Green Pumpkin Worm overlaid with "Fishing With Worms" title

Fishing With Worms: 5 Unbelievably Reliable Rigs For Bass


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Over 50 years ago, the plastic worm exploded onto the fishing scene.

Replicating nightcrawlers and other worms commonly eaten by fish, the original plastic worms were a smashing success.

Fast forward to today and we find that bass anglers still use plastic worms to catch fish and win tournaments.

Dozens of newer soft baits have entered the fishing industry since the birth of the plastic worm. The plastic worm may look simple, even basic, compared to many of these newcomers.

But the fact remains – fishing with worms is still one of the deadliest ways to catch fish!

Welcome back to Jig Is Up Lurecraft!

Today I will be showing you 5 timeless rigs that you can use when fishing with worms! As we dive into each rig, I’ll unveil the strengths of each worm rig, as well as how you can use it to catch fish yourself!

Fishing With Worms: The 5 Rigs

1. The Texas Rig

First on our list is a favorite of many anglers – the Texas rig!

texas rig for fishing with worms

The Texas rig is hugely popular among both amateur and pro anglers, and for good reason.

For one thing, the Texas rig is a totally weedless presentation. Fish it in grass. Fish it around wood. Fish it anywhere!

This rig catches bass everywhere. From the sunny Florida swamps to the deep clear lakes in California, anglers use this rig and catch oodles of bass.

Another strength of the Texas rig is its ability to be fished with many different retrieves. 

You can pitch a Texas rig into heavy cover. You can drag it along the bottom. You can swim it straight back to the boat!

One of my favorite techniques is simply picking up the bait and letting it fall. Almost always, bass will bite that worm as it is falling. There’s just something about a worm fluttering lazily towards the bottom – bass can’t stand it!

graphic showing how to rig a texas rig for fishing with worms

2. The Dropshot Rig

The second worm rig on today’s list is the dropshot rig, a rig that has exploded in popularity within recent years.

dropshot rig for fishing with worms

Although dropshot rigs can be used in a variety of situations, they excel particularly with deep water presentations.

The sinker tied below the worm rapidly carries the rig down to the bottom, which is where this rig shows its worth.

You see, the beauty of the dropshot rig is that the worm always remains suspended in the water within plain view. 

This may not seem like a big deal, but this arrangement allows you to keep that worm hovering in the same place indefinitely. Whereas the Texas rig rests on the bottom when you don’t move it, the dropshot rig hangs in the open water as an easy-to-find meal for any bass cruising by.

Next time you’re struggling to get a bite, try a plastic worm on a dropshot rig. Throw it out and just let it sit – it’ll get bit when nothing else will!

graphic showing how to rig a dropshot rig for fishing with worms

3. The Carolina Rig

Next up is an oldie but a goodie – the classic Carolina Rig.

a carolina rig for fishing with worms

The Carolina rig has caught bass and won many tournaments for the past several decades. In fact, it’s so old school that many people have replaced it in their repertoires with newer techniques.

But don’t be deceived! This rig is still deadly for catching numbers of deep-dwelling bass.

Part of why the Carolina rig is so great is because of the erratic action it creates in the worm. As the sinker hits the bottom, the worm goes from a steady fall to a lazy downward flutter. This change in the fall rate is wildly effective for triggering strikes.

Added to that is the sporadic clicking of the bead as the weight slides back and forth on the line. This clicking noise can be just the ticket for firing up a hungry bass! 

All these factors combine to make the Carolina Rig a fantastic option for quickly covering deep water in search of big bass.

graphic showing how to do a carolina rig for fishing with worms

4. The Split Shot Rig

Another old school technique is the venerable split shot rig.

a split shot rig for fishing with worms

The split shot rig can almost be described as a scaled down version of a Carolina rig.

The Carolina rig uses a bead and a heavy, free-sliding weight and is effective for deep water fishing.

In contrast, the split shot rig consists of a split shot weight that is pinched 12”-18” up the line from the hook. The weight is considerably smaller than the heavy sinker utilized in the Carolina rig. This means you can fish a split shot rig with great effectiveness using light tackle in rivers and creeks!

graphic showing how to do a split shot rig for fishing with worms

5. Worm on a Jig

Last but not least is one of my all-time favorite presentations – a tried and true jig.

a jig for fishing with worms

When most people think of jig fishing, they think of soft craws and other trailers that impart a lot of action in the water.

But a plastic worm on a jig is a sleeper presentation that catch bass when their jaws are shut tight.

Many an angler has cut a stick bait worm in half and threaded it on a jig, to combat a day wherein bass refuse to bite other baits.

The simple worm imparts little to no action underwater, which slyly induces lock-jawed bass to bite. And when bass do bite, the open jig hook allows you to drive the hook home with minimal effort.

Swim it, drag it, hop it – there is no wrong retrieve! 

If you are having a slow day of fishing, give this rig a try. Like the dropshot rig, it will catch lightly biting bass like few other rigs will!

graphic showing how to rig a jig for fishing with worms

Fishing With Worms: Recommended Terminal Tackle

Interested in fishing with worms? Here are some great worm and terminal tackle options you can fish with today!


Worm Hooks


Conclusion: Fishing With Worms – 5 Unbelievably Reliable Rigs For Bass

Fishing with worms can be very lucrative. Anglers have caught bass with these soft baits for decades!

If you are interested in learning how to fish with worms or if you simply want to improve your worm fishing chops, give the 5 worm rigs listed in this article a try!

Whether you are power fishing in heavy vegetation or finesse fishing in deep clear water, there is a worm rig for every application!

Which worm rig is your favorite for bass fishing? Leave a comment below!

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