Jighead Worms: Old School, New Again
Finesse fishing is a must for any fisherman who wants to consistently put fish in the boat day in day out on any spotted bass lake or clear water fishery. Sometime around 2001 I started fishing a jig head worm or more commonly known as a Shaky Head. If you are not familiar with this rig, there are only two parts: a worm and a jig head. In most cases
it's a light, 1/8-1/4 Ball Head w/ a light wire hook, it's often tipped with a 4-6 inch finesse worm rigged weedless. What makes it unique is when rigged correct the tail of the worm stands up and quivers with the slightest movement of the rod. When this little bait made its debut, it took the finesse fishing world by storm. It's in virtually every tournament angler's arsenal at some point throughout their fishing season. It is one of few baits that will catch fish on every lake, hot or cold, dirty or clear, day or night, 365 days per year. The jig head worm is very diverse and can be fished everywhere from shallow to deep but in my opinion works best fished around rock and gravel type area's.
Shortly after I started using a jig head-worm, it became my new "go to" bait when I needed a fish. Before I knew it, years had gone by and the jig head worm had totally replaced a standard Texas rig worm in my tackle box.
Being a guide, I get the opportunity to fish with a lot of people from all over the country on a weekly basis. In June of 09' I was on a trip with a man from Smith Lake in Alabama. Smith is well known for it's crystal clear water and big, but often finicky, spotted bass; a lot like my home lake. During our trip my client put a whooping on me with a 1/16-1/8 oz Texas rigged finesse worm, while I'm fishing the same size and color worm as he was, only difference being I was using a Jig Head. When I switched to the T'rig, I started catching more fish instantly.
Why is this? That is a good question, and one I'm not sure I can answer. Could it be as simple as the fish simply not seeing a T'rig as much as a jig head and in some lakes the bass are getting conditioned to the jig head??? Your guess is as good as mine. I do know there are a lot of people out there just like me, who've replaced a Texas rig all together.
Next time you're on the lake needing a keeper or not getting bit and you reach for the ole faithful jig head remember this article and give the old school T'rig a shot. You may be just as surprised as I have been.