Jacob Wheeler is a compulsive experimenter when it comes to tackle and techniques, so you notice when he bypasses 16 other rods to grab a Texas-rigged worm. As he states, “there are baits that are trends and those that stand the test of time.” A Texas-rigged worm might be the best example of the latter. Wheeler talks about the importance of hook and weight selection and his top 2 retrieval methods when fishing ribbontail worms offshore.
- VMC Ike Approved Wide Gap Hook, 5/0
- VMC Tungsten Flippin Weight, 3/8-ounce
- VMC Sinker Stop
- Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, 17lb
- Googan Baits Mondo Worm 10″ Plum
- Duckett Jacob Wheeler Series Casting Rod, 7’6″ Heavy
- Duckett Paradgim Casting Reel
- Bass Mafia Googan Squad Casket 3700 2.0
WHEELER’S WORM FISHING TIPS:
- Choose light-wire worm hooks over heavy-duty hooks when casting to bass. Driving hooks home at a distance and depth is a lot easier with light-wire hooks. Wheeler advocates the same when Carolina rigging.
- Use 8- to 10-inch worms. Giant worms reduce hooking percentages and don’t generate bigger bites than midsized mouthfuls.
- Experiment with lift and fall (stroking) retrieves and slow drags across the bottom. Individual bass will often have a preference for one over the other.
- Increase the fall rate to trigger reaction strikes. A fast drop speed is an overlooked trigger when stroking a worm off of the bottom. Experiment with 1/2- to 3/4-ounce tungsten weights fire up the school.
- Let bass eat the bait. Bass need a little top to engulf a long worm into their mouth. Give the fish a 2- to 3-second count before setting the hook. Doing so helps to ensure the bait is full in their mouth, which significantly improves hookups.