How To Fish A Finesse Worm How to catch bass with a finesse worm. Tips and techniques that show the right wayto fish finesse worms for big bass. Glenn: Here we are. Keri: Got a little split shot. Yeah, that’s what we’re doing, split shot. Glenn: Yeah, split shot, yeah. Keri: Come here. He’s feisty. He is a feisty guy. He’s feisty. Come here, dude. Come here. Come to mama. Come on. Come on. Glenn: That’s a good fish. Keri: Yeah, it is. He’s mad too. Man, oh man. He’s not happy with me. Not happy with me whatsoever. Come hither you, good little buckaroo. Look at that little guy. Glenn: Hello. Keri: One pounder, a little belly on him. Glenn: Yeah. Hey, folks, Glenn May here with BassResource. com. And today I want to talk about finesse wormfishing. Now, I know a lot of you, when you think offinesse worms, this is what conjures up inyour mind. This is what you think of, this little fourand a half-inch, real flimsy kind of a handpoor, do-nothing kind of worm. And you’re right. That is a finesse worm and that is for a goodreason why a lot of people think of finesseworms as this because that’s really how itgained its popularity in the ’80s back inthe west coast in those clear, clear reservoirsthat had heavy fishing pressure. You needed something like this to elicit thebite. And so I want to talk about that today. But there’s also another kind of finesse wormI wanna talk about that I think you’re reallygonna like. And it’s a different type of fishing thanusing your typical finesse style. But let’s get into the stereotypical finesseworm first because that’s the most prevalent. This is used best when the fish are in a neutralto negative mode, feeding mode, usually aftera cold front or like I mentioned, those heavyfishing pressure conditions, clear water,cold water. When the fish really aren’t actively chasingfish or chasing down baitfish and they reallyneed to be spoon-fed, that’s where this comesinto place. See, it doesn’t really have any big appendagesor anything like that. Not a lot of movement, not a lot of action. So it doesn’t really, you know, it doesn’tlook out of place. Plus because it’s so flimsy, it really movesaround in the water naturally like, you know,like a worm could be. That’s exactly what it does. So let me talk about a couple of differentways from the finesse standpoint, how to fishand what made it so popular starting withthe split shot rig, which I have right here. Now, a split shot rig basically looks likethis. You’ve got, you know, the modern split shotrig today has this cylindrical weight in frontof it, pegged with a rubber peg so you canslide it up down the line. It doesn’t damage the line. Then you’ve got your, you know, 1/0 hook herewith your finesse worm on it. Now, I still call it split shot because originally,we used to use split shots. We didn’t have the cylindrical weights. But the split shots, you know, they got alittle. . . some problems with it. You clamp it down on a line and it can damagethe line and it’s got those little ears thatstick out on it and that can collect weedsand stuff and get hung up in rocks. So the cylindrical weights that have comeout these days, this is much better. Goes through the weeds, doesn’t grab things. You’ve got a rubber stopper in there thatholds it in place so it doesn’t damage theline. It’s much, much, more improvement. Some people call it the Mojo rig, but I stillcall it split shot. It’s the same thing. And it’s quite a bit of. . . Look at the. . . Wow, we’ve got quite a leader on here, abouttwo feet. That’s pretty normal for me when I fish ina finesse worm and I’ll tell you why herein a second. We were just fishing on a spinning rod, mediumto light power, moderate action rod. So you can see it’s got a lot of bend in it. That’s got a lot of gears because we’re usingsix-pound test and I got a video down hereat the bottom, I’ll link to, that really goesinto rigging the split shot rig. So I’m not going to go too deep into details,but it is a finesse tactic using your lightline, light-wired hooks. Now, the reason I’ve got this long leaderand the way you fish it, what you do is youcast it out there. Basically, what you want to do when you castit out there, I’m just gonna show the motionshere, but you let it sink all the way to thebottom. And as it’s sinking, really pay close attentionto the line. You really want to watch it because you’reletting it fall on slack line and a fish couldbite it on the way down. Not always, but it could. And the only way you’re going to detect thatbite is if you see the line. It’ll jump. It’ll pop. It’ll twitch or it might move off to one side. Or maybe it might accelerate as it’s fallingdown. So keep close attention to that line as itreaches the bottom. Once it hits the bottom, wait. Don’t move at all. Why?Well, the weights hit the bottom, but thefinesse worm is still following it down. And this is where the fun part comes in. That weight is sitting down here on the bottomof the lake and it just kind of undulatesand twists and kind of falls down slowly andlands on the bottom in a real natural way. This is unlike, say, a soft plastic stickbait, like a YUM Dinger or something. This actually undulates and kind of movesas it falls. And so you have to wait for it to hit thebottom, even though your weight has hit there. So hang on a second. That’s why I’ve got that two-foot