scared to know how any weights and hooks I lose and if they were tungsten it would certainly hurt a lot more. My stuff works for me, so do not be ashamed to use mono and lead. I do use good Mono, it is Sufix red label , but $9 for 330 yards is a good value.

You are always taught to cover water. By definition with a kayak this is a little harder than with a boat. You put in an area and you fish it and make something out of it. Sometimes you make Chicken Salad, sometimes Chicken Shit. It is the nature of the beast. What the Texas Rig worm has done for me is slow me down, I am not covering a lot of water but what I am doing is carving up a given area like a Thanksgiving Turkey. I make cast after cast after cast in a methodical manor and work my worm. I think this has netted me more bites because I am going to slow and covering the area so incredibly thoroughly. In the old days I probably covered a little more water, I certainly was faster but take a cove as an example. I may have fished that cove but being slow and making as many precision casts I am covering so much more of that cove. It is the no stone left unturned theory. It is like Kriet said one time in a class at BU. KVD comes into an area makes a handful of casts, catches the biggest and most aggressive and then moves on to the next area. He can always come back but he wants that type of fish. Kriet was guilty of going in and trying to catch all the fish in an area and not covering water. I am not going to beat and beat and beat on a school, I have been taught not to and will not. But by being slow and methodical I am sure catching more numbers and better quality than ever before on the worm.

The moral of the story is this, a year ago I committed to do something. Some laughed, some did not care, and maybe some were even curious. I can say this my emphasis on worms has netted me more catches, bigger size and I think I am fishing areas so much more thoroughly that I ever would have otherwise. On Saturday Nov. 2, I caught my PB, and yes it was on the same Green Pumpkin worm with 3/16 oz. lead slip sinker, on sufix mono. Will what I am doing work for you? Yes. Will you be willing to do it ? Maybe, but not likely. It takes patience and persistence. It is not fast and it is not the cool way to fish. It is slow, it is methodical , but it sure is rewarding if you are willing to do it.

And one last thought. If I am paddling in behind you, do not worry about those fish you missed going fast, throwing other baits, probably thinking you are in bad water. I can promise you this, I will be catching them with my worm and you can see them on my Instagram.

No comment


Email (will not pubblished)