Bob Downey's Expert Tips for Fishing the Texas Rigged Worm Like a Pro
A Texas Rig is known to work all across the country and in most fishing situations. The combination of a weedless presentation and the ability to set the hook hard when you get a bite makes it a deadly tactic. With several different variations, a big Texas Rigged Worm has been a staple for many years!
What is a Texas Rigged Worm
A Texas Rigged Worm is a popular fishing technique used to present soft plastic worms in a way that mimics the movement and appearance of natural bait. This technique is popular because of its ability to be fished in many different types of structure.
The rig involves inserting the hook into the top of the worm, then threading it through the body of the worm and out the bottom. The hook is then buried back into the worm to make it weedless and snag-free. This rigging technique is commonly used to fish around heavy cover or areas with a lot of vegetation.
When the worm is retrieved, the tail end will flow and move naturally, making it look like a live baitfish or worm. The Texas Rigged Worm is a versatile and effective fishing technique that can be used in a variety of fishing scenarios.
What Hook to Use for a Texas Rigged Worm
Bassmaster Elite Series Angler and VMC Pro, Bob Downey, says “a round bend worm hook is best to use with a big Texas Rigged Worm because you don’t have to textpose it, allowing for a more weedless presentation.”
Other common Texas Rigged hooks are an EWG or Flipping style hook. Both are not the best option for a big worm because the straight profile of the soft bait doesn't sit as flush as it does when on a worm hook.
Since Bob fishes a Texas Rigged Worm on baitcasting setup, he looks for a hook with a thick gauge wire. “Fishing a worm on heavy gear and thick line means the hook needs to hold up during a hard hookset, having a thicker gauge wire keeps the hook from flexing during moments of stress.”
Smoothness is another important factor and the all New VMC RedLine Hybrid Worm hook has a special P.T.F.E. coating to help it do just that. “Smoothness is key on a round bend worm hook because of the thicker wire used. Hook penetration would be more difficult if the outer coating of the hook was rough,” explains Bob.
Another overlooked feature on a worm hook is having the point slightly offset from the the hook. "That subtle feature makes a huge difference in hook up ratio. As you set the hook on a fish, the protruding point catches the mouth of bass much easier than if it was in line with the shank of the hook", says Bob.
How to Fish a Texas Rigged Worm
The most common way anglers fish a big Texas Rigged Worm is by making long casts and working it back to the boat or shore. Because of the weedless design, they can be thrown virtually anywhere.
A longer rod paired with a reel that has a smooth spool are ideal for getting the maximum distance out of a cast, which is ideal for covering water.
How to Work the Bait
There are several different ways the Texas Rigged Worm can be worked. Bob Downey prefers to “use the rod to lift the bait up and forward, then reel in the slack.” This is a great option if you are around objects like brush piles and boulders that need to be worked over.
In relatively flat bottom situations, a long sweeping motion to the side with your rod is a great option for working the bait along the ground. The bait in this situation would mimic a crawfish scurrying across the floor.
If the bite is particularly tough, a stop and pause or shake action could help entice a strike. Changing weather conditions or pressured waters can have a negative effect on fishing and slowing down in an area can be the ticket.
Once you feel a bite, put the effort into getting a powerful hook set. “I am using a 17 pound fluorocarbon line so there is no holding back when trying to get a strong hook set in,” says Downey.
The thicker gauge wire on a round bend worm hook requires extra force, especially if the bite occurs at the end of a long cast. With more line between the bait and the end of the rod, there is more opportunity for stretching to occur in the line.
Fight Back to the Boat
Once a fish is pinned down on a Texas Rigged Worm, you can be more forceful because of the heavy gear used to fish the technique. If the fish decides to make a hard run away from you, let the bend of the rod shock the force.
The most important thing to keep in mind when fighting a fish is to keep pressure on them. That will keep force on the hook so it is less likely to pop out or get thrown during a head shake.
Bob Downey’s Texas Rig Worm Setup
Bob Downey has had several years of experience fishing across the country on the Bassmaster Elite Series. In that time he has honed in on what works best for him with a Texas Rigged Worm. Below is the setup gear he likes to use for this power fishing technique.
Bait: Zoom Ol Monster 10.5" Worm
Hook: VMC RedLine Series Hybrid Worm Hook
Weight: VMC Tungsten Worm Weight
Accessory: VMC Sinker Stops
Rod: 7'3" MH Fast St. Croix Victory Casting Rod
Reel: 7.1:1 Daiwa Tatula Elite Casting Reel
Line: 17lb Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon
What Knot to Tie With a Texas Rigged Worm
When anglers think of Texas Rigging, oftentimes a snell knot is mentioned. The Snell knot is the best option when fishing vertically (close to the boat). The reason being is that a solid hookset kicks the hook up, sticking the fish in the top of the mouth better.
That doesn’t typically apply with a Texas Rigged Worm because most of the time, long casts are being made and bites are coming away from the boat. In that situation, strength is key. And there is no better option than the Palomar knot.
With a few simple actions, anyone can learn how to tie one of the most widely used knots in fishing. The below video explains the process that will have you tying one in no time!