Split Shot Bass Fishing

SPLITSHOTTING One of the types of finesse fishing for black bass is called splitshotting. This rig is designed for fishing a worm through mossy areas. This rig consists of a worm rigged on a hook without a weight directly on the worm head. Instead of using a worm weight a tiny splitshot weight is attached to the line about a foot and a half above the worm. A splitshot is about the size of a BB. The weight has a split just big enough for the line. The rig can be fished across loose moss and other aquatic vegetation without being entangled and hung. Splitshotting gives a worm a very natural look because there is little weight used the bait has a good fluttering action. The splitshotting rig should be fished with a spinning rod with eight to twelve pound test line. The rig is very light, weighing less than a quarter of an ounce. The light line is small in diameter and draws little wind resistance when casting. The rod should have a medium action and the hook should be extremely sharp. The light line will not stand up to heavy hooksets so a milder hookset must be used in order not to break the line. If the hook is extremely a mild hookset will get enough hook penetration to land the fish. To tie the splitshotting rig run the line through the eye of the hook and tie a knot. Next rig the worm onto the hook like it was a Texas Rigged worm. Once this is completed add a splitshot weight about a foot and a half above the worm. Pliers will aid in pinching the weight in place on the line. Fishing the splitshot worm is very similar to the Carolina Rig. Cast the rig across aquatic vegetation and start to work it back to you with the same rod positioning as the Carolina Rig retrieve. A slow retrieve allowing the rig to fall into the pockets of aquatic vegetation draws the most strikes. Once a strike occurs use a moderate hookset in order not to break the line. The drag setting on the reel should be set so that line may be automatically released before reaching its maximum stretch factor and breaking. Big bass can be landed using light tackle if they are allowed to run and not “horsed” back to the boat. Patience, once again, is the key to landing fish hooked on light tackle WEIGHTLESS WORM The weightless worm is very similar to the splitshot worm only this rig has no weight at all. This rig is designed for areas where the aquatic vegetation is so thick that a worm with any size weight becomes hung up. A worm alone will float and even when rigged with a number one or number two worm hook will still have enough buoyancy to be fished weedless across aquatic vegetation. Dragging the weightless worm across aquatic vegetation has been a successful method of catching fish out of thick grass for years. There are not many techniques that will allow a lure to fished in such heavy cover. Fishing the hard to reach areas is often effective with the weightless worm because the fish in these areas have not seen very many baits. These fish are less likely to be conditioned to any type of lure. The more times a fish sees a lure and is caught or sees another bass get caught the more chances increase for that fish to become conditioned so that it avoids lures. In an area where not many baits have been thrown the chances of the fish in the area to be conditioned are very slim. FLORIDA RIG The Florida Rig is identical to the pegged Texas Rig except that the weight is a little different. Instead of using a worm weight and using a toothpick to peg the weight a Florida weight is used. The Florida Rig weight is a normal worm weight with a spring attached to the end of the weight that faces the worm. The spring attached to the weight is used to screw into the worm, holding the weight against the worm. This eliminates having to use toothpicks. The action and techniques to fishing the Florida Rig are identical to the Texas Rig. DO-NOTHING WORM The do-nothing worm is a method of worm fishing used when a cold front has occurred or when the fish are not feeding. Do-nothing worms are a finesse worm used when a bass has little or no appetite and must be “force-fed”. The worm is a four to six inch worm rigged onto a tiny jig head usually weighing less than an eighth of an ounce. This method of worm fishing requires light tackle. Fishing the bait slowly and tight to cover is effective for catching bass even in the worst weather conditions when they are not feeding. Bill Cannan Professional Fishing Guide

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