leader ormaybe, you know, a three-foot leader, givesit more time for it to fall. That’s usually when you get that bite is whenit slows down when it’s near the bottom. Keri: Nice one. Nice. Glenn: There we go. Right there. Went for the little finesse worm. Right in the mouth too. Look at that right there. If you don’t get bit, reel up to it, liftup just a little bit. I’m in weeds here. Lift up. Now, if you notice, I lift up quite a bit,almost straight up and then you’ll let itdrop all the way back down again. Why?Well, it’s that same action. What’s happening is the weight is coming upand the bait is following it and then theweight comes back down and then the bait makesits way on down. If you notice, the bait doesn’t come up ashigh as the weight. The more of a leader you have, the less themore of a difference it is. So you’re lifting up quite a bit because you’relifting the weight up, but that bait isn’tcoming up as far and then that weight comesback down and then the bait kind of followswith it. So it’s a larger motion than you would sayif it was Texas-rigged, right?So you’re lifting it all the way up and thenyou let it fall back down. Let the weight hit the bottom and then waitand let it work its way. Let the finesse worm do its trick. And you do that all the way back. You can cover some water with that. It’s actually a little bit slower techniquebut that’s. . . Again, if the bite is real slow, then that’swhat the bass want. You can cover water a little bit quicker bydoing a little bit different retrieve andthat is you throw it out there, let it siton the bottom and instead of lifting backup and down on the rod, just slowly move yourreal handle. Just slowly move it and kinda crawl it onthe bottom. Bump that weight along the bottom. That finesse worm behind it is kind of movingand darting, kind of, jigging around, justkind of crawling down there. And pause it every once in a while, give ita rest and let it sit and then proceed tomove it again. You can cover water fairly effectively thatway. So, not a super-fast way of fishing it, butit’s better than if you’re just sitting here. And that’s really the difference between thistechnique and the next technique I’m goingto show you. The split shot technique is used for coveringa little more water when the bite is reallyslow or off. You can cover water looking for fish thatway with a split shot because you’re movingit, you’re moving it up and down, you’re crawlingalong the bottom. You can even move your rod tip along to moveit along. Sometimes if they’re really deep, what I’lldo is I’ll just use the wind to drift withthe boat and I’ll just hang the rod, you know,right over the side of the boat and I’ll justlet it, you know, 15-feet of water, 20-feetof water. I’m just dragging it along the bottom andletting the breeze just kind of drift us overan area. So you can cover an area pretty quickly witha split shot. Now the next one is the drop shot. Glenn: Come here. All right. Keri: He’s not happy. Glenn: Here we go. Keri: What are you using, Glenn?Glenn: Drop shot finesse worm. The drop shot, this is used when you’ve foundan area where you know the fish are hanging. So, for example, if they’re hanging arounddrop-offs, they’re hanging around points,humps, sandbars, you know they’re on that,then you can pinpoint and you can work themreally good with a drop shot, which is thislittle guy. If you notice, I don’t have as much of a leader,okay, because it’s a different presentation. I’ve got it on a spin SpinShot right here. So it spins around really easy, as you cansee, and it doesn’t twist the line. That’s why I like it. Plus because it spins like that, the lurecan dance around. It’s freer, nothing impedes it. So it looks more natural in the water. So I use a SpinShot in this case. And also, I’m doing. . . I just nose-hooked itas you can see. It’s just a simple nose hook. I’m not even Texas-rigging it. With a little 8-ounce teardrop weight, I canalso use a cylindrical one. This one works pretty good. If I’m getting hung up a lot, say, for example,if I’m fishing in a little bit of a rockyarea, I’ll use a cylindrical one. But this doesn’t work as well, say, for example,than rip rap. I just tend to get hung up a lot no matterwhat weight I use. But other than that, this works really goodin those deeper structure areas where thefish are hanging. Maybe they’re a little bit suspended off apiece of structure. This, you can work an area very, very slowlyand very effectively and catch those fishthat are not willing to bite anything else. So all you do is you just cast it out, letit sit in the bottom. Once it reaches the bottom again, with anytechnique like this, you’ll want to watchas it’s falling, watch your line to see ifthere’s a bite. That’s the only way you’re gonna detect abite. So pay close attention to the line. Once it hits the bottom, all you’re gonnado, you’re just gonna reel up a little bitand tighten down a little bit, and you justwant to tighten the line and you just wantto feel that you’ve got a good connectionbetween you and that bait. And this is why I use fluorocarbon line. Braid has a little bit of buoyancy in it,in a bows, because of that. Fluorocarbon has some density to it. It’s a little bit heavier. It’s a straight connection and it has excellentsensitivity. You’re going to need that for this techniquebecause