Bluebird skies, post-frontal conditions, pressured fish – any of these conditions can make it a challenge to catch bass. What to do? Finesse up with a Neko rig! Wired2fish’s Ryan DeChaine shares some location and tackle tips for Neko rigging stingy summer bass along deep edges where the grass transitions to hard bottoms. He discusses finding key bass-holding areas coupled with some new rigging tips and tricks to get more action and durability out of your plastic worms.
- WORM – 13 Fishing Bubble Butt Worm, color – Black & Tan
- HOOK – VMC Ike Approved Weedless Neko Hook, size 1
- WEIGHT – VMC Half Moon Weight, 3/16-ounce
- O-RINGS – VMC Crossover Rings, 4mm
- PLIERS – VMC Crossover Pliers
- ROD – Megabass Orochi XX Spinning Rod Shakyhead 7′
- REEL – Daiwa Tatula LT 3000 Spinning Reel
- LINE (Main) – Seaguar Smackdown Flashgreen Braided Line, 15-pound
- LINE (leader) – Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon, 10-pound
DeChaine’s 4 tips for summer Neko rig fishing:
- Slow down during a tough bite. The dog days of summer can make for some challenging bass fishing that often requires setting moving baits down for slower finesse presentations. The bottom-based Neko rig is an excellent tool for combing high-percentage areas, especially when bass are feeding on bottom forage like crawfish and darter minnows.
- Target bass along deep edge transition zones. Warm surface temps often drive forage and bass to the deeper edges of grass flats in mid to late summer. DeChaine recommends using whatever sonar you have to locate these outer edges. Better yet, find outer grassline edges that transition to rock and gravel, which give bass feeding opportunities for not only bluegill but crawfish too. Fan cast these areas and work them methodically to scrounge up some bites.
- Choose a worm that has a buoyant tail. We’ve had a ton of success Neko-rigging crawfish-imitating creature baits, but worms remain the staple. Consider using a soft plastic worm that has some tail buoyancy, especially when fishing around grass. A worm retrieved at a 45-degree angle with hook point oriented up is more weedless than a heavily salted plastic that sinks. They look pretty darn tantalizing too!
- Use Crossover Rings to add action and durability to your worm setup. The VMC Crossover Rings make it possible to affix your chosen plastic to the hook without the need to penetrate the worm with the hook — this enhances freedom of movement of the plastic while reducing worm tear. You get better action, more bites, and less thrown or torn plastics (saves $$$).
BOAT & ELECTRONICS
- FISH FINDER – Humminbird SOLIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI+ G3
- MAPPING – Humminbird AutoChart Zero Line SD Card North America
- SONAR – Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging
- BOW ELECTRONICS MOUNT – Precision Sonar Over and Under Bow Mount for Deck
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex 112lb-36V Trolling Motor
- BASS BOAT – Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass
- MOTOR – Mercury Pro XS 250hp