Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Texas Rig For The Handicapped Fisherman


Over the years, nothing has been more deadly in the hands of fishermen than your standard Texas Rigged soft plastic bait.  Fish simply cannot refuse it and will bite it over and over.  Ever set the hook and the blasted worm or craw sits down on the hook?  The fish spits the bait after your big move and you want to cry?  C'est La Vie...that is life, right?

Texas Rig

Truth is the Texas Rig can be a difficult rig to fish.  It is tough to get that hook through all that plastic sometimes.  A disabled angler needs every advantage to connect with fish and today's article will help you gain that edge.

It is a rare thing for someone who has fished their entire lives to have a true break-through, a-ha moment, but I did.  A few weeks back I mentioned that I was sight fishing for early bedding male bass.  That day, I caught almost every bass I targeted.  At the time, I thought my hook set perfection was mainly due to the fact that I was watching the fish pick the bait up.

gamakatsu luck e strike finesse worm hook bullet weight
Gamakatsu Luck-E-Strike
Finesse Worm Hook
Although this was a tremendous advantage, it turns out that a strange tackle change was also the reason for a major improvement in cleanly setting the hook on those fish.  The first fish I began targeting was very far away from my bag.  My buddy Kyle's bag was about 10 yards away.  He suggested that I try a hook he had been tinkering with and put a crawfish soft plastic bait on it.

The hook is made by Gamakatsu and is called the Perfect Finesse Worm rig.  It also goes by the name Luck-E-Strike Finesse Worm hook.  Essentially, it is a Texas Rig with the bullet weight molded onto the hook.  You tie directly to the weight and thread the soft plastic on just as you would any other Texas Rig worm, craw or any of the new fangled extra-terrestrial looking baits.

I noticed an immediate change while using this hook.  Every time I set the hook on the fish, the hook embedded into the upper pallet of the fish's mouth.  In fishing terms, this is a perfect hook set.  A bass can only rarely throw a hook that has penetrated passed the barb in this area of it's mouth.

Courtesy of Conquistador Tackle Company
Courtesy of Conquistador Tackle Company
Remember, at the time, I thought much of this success was because I could visibly see the fish pick up the bait, however that was not the case this passed weekend.  I was at a different pond.  Water color was muddy to badly stained.  I would've needed Bald-Eagle-Eyes to see the fish.  I felt a solid bump.  I set the hook with as much force as I could muster and when I reeled the fish in what did I find?  The hook again was in the upper flesh of the mouth protruding through one nostril...perfection.

I believe there are several factors that have dramatically increased my catch ratio using this rig.

Courtesy of ZingFishing.com
Courtesy of ZingFishing.com
First of all, the weight does not run up the line.  This has always been a point of frustration for me with Texas Rigs.  I need the weight to stay on top of the hook to gain leverage on the fish  when I set the hook.  With the Luck-E-Strike, the weight plays a big part in aiding the hook to successfully exit the plastic and stick the fish.

Secondly, the bend in the hook just under the weight cause the hook to turn upwards into the perfect spot for the very best hook set.  This is a confidence thing more than anything else but who couldn't use a little more confidence?

Third, there is no pegging necessary.  Anybody who has fished a while will agree that the weakest point on the line is typically at the knot.  In the old Texas Rig, you tie a great knot and then to keep the weight at the head of the hook you have to jam a toothpick or some other obstruction into the top of the bullet weight.  This immediately causes concern in the integrity of the line and knot.  A big fish will test your tackle to the limits and the last thing you want to hear is the sound of the line going, "TINK," as the fish swims off with everything you have.  This rig already comes with the weight attached so that the integrity of the knot will remain true. It is also deadly when circumstances demand that you punch through grass mats or throw into heavy cover.

As you give this a try, please shoot me an email or a message and let me hear of your personal successes.  I would love to share some of those stories to the world!

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