The key to consistent, successful bass fishing is in the rig. Yes, it is true that those fancy action baits sometimes work, but sometimes is not enough. A good bass fishing rig will always, not sometimes, work. Sure a fancy rod, reel, line, and net might make you think you are improving your chances to catch bass, but you are not. Those accessories are no different than fishing vests, insect replant, and your favorite pair of underwear. They might make the fishing experience more fun, but they definitely don’t help you catch bass. However, setting up and using the right rig in the right situation, definitely will help you catch bass.
One of the oldest, solidest, and popular bass fishing rigs is the Texas Rig. Widely used for nearly three decades, this rig is easy to setup. You only need a line, a hook, and a sinker. Bullet shaped sinkers work best. To make this rig you simply put a bullet slip sinker on your line, after of course making sure the nose of the sinker is facing the tip of the rod. Then you insert a hook about 3/8” to 1/2” down the center of your chosen worm and make sure to poke the hook all the way through the worm. From there, it’s only a matter of casting your line and reeling in a bass. The Texas Rig can be successfully used just about anywhere bass are located.
The second most popular bass fishing rig is the Carolina Rig, and all that is needed to make one is a barrel swivel, about 6’ of leader line, a weight (steel is best), a glass or brass bead, and a hook. Once in possession of the required parts, all you need to do is slip the 1/2 to 1 oz. bullet weight to the end of the line, then attach the glass bead, and lastly tie the end of line to the other side of the swivel. If made correctly, the bead should hit against the weight and make noises, which, in effect, will attract bass. The bead should also act as an insulator, protecting the knot from the movement and impact of the heavy weight.
Although the Texas and Carolina Rigs will produce results most of the time, occasionally you will have to use the Floating Rig. If, for example, you are bass fishing in a rocky body of water, the Texas Rig would in all likelihood get stuck between rocks due to its weight. The same would happen to the even heavier Carolina Rig. The Floating Rig, however, would work perfectly, slowly floating above the rocks and attracting bass from beneath them. To make this rig, take abou 4’ off your main line, making it into a leader line. Then tie one end of your leader line to one end of a barrel swivel, and tie the other end of the barrel swivel to the main reel line. To finish, just tie on a light hook, allowing 1’ or 2’ of lead for the leader line. In addition to rocky bodies of water, the Floating Rig should also be used when bass fishing around branches, Lilly pads, vegetation, and other difficult locations.
Knowing those three rigs should be enough to ensure successful bass fishing in most situations, but serious bass fishermen might want a few other rigs at their disposal, just in case. In this case, the Drop Shot Rig and the Wacky Rig may be good additions to your bass fishing arsenal. The Drop Shot Rig is simply a reversal of the traditional order of hook and sinker; the hook comes before the weight, anywhere from 7” to 4’ feet up the line from the sinker, which you should have at the bottom of your line. The Wacky Rig, on the other hand, consists of another more than a hook that impales the middle of a worm. By doing so, this rig creates more resistance when moved through water, increasing the chance of a shallow swimming bass striking it.
All the fancy gear in the world won’t help you catch bass. If, however, you learn and practice these rigs you’ll consistently succeed in your bass fishing endeavors.