BassWestUSA - Spring, 2013, Page 67

really big fish, I’ll bring out the six-inch size. If bass are finicky or the water is clear, then I will downsize to the four-inch size. I start with the five-inch and adjust from there if needed,” he stated. Redington noted he fishes them on Carolina rigs and Texas rigs like any other worm and routinely catches bass on Lake Fork in 28 to 33 feet with them and has caught a few bass in as deep as 38 feet on Kentucky Lake with them this past summer. He also noted that when rigged weightless Texas style, they would slither over matted grass areas and then start swimming again anytime they hit an open hole in the grass. If a fish misses on the first surface explosion, he will kill the bait and let the bait fall. The slow dying fall often entices the fish to come back and crush it. “You can fish them right under the surface, similar to the way that you would fish a wake bait. I like to bulge the surface with them and this retrieve also works well when bass won’t quite com- mit to a buzzbait. Like buzzbaits, this is definitely a good big fish tactic,” he noted. His favorite place to fish them is in submerged vegetation like hydrilla, milfoil, coontail and cabbage in 1 to 2 feet. When fishing big grass beds, he noted it is like fishing your bait through an underwater jungle and often the hardest part of getting bit is attracting the attention of bass through all the clutter. Redington attributes the flapping and thumping tail of the worms to acting like a strobe light, and that seems to get their attention. “The action of the tail excels at attracting bass, so stained or muddy water are usually best, but they also work well in clear water with lots of cover, especially weeds. In clear water, fish can see baits easier so the wild tail can sometimes be too much, al- though the smaller four-inch size on a shaky head or drop shot often works great in clearer water.” He noted they’re like a blend of a spinnerbait and a swimbait. Spinnerbaits put out a ton of thump and flash, yet they look a little unnatural and hang in matted grass. Swimbaits look very natural but most don’t put out a lot of thump and you often need a weighted hook to make them run true and that will bury it down in the grass somewhat. Redington has found a weightless Texas rigged Hyper Worm or other paddle worm is less flashy than a spinnerbait with a more natural swimming action, some- thing that regularly appeals better to bass on bright sunny days

in clear water with light winds. He notes that when the bite is tough, you can work them very slowly by twitching them across matted grass with long pauses, then let them slowly fall to the bottom in open holes. “I’m not sure how a bass perceives the pressure waves through the water that the paddle tails put out, but based on how they eat it, it is apparently to their liking. If you use a sensitive rod with flu- orocarbon or braided line, you will feel the vibrations from the bait coming up the line and can see it shaking your rod tip. Regardless of how the bass senses the worm through its lateral line, the extra sensation of the worm is a definite plus to anglers because the thump of the worm is so noticeable during the retrieve. When that thump goes away, you either have your bait fouled or a fish has a hold of it, thereby making it much easier for anglers to detect strikes,” said Redington. BWU

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Spring 2013