Bass Fishing Rigs: Load Up Tackle Bag with Best Lures
If you are looking to improve the chances of landing fish, then you have come to the right place. These five bass fishing rigs are guaranteed to get your bite and help you catch more bass. Before a tournament or a fishing trip, I’ll spend countless hours the night before making predictions as to what I should throw.
Then, I’ll load my tackle bag up with what I think are going to be my best bets. What I’ve found is that I keep coming back to several rigs that I can fish in a variety of conditions and seasons. These five rigs are versatile and will maintain the fish interested.
Five bass fishing rigs every angler should know
1. Ned Rig
Created by Ned Kehde, this Midwestern finesse tactic is starting to fill a lot of live wells and boat ramp conversations. The beauty of this rig is its simplicity.Another great aspect of the Ned Rig is the ability to fish it several different ways. Generally speaking, you will want to use a 1/16-ounce jig head.
Depending on the desired depth or situation, you can go up to 1/8 or down to 1/32. Once you have decided on the weight of the jig head, you will want to dress it with some plastic. This is where anglers can use their imagination, but will want to keep the lure within the three-inch range.Some anglers will bite a Senko in half and use it, or do the same with a lizard or a finesse worm.
A medium spinning rod will do the trick. For the line used, you don’t want to go over 10-pound test when using this one. Keep it light and simple. After the Ned Rig is in the water, drag it, bounce it, let it sit…it can fish itself
2. Shakey Rig Head
When the bite gets tough, Shakey Rig Head is a go-to rig. However, don’t overlook it to catch solid fish during many seasons. One great quality about this rig is the consistency that it offers. Sometimes, I wonder why I don’t fish it more often because it can be so productive. A 1/8-ounce jig head seems to be the go-to weight for a variety of situations.
But, this is where things get fun.Because of the innovations in the tackle industry, you can really customize what you want your presentation to be. Some companies offer a ball head; some offer a stand-up option. Then, you’ll want to consider your plastic. Finesse worms seem to be a solid choice for this rig, but don’t be afraid to get creative.
Ribbon tails, senkos, straight tails and other options have proven themselves to work. It all resides in the confidence of the angler. For a rod, a 7-foot medium or medium light action will do the trick.
3. Jig and Pig Rig
Find the cover, find the fish. Whether the bass is relating to wood or rock, there is a version of a jig and pig rig that will help you to get that fish’s attention. Depending on weight, color selection, and trailer, this rig can be fished year round productively. Plus, this combo can be flipped, pitched and cast.
If you are new to the rig, I will select the following three colors in a 3/8 version: black/blue, green pumpkin and some variation of green and oranges like a peanut butter and jelly color. Then for a trailer, it’s hard to beat any of the chunks available.
This jig rig is what they call a finesse fishing tactic. All you need to do here is take your drop shot hook and tie on to your line anywhere from 10 to 18 inches above the end of your line, if not longer, depending on what level of the water column the bass are hanging out. Use a Palomar knot to tie your hook and make sure your hook is facing up towards your rod tip during the tying process.
There are a couple of ways you can hook your soft plastics to this rig. One is to hook simply through the nose about 1/4" back. Another really effective way is to wacky rig your worm. This involves hooking the worm in the middle of the body. The concept here is to get maximum motion out of the lure as it falls and sways with the current of the water. This really entices a bass to strike. Add a sinker to the end of your line and you are ready to cast out and catch your next prize.
What you are trying to imitate is one of the best bass treats: crawfish. From there, depending on depth, clarity and temperature, you will want to diversify the weights, colors, and types of trailers that you intend to use. Generally, when the water is cold, fish it slow and not a lot of flash or movement in the trailer. As the water warms, so should the color and action of the trailer.
What makes this rig so versatile are the different plastics that can be fished: sensors, flukes, beavers, worms, lizards, tubes.
4. Texas Rig
This is my favorite of all of these rigs to fish. It has been my most productive way to catch fish. Partially, because there are a ton of options that this rig offers the angler. Weight, hook, lure, and presentation are all fluid when it comes to the Texas Rig.
Traditionally, there is a bullet weight (tungsten or lead) thread onto the line, without a peg, but it can also be fished weightless. Then, an EWG hook is tied on to the line. Finally, the plastic lure of choice is attached.
Now, this is where the debate starts. Some guys swear by pegging the weight; others are the opposite. For my taste, I’ve had better luck not pegging the weight. I tend to drag or pop the Texas Rig when fishing it and by not pegging the weight, I’m giving the lure an opportunity to do its own work on the fall. I will peg, however, if the cover is super tight and thick.
5. Carolina Rig
Kind of like the shaky head, this is a great rig to use when fish are timid. However, there’s no reason to put it down if the fish are hammering it. The Carolina Rig offers a unique presentation to fish that are holding deep or that are spooked by fishing pressure. A good rule of thumb is to start with a 3/4-ounce weight and an EWG 4/0 hook. From there, the options open up as you decide what plastic to use. Lizards, worms, flukes and a variety of other plastics all produce.
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