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Wacky Rig Mistakes To Avoid While Bass Fishing

Wacky Rig Mistakes To Avoid While Bass Fishing

Our Top 5 Wacky Rig Mistakes Your Making While Bass Fishing

Wacky rig is one of the best bass lures that bass anglers use regularly. This is a go-to lure for many because of its effectiveness and ability to use during multiple times of the year, no matter the season. Many professional anglers always said the wacky rig is a springtime technique, but that simply is not true. They catch fish all year even when the fishing gets tough. If you are new to bass fishing and want one lure that can be your go-to lure, then the wacky rig is it. 


How to avoid mistakes while fishing wacky rigs (Photo Credit: Outdoor Life )

Like all great lures, there are many mistakes that you can make while fishing with it. These wacky rig mistakes can be the difference between catching monster bass and striking out altogether. By trying to avoid these mistakes, it will give you more confidence in using the wacky rig and make it one of your go-to lures on your next bass fishing trip. These are our top 5 mistakes that many anglers make while fishing with a wacky rig.

Wacky Rig Mistake #1: Too Much Action

Catching Bass On Wacky Rig

With many bass lures, more action is better. That is not the case with the wacky rig. When fishing with a wacky-rigged worm, you want it to look as natural as possible. Providing it with too much action makes it look unnatural and will result in fewer bits. When you are fishing with a wacky-rigged worm, it will possess an effect all on its own. You can add weight to the sides of the worm to give it a deeper bounce but let it do all the work itself. I always say if you are moving the rod while finesse fishing a stick worm, you are fishing too hard. If you are new to fishing the wacky rig, you will come to learn that most of your bites will occur when the bait is falling. It is because when it is falling in the upper part of the water column, it looks like a natural worm that has fallen into the water.

Many anglers always ask, "How do you fish it with minimal rod movement?" The only thing you have to do is cast it out around structure or a ledge that holds bass. Simply let slackline into your line and let the stick bait fall. Once the worm reaches the bottom, simply pull the slack out of your fishing line and pull it back to the top of the water column to let it fall again. You want to fish this rig like you would a drop shot. The bass will strike on the fall time and time still making this a straightforward bass fishing rig to fish.

Wacky Rig Mistake #2: Stressing About Colors

Worm Colors For Wacky Rigs

Picking the colors of your wacky rig worm can be a challenge. (Photo Credit:

If I ran a soft plastic company, it would be tough for me to write about this. You want anglers who want to have every color of a specific type of bait. Everyone has been this kind of angler at some point in their life. This is the exact opposite of what you want when you are fishing the wacky rig. Keep it simple is the best way. There are usually three colors that a bass will hit on almost any day. Green pumpkin, watermelon red, and June bug are the only colors you need. If you are not catching fish on these three colors, you are probably not going to catch a bass. The more you fish, the more you will realize this to be true.

There is some science behind what colors you should be using. They are based on what the weather is doing and the water clarity:

1) Clear and lightly tinged water on a sunny day: Red

2) Clear and lightly tinged water on a cloudy day: Green Pumpkin

3) Dirty Water: June Bug/Black

This keeps fishing the wacky rig simple. This will be your new bread and butter technique moving forward. You do not need a ton of colors, and you will still catch a ton of fish. Do not make a mistake by stressing over the colors you should be using. Start using fewer colors and better techniques while fishing to catch more fish.

Wacky Rig Mistake #3: Hook Matters

Wacky Rigs

The hook you choose for your wacky rig is as important as choosing where to fish. Often we think that the hook brand, size, and color do not matter, but in the end, it does. It can be the difference in catching a monster bass and miss one. You may be the type of angler who uses that same hook for the majority of your rigs. You may catch a ton of fish this way, but I am sure you miss a bunch too. It is in your best interest to have wacky rig hooks in your tackle box if you plan to fish this style of fishing. The hook size matters when your catching larger fish. Many anglers fish with a circle-style hook, but in reality, a lot these are not big enough to go around the jawbone of large bass. 

A jig head that I have grown to love and will only use with my wacky rigs is the weedless wacky jigs. These weedless jigs are perfect for holding my favorite stick bait worm. They have a hook that is good for the hook set. These are a wacky jig that is perfect for fishing your wacky rigs. Maybe you are a traditional kind of bass angler and only like to use a hook. My favorite is the #2 VMC Neko Hook. They feature an offset hook that is perfect for all hook sets. Using either a jig head or a hook for your wacky rigs will catch fish.

Wacky Rig Mistake #4: Watch Your Line For The Bite

Finger On Line To Feel The Bite

Keeping a finger on the line to feel the bite. (Photo Credit: River Sports Magazine)

Often anglers think their pole will bounce when the bite happens. This called feeling the bite with your pole. This will be one of the most significant mistake bass anglers will make when fishing wacky rigs. If you are fishing the wacky rig correctly, then you will have slack in your line. This makes it near impossible to feel a bite with your rod. You can have a light-action rod and still miss the strike. It will be a regrettable event when you lose a trophy bass strike because you did not know what to look at on your pole. I am not saying you won't catch fish by just looking at your rod, but two things will happen. The fish will swallow your bait and hook and can be deadly to it when trying to remove it, or it can wrap you around structure before you realized you even have a bite. Avoid all this by holding your line. You will be able to feel a strike through the line by itself. If you happen to feel and see a quick line jump, this is a dead giveaway that a bass strike is occurring. These are often smaller fish because when a big fish strikes, he will just straighten out the line by removing the slack. If you always feel the line, it will help you catch more fish and avoid mistakes while fishing with a wacky rig.

Wacky Rig Mistake #5: Too Slow

Early we mentioned that the rig is meant to be fished slow. It is possible to retrieve it too slow. Why waste your time if the bass simply is not there. If you are fishing near and around a structure, let it get a full sink, pop it up twice, and if there are no bites, move on. A mistake that many wacky rig anglers make while fishing them is spending to much time in one spot. You should still be able to cover a lot of ground with this type of fishing. As you know, many of the bites will happen on the fall, but they also really occur the majority of the time on the first fall. Being efficient with your time and covering more ground will yield more strikes and better fish.

All bass anglers should be wacky rig fishing. It is a fun and effective way to provoke a reaction strike while fishing around structure. If you have any questions or concerns, then leave a comment below or email us at If you have any other mistake anglers are making while fishing with a wacky rig, please share it with the community and comment below. Send us all your bass fishing pictures to be featured on our social media page. Fishing with wacky rigs will help you catch more fish and maybe help you land your next trophy bass.

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Fred - June 10, 2023

The metal ring that is around the middle of the bait that the hook goes through (top of page) Where can you get these? Thanks, Fred

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