tiny bit of weight to the head of the worm via a lead nail. A tradi- tional Neko Rig usually adds a 1/16 ounce nail weight. As a rule of thumb, I suggest adding as little weight as possible to make that worm just barely sink and flutter down in the water as enticingly as your patients will permit. If there is any wind at all, you will need to gravitate toward more weight. I normally add between 1/16 ounce and 1/32 ounce depending on wind and where I’m fishing. This rig is very difficult to try and fish in depths greater than 20 feet. Generally, the approach is designed to coax fish in the top 10 to 20 feet of the water column. If fishing deeper than that, you will be better served by a light jig or dart head ap- proach. Some folks like to shake this rig and I’m not opposed to that approach at all. I do, however, find that I generally have better results when I just do nothing to it. It is so light and flir- tatious that it tends to have all of the necessary action without the flaws of human interference. I do remember watching Howard Houghs fish this rig in an event on Oroville, though, where the shake provided the added enticement needed. If you do find that shaking is necessary, remember, it is a very light setup. Just work on shaking the slack line and send- ing light, shimmying waves of line down to the worm. That should be enough. With respect to where you actually hook the worm, I suggest a little experimentation as well. You can hook the worm right in the center giving you and equal amount of worm in front and behind your hook. Or, you can slide your hook forward on the worm so that you are hooking the worm closer to the front than the tail. I normally end up with my hook someplace in the first 25% or 33% of the worm as opposed to right in the middle. Like with a Senko, the allure of this presentation is on the fall and for a few moments thereafter. You can very slowly drag it back to your position on the bank or in a boat, but you will be better served to reel in again and recast. This will ab- solutely test your patients. It will sink in- credibly slowly – and that is the point. I generally cast it out and let it sink to the bottom. Once on the bottom, I try to give it 30 seconds of nothing and then may shake it for another 20 or 30 seconds and then reel in and repeat. No, this certainly is not the most exciting technique. In fact, it may be the most or second most (drop- shot) boring technique I’ve ever fished. But it is absolutely deadly. I’ve seen a number of variations in setup. Some folks prefer to put a small rubber gasket around the middle of the worm, like is commonly done with Senko. This usually preserves the worm for a few more bites. Another variation I have seen that worked particularly well was the use of “slim” Senkos instead of Reaction Inno- vation worms. And because it was a Sen- ko, there was no need for a nail weight. Next time you cannot get bit, lighten up and give Neko a try. You will find that there are times when it is the solution to a finicky bite. BW
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