If I had to choose just a handful of bass fishing baits for fishing year-round, finesse worms would be one of those choices.
Spring is the prime time to fish finesse worms like the E2 Needle, but the pros have proven thin, straight-tail worms catch plenty of bass in the frigid cold of winter through the heat of summer. Fall is my favorite season for throwing fast-moving baits and topwater lures, however there are still plenty of times when a finesse worm shines, especially on bluebird days after a cold front or on waters pounded by heavy fishing pressure.
Recent tournaments on my home waters of Lake of the Ozarks have proven the value of fishing finesse worms in the fall. During the Costa FLW Series on Lake of the Ozarks, Duke Jenkel won the tournament by relying on a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm to catch his two biggest limits in the three-day event. He worked the worm around isolated pieces of brush around boat docks.
The weekend prior to the Costa event, the lake was invaded by more than 2,000 anglers for a Big Bass Bash event. Four of the Top 10 finishers in the Costa tournament relied on some type of finesse worm to catch bass from the highly pressured waters.
Taking a cue from the Costa anglers, I went out the next day for a couple of hours and pitched to shallow docks with a Texas-rigged 4-inch ring worm with a sickle tail that produces for me during tough conditions. Curled tails to the on a straight worm like the Seaspin Moty Grub generate tons of strikes in the fall. Despite the continuous pounding the lake had received for two straight weeks, I managed to catch a couple of 3-pounders while pitching to the shady areas of the docks.
During the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open at the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana, a Zoom Trick Worm also helped Blake Naquin win the co-angler division of the tournament. For three days, he pitched the Texas-rigged finesse worm to cypress trees while fishing from the back of the boat.
Texas pro Gary Klein has also relied on Texas-rigged finesse worms to win fall tournaments on clear water lakes. He won an October Bassmaster event on the clear waters of Bull Shoals by shaking a Texas-rigged hand-poured finesse worm with a 3/16-ounce sinker and 1/0 wide gap hook. Klein let the worm fall vertically to depths of 30 to 60 feet and then shook the worm to trigger strikes.
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