The wacky worm may look a bit silly, but it’s a proven way to get largemouth biting. If you haven’t tried fishing a wacky just yet, follow this basic procedure.

  1. Hook the worm right in the middle; many anglers prefer to put an O-ring around the worm, and then slide their hook through that. The presentation doesn’t change much, but it does keep the worm from getting torn up and using an O-ring will help prevent you from burning through plastic worms.
  2. Cast out to a likely looking spot, and let the worm sink with zero resistance. Try to maintain absolute minimal tension on your line.
  3. Both feel for and watch your line for a sudden bump. If one comes, set the hook immediately.
  4. If the worm hits bottom without being hit, sweep your rod tip up to lift the worm a few feet off the bottom and then let it free-fall again. Ninety-five percent of your hits will come as the worm falls, and probably 70 or 75 percent will come on the initial sink after the cast. So after lifting and re-dropping the worm a couple of times, crank it back in and take another toss.
  5. In very windy conditions or when fishing deep water, you may want to add a bit of weight to the wacky rig. But do so judiciously because most of the time, the weight and sink-speed of the worm alone are ideal.
bass on a wacky worm
Wacky worms are a great bet for largemouth bass. Photo courtesy of Eric Packard