Ron's Catch: Swimming a Worm

If you are a bass fisherman, there is no secret that worm fishing is very productive when it comes to fishing around grass. The most traditional way to fishing a worm is a simple cast with a slow drag or pump, pause and retrieve motion through cover or grass.

Swimming a worm can be an incredibly effective way to cover expansive flats or areas of grass when other slow retrieves and techniques to worm fishing can be very time consuming. This technique has been popular in the south especially down in Florida but works all around the country where there is grass.

When choosing a worm to swim, I prefer a 6’ to 7”-inch worm profile that gives off some vibration and delivers some swimming action such as a Zoom Speed Worm or Paddle Tail. When fish become more aggressive in late spring and summer, I choose the larger size worm in the 7″ range. This size also works exceptionally well anytime you are fishing water that has a little more stain to it or even muddy. The bulkier profile displaces more water and tends to help draw more strikes in my opinion.

Another preferred worm presentation in the grass is a 6″ straight stick worm with a small Colorado blade screw lock which is then attached to the end of the worm. These teaser blades simply screw into the end of any soft plastic which will give your worm some added attention with a little flash.

Here is another go-to favorite set-up when fishing lightly stained to dirty water: The rod you should be using is a med heavy jig or worming rod, preferably a baitcasting series. Then, I recommend using 12lb. to 15lb. line which will give the worm a very natural presentation when reeling and working through the grass, yet strong enough to pull bass up and out of the vegetation. Most of the time I am using a 1/8 oz Eagle Claw Lazer Tungsten bullet style weight in front of the worm which allows for long casts, but more importantly helps keep the worm down allowing your worm to slide through the grass during the retrieve without getting hung up or even pulling the worm down on the hook. When dealing with a strong wind or deeper grass I prefer the 7″ worms and will often go up in weight to a 3/16 or even 1/4 that allows me to speed up the retrieve and keep the bait down where it needs to be. The hook I highly recommend is the #4 size Trokar Pro-V Worm Hook. It is the perfect hook for swimming a worm and incredibly strong.

The technique of the retrieve is critically important as the presentation set-up. After making your cast, begin your retrieve and keep the rod in the 10 O’clock position. Make sure the speed of your retrieve allows you to make close contact through the top of the grass where you feel the lure ticking or even hitting the grass. Once you get a strike, keep the tension on the rod as you reel down to the fish and then set the hook with a sweeping motion of the rod. At this point it is now up to you but keep the fish up and out of the grass the best you can. If they do bury themselves, you should have right set up to keep them buttoned up until you get them in the boat. This is a great presentation and fun way to improve your grass fishing skills so give it a try the next time your faced with a grassy situation. Find these tackle items and more at your local Shoppers Supply store.

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