Anglers have been fishing the wacky rig since the 1970s. The origin of this popular bass fishing rig is heavily debated amongst the angling community. However, most people seem to agree an angler invented the wacky worm rig back on Toledo Bend Lake shortly after the creation of the Texas rig. Nonetheless, it has been a proven way to catch bass for almost half a century. So, please stick with us as we uncover all the details on how to fish a wacky rig.

How To Fish a Wacky Rig

A picture of two bass caught by an angler using a wacky rig.

Image Credit: Plusinno on Amazon

First off, to be successful in fishing the wacky rig, you need to learn how to set it up properly. Then you need to figure out the best time is to use it and what areas to utilize it in. We’ll cover all of this in later sections of the article, but for now, let’s discuss further what a wacky rig is:

The wacky rig gets its name because of the crazy action the worm makes when it’s underwater. This wiggly dance irritates predator bass, triggering them to strike. Furthermore, anglers classify this style of rigging your live and artificial worms as a finesse technique for bass fishing. Now, let’s go over how to set up the wacky worm rig.

What You’ll Need To Rig a Wacky-Styled Worm

    Plusinno Wacky Rig Kit

Plussino's wacky rig kit against a white background.
    Plusinno makes this complete kit jammed pack with everything you'll need to wacky rig a worm for bass fishing.

Here is a list of items you’ll need to wacky rig a worm:

Can You Wacky Rig Live Bait?

Many new bass anglers wonder if it’s practical to use a wacky rig on live bait. The answer is yes. This finesse fishing setup is just as effective with live bait. Although, I don’t recommend using a wacky rig on a leopard frog, cricket, or crayfish. In my experience, the best live baits to wacky rig are nightcrawlers, leeches, and minnows.

What’s the Best Artificial Bait for Wacky Rigs?

So, you’re wondering what soft plastics are best to use with a wacky rig. Honestly, use what works best for you. Play around and wacky rig a variety of baits; it doesn’t hurt to try. Some anglers have even found success using artificial craws and creature baits. Still, here is a list of the best soft plastics to use with this setup:

  • Ribbon-tailed worms
  • Finesse worms
  • Stick baits
  • Flukes
  • Jig tubes

How To Wacky Rig a Worm

Below, follow these steps to learn how to rig a wacky-styled worm:

  1. First, tie your hook to the end of your main fishing line. I like to use a braided line because it doesn’t stretch like monofilament. Also, a braid will give you a better hookset, and it’s less likely to get snagged.
  2. Next, thread the o-ring onto your worm by hand or with a wacky rig tool. The o-ring should sit on the middle point of your worm.
  3. Lastly, carefully slide the point of your hook under the o-ring.  Make sure the o-ring is seated on the bottom of the hook’s bend.
  4. Alternatively, you can cross two o-rings on your worm and thread your hook under the intersection point. This method secures your bait better and increases your hookup ratio.

Now, we’ll explain when and where to fish the wacky rig for bass.

When Should You Fish a Wacky Rig for Bass

The best part about the wacky rig is you can use it year-round. It’s a versatile weightless rig you can use in open, clear water, or murky weedy areas. Personally, the wacky rig is also my go-to bass fishing technique for when the fish are finicky, or the bite is slow.

Where to Fish a Wacky Worm Rig

As we mentioned above, you can fish the wacky rig virtually anywhere. However, here are a few areas where it’s especially effective:

  • Fishing docks
  • Standing and fallen timber
  • Clear, open water
  • Any overhanging structure
  • Submerged tall grass or weeds
  • Lily pads
  • Rocky areas
  • Covered areas

Try Using the Wacky Rig on Your Next Fishing Trip!

To conclude, the wacky rig is a versatile, effective way to target bass and other fish species. Do you plan on using the wacky rig next time you go bass fishing? Please, let us know in the comments below. Do you have a fishing buddy who should learn this finesse fishing technique? Please send them our way by sharing this article.

Are you interested in learning more about bass? If so, check out our article on identifying North American bass species.