what you’re gonna do is just holdit and hold that line nice and tight the bestyou can and not move the bait. You may think, “Well, the bait is hangingthere looking like nothing. “Well, actually, you’ve got a little bit ofwaves are lapping against the line that aremaking the line move a little bit. Your hand movement, even though you’re tryingto hold it real steady, your hand is stillmoving around. There’s a little bit of current underwater. It’s moving that bait around, so on and soforth. There’s influences from a lot of differentthings that are making that bait quiver andshake and move. And that’s really all you need in this situationis just making it look alive, just barely,not even moving it. Now, after you’ve done that for a little bit,then just take your rod and you just wantto shake the rod tip. So you just move the hand. I’m just barely moving my hands. See this. You just shake it just like that. Okay. If you look. . . look at the rod tip if I canget it over the rod tip. . . See that?You’re just shaking the rod tip just likethat. And that’s all you want to do. And that bait is just gonna quiver, quiverin place. And a lot of times, that’s how you get a strike. This is again why I’m using nice fluorocarbonline on it because the bite is very, verysubtle. They’ll just kinda grab it and sometimes they’lljust stay there. And so you’ll feel the little tick, tick,tick of the weight. And then I’ll go thud, thud, thud. That’s your bite. That’s all you’ll feel. So you’ve got to be really in tune to it. Make sure that you are paying close attentionto what you’re doing because when that fishbites it, you’ve gotta be ready to set thehook. And really setting the hook is just simplypulling it. It’s not a hard. . . your hook is already exposed. It’s a thin wire hook. It’s gonna go in. So don’t reef on it. You could actually bend the hook or you caneven rip the hook out of the fish’s mouth. So just lift up on it quickly and you’ll setthe hook. So that’s a quick way to fish it. And then all you want to do is if you still. . . ifyou don’t get a bite on that, then lift itup, reposition it, let it drift back downand then start over again with that same exactsequence that I just told you. It’s a real methodical way of picking aparta piece of structure, picking off those fishthat aren’t willing to bite. If somebody goes by in front of you and he’sthrowing crankbaits or jigs or some otherfaster moving bait, this requires a lot ofpatience, but you’re going to pick up thosefish that he missed, especially on those dayswhen those fish just aren’t willing to bite. This sometimes is the only way you’re goingto get them to bite is a presentation likethis. So that’s where a finesse worm really shines. Now, there’s one other finesse technique thatyou can use with finesse worms and that isa shaky head. Let me grab that real quick so you can seeit. Shaky has one of these guys, little shakyhead jig. Let me show that to you. See that?Line ties right there. So really, it sits on the bottom like this. And this sits here like this. This hangs out. Okay. This floats up in the water. So it actually looks kind of like a littlebaitfish that’s feeding on the bottom. Real nice subtle technique. This is actually perfect. It looks like an unwary, unobservant baitfishthat looks very vulnerable on the bottom ofthe lake and the bass just can’t resist it. It’s very simple to fish. It’s just really two different ways. Throw it out there and let it sit on the bottom. And you can either just let it sit for a littlewhile and then lift up a little bit. I only lift about four to six inches, notvery far. I don’t want to move it much and let it plopback down and let it sit there again and justlet the current and stuff do its work andthat fish is going to bite it. Another way to do it is you can scoot alongthe bottom, just kinda reel up a little bit,pull up on the rod tip, just scoot it a bit,stop. That’s again why I liked that flat-headedshaky head because it helps it stand up. An E2 shaky your head jig also works reallywell. It helps keep it standing up. Otherwise, it lays down on the side and itdoesn’t look as good of a presentation. So I wanna make sure that it’s standing up. So get a jig head that does that. Shaky head works really well. Now, let me talk to you about another differentkind of finesse worm. This is actually gaining popularity. You’re seeing more and more of this. Yeah, I’m breaking down a baitcaster. Look at this. Okay. This is a six-inch finesse worm. You got Texas rig there. Pretty cool. These longer ones, these bigger ones are gettingmore and more popular. I’ve even seen some magnum size ones comingout now. So you’re going to see a lot more of thishit the market. These work exceptionally well. Again, when the bite is off or you’re fishingin heavily pressured water, or if you’re ina, let’s say a tournament, lots of peoplefishing it and you’re fishing behind people,you can catch a lot of fish behind them usingthe finesse worm. There we go. Keri: Yup. Got one already. Glenn: Oh, boy. Keri: Got a big one already. Glenn: Oh, he came all the way out of thewater. Don’t go in the weeds. Come on, baby. Come on out. Don’t go to the weeds. Keri: We’re using finesse worms today. Glenn: Finesse worm. Keri: Finesse worms. Glenn: Come here. I don’t have you hooked right. I don’t know what’s going on