Keep It Simple
Minimalists rig the unweighted worm Texas-style, with the barb of the hook (usually a 3/0 Southern Sproat or one of the newer wide-gap versions) buried in the body. An alternative is to use a weedless hook with the point exposed inside a wire weedguard. Either way, the hook is tied directly to the fishing line. Some anglers use a short leader with a barrel swivel connecting it to the fishing line to alleviate line twist (see sidebar, previous page). Perhaps the most popular retrieve is to impart a side-to-side, swishing motion in "walk-the-dog" fashion by alternately twitching the rod tip and turning the reel handle to take up slack. Michigan pro-angler Kim Stricker, who was introduced to worm fishing by way of the spiinner-rigged Creme Scoundrel in the '60s, favors a retrieve cadence consisting of a series of twitches followed by pauses. "After I cast the worm out, I let it sink just out of sight and then twitch it three times until it's back up near the surface," says Stricker, who these days favors a floating worm made by Haw River Tackle (336-227-4673). "Then I let it drift down again. When the worm goes out of sight, I watch my line. If I see it jerk, I jerk back."