Bass Fishing 101

Nothing Like The Texas Rig To Get You Started

By Carol Martens

Are you ready to give bass fishing a try? And, if youíve done it before, learning a few new tips couldnít hurt, right?

So, this time Iím going to focus on the Texas rig, which is sometimes referred to as "shaking a worm."

The Texas rig is the technique I choose to teach the novice angler because itís effective and easy to use. Itís also my favorite way to fish and works in most conditions.

First, letís talk a little bit about tackle.

When you invest in fishing tackle, I strongly suggest you not go the cheap route. Try to buy quality items that are made to last. If youíre learning how to fish, you donít need the aggravation of a broken rod, reel or line. Everything between you and the bass is important.

Beginning with the rod and reel, I suggest you purchase a graphite 6 medium to medium-heavy rod and a spinning reel to match.

One of my favorites is the Daiwa Advantage series spinning reel, and I prefer the 2500 size reel. This set up is good for all forms of finesse fishing. The 2500 size spool is a little larger than most, and you can put almost any size line on it and it wonít twist. I use 6-pound to 10-pound Izorline for my Texas rigs.

Now, back to the Texas Rig.

Most of the time, I choose 8-pound test line because it doesnít break easily, but it still has a thin diameter. Unlike other types of finesse fishing, the Texas rig can be tossed into trees and brush, so a heavier line such as 8- or 10-pound is recommended to resist abrasion and a break off.
Next, you need bullet weights that slide up and down the line. I use 1/8 oz up to 1/2 oz, depending on water depth and weather conditions. I use 3/16 most of the time for normal conditions.

Weights are generally made of lead or tungsten.  I use Tru-Tungsten because unlike lead weights, they weigh more for their size and are ultra sensitive. They come in a variety of colors that you can match to your baits and are better for the environment than lead.

Hooks are extremely important. Tru-turn, Daiichi and Acupoint are all very good. I suggest size 1/0 or 2/0 in the wire hooks. Wire hooks are thinner and sharper than steel, and itís easier to get a good hook set using the lighter lines Iíve suggested.
When you select plastic baits, Robo is the way to go. You can find them just about anywhere and thereís a huge selection of styles, sizes and colors to choose from.

For the Texas rig, a straight 6 inch worm is good for starters. The most popular colors are Aaronís Magic, Blue Crawler, Oxblood-red flake and Purple varieties. They already have salt and scent in them, which affects the way the bait moves in the water and tends to make the fish hang on a little longer so you can set the hook.

The hardest thing for most people is knowing when theyíre getting a bite. The Texas rig works well because the weight, hook and bait are all right there so itís easier to detect the bite, set the hook and catch the fish.

To rig, you put the bullet weight on the line first and then tie on the hook. The Palomar knot is the most popular and works well. And, hereís the key: You put the plastic worm on the hook, making sure the hook point is inserted back into the plastic worm and the worm is on the hook straight.

The presentation is easy. Make a long cast and allow the weight to sink to the bottom, and then flip the bail over and reel up the slack line.

Keep slack out of the line so you know when you get a bite. Be sure the setting for the drag allows the line to be manually pulled from the reel ever so slowly. If the line is too tight, it could snap. If itís too loose, you wonít get a good hook set.

Work the bait by pulling it across the bottom very, very slow and give it a twitch now and then. If you are fishing around brush, trees, docks, etc., cast next to them and slightly shake the bait, move it an inch or two and shake again.

You need to visualize how the bait looks to the fish. You want it to remain on the bottom and slither up and over the rocks and mud and go through or around the obstructions such as trees and brush.

There are many ways to utilize the versatile Texas rig and this is just the beginning.
(Watch for my video...Bass)