there. Keri: You got him hooked weird. Glenn: I got him hooked, but, boy. If I can get your face it would be helpful. There we go. Oh, that came right out of my hands. Come here. He’s got a lot of fight in him. Keri: He’s a little angry. Glenn: Oh, boy. We’ve got that finesse worm just hanging rightthere. That works. Keri: There you go. Glenn: Boy. Keri: That was tough. Glenn: All right, I’ll let you go. So basically, also what I’m doing, I’ve gotmyself a baitcasting rod now. It’s a medium-heavy 7-foot rod with 15-poundfluorocarbon, Seaguar InvizX line. I really like that line. Also, sometimes I’ll use a Seaguar Tatsu linebecause it’s really supple and it helps thisbait move naturally in the water. But InvizX, I use a kind of an all-purposeline. Sometimes when I don’t know what I’m gonnabe fishing, I don’t know if I’m hitting wood,rock, lots of weeds, I’m not sure, then IvizXis more abrasion-resistant. But if I know exactly what I’m fishing, sayfor example weeds, I’ll be using Seaguar Tatsujust to give it a little more action. But tied on it, I’m only using a light weight,man. I’m only using like an 8th-ounce tungstenweight. See that?And the reason I’m doing that is. . . and I’vegot it pegged with a bobber stopper. You can see the little bobber stopper hereon the top. So a couple things here. First of all, you’ll notice it doesn’t haveany appendages on it. It’s a real thin profile bait. So when you’re throwing this, it’s not likeyour typical Texas rig bait that’s thicker. It’s got appendages that’ll slow down therate of fall. This doesn’t. So, you know, with those, you’re using likea three 8th-ounce or, you know, a quarter-ounceweight. You put that on a bait like this and it’sgoing to go right through the water. The bites occur on the fall with this baitand so you’re ruining the action. You’re actually at a disadvantage if you puttoo much weight on this and it falls too quickly. You want it to fall real slowly. So an 8th-ounce weight is what I’m using. I put the bobber stopper on here because Iam throwing it around certain kind of coverand I want to make sure that it gets throughthat cover. So I’m using the weight to pull it throughthe cover because otherwise, the weight goesthrough and then the worm kind of falls through,maybe not even make it all the way down, itgets hung up on something. Plus, there’s a little bit of action thatI do on this. Now, I’m using a 3/0. . . Actually, yeah, it’s a 3/0 hook. I don’t know if you could see this or not. It’s real subtle. But it’s not on center. I don’t have it rigged straight up and down. It’s off a little bit. Maybe you can see it if I look over here. It’s real subtle, so it may not be showingup very well on my camera. But I’ve got it off just a little bit. And the reason being when you have this riggedright, when it lands on the water, it’s goingto spiral downward, nice and slow, real slow. This is a great technique. This is what I learned when I fished tubejigs. I started fishing them this way in the ’80s. It looks kind of like a dying baitfish andit’s still a technique that works really,really well, this presentation. You want that kind of a spiral action as itfalls real slow. So, for that reason, I don’t necessarily. . . I’m not flipping and pitching this into heavycover. I’m throwing it on the edges of cover, onthe edges of weed lines, that sort of thing. This here, what you wanna do when you’re followingbehind somebody, say they’re flipping andpitching jigs or you’re flipping and pitchingjigs and the fish just aren’t biting, they’re,again, they’re in that neutral, the negativefeeding mode, then what you need to do isback off. Get away from the cover. I think when they’re in that kind of a mode,pulling up on with a 20-foot boat right upon top of them, just gives them another reasonnot to bite. So with this technique, you back away fromthe cover and you make long casts to it. Long casts right to the edge and let it justspiral down right next to the edge. And a lot of times, it gets bit before itreaches the bottom. There we go. Keri: Finesse worm. Glenn: They’re digging these finesse worms. There you go. Keri: Get out to have some fun. Glenn: Another rule of thumb is when it’ssunny and clear out, you want to use moreof natural colors. You can use like brown hues, green hues, andthen the darker the water is, the darker thelight is, more clouds, then you use a darkercolor worm. Green pumpkin is a good all-around purposecolor. You don’t really need to get too crazy withall the different colors. That’s basically it. I just use some translucent colors like thisand then I got some opaque ones, includinggreen pumpkin and you’re good to go. Keri: Here, fishy, fishy, fishy, fishy. Glenn: Boy, he listened. Keri: Definitely so. He’s a little scrappy dude. But yeah, they listened. Glenn: All right. Keri: Just a little guy. He’s just a little guy. He’d go in the live well if it was a tournamentbut quit spinning, quit spinning, quit spinning,spin, spin, spin, spin, spin. Stop. Let me grab you. Thank you. Got you right through the nose. Sorry. He’s been eating. Glenn: Oh, yeah. Keri: Hey, Buddy. And he’s just a little guy. But, hey, they gotta be little to get big. So here you go. Glenn: So those are the different ways tofish with a finesse worm. I hope that helps. For more tips and tricks like this, visitBassResource. com.