John's Journal...

Hot-Weather Worming Tactics for Bass

Day 3: Methods of Worm Fishing for Bass – Flipping and Swimming

Editor’s Note: When the Dog Days of summer drive bass deep, these special techniques may be your ticket to success.

The Flipping Worm

click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewWhen most anglers consider flipping, they often think of the pig-and-jig as the bait to be flipped. But Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, often called one of the nation’s leading flipping fishermen, explains: “Under certain weather and water conditions, bass will be holding tight to cover and will be extremely spooky. You can throw a pig-and-jig into these fish and see a swirl in a brushtop where they have left the area, instead of taking the bait. Because of the bulk and the weight of the pig-and-jig, it has the ability to scare fish as well as call them. Therefore, when I observe a bass leaving a bush when I’m flipping, I immediately change to a plastic worm. Instead of flipping the worm into the bush, I try to throw the worm across a limb, so I can ease it into the water without it splashing. When the bass sees that soft presentation, it will take the worm much quicker than it will the pig-and-jig. If I’m flipping logs, I will cast the worm right on top of a log and gently pull it off the side of the log, so that it makes very little splash as it enters the water. If the bass are really spooky, many times I will cast the worm onto the bank and drag it into the water. Then it will make no sound at all when it enters the water. By rigging the worm weedless, I can flip it into any type of cover and make almost any type of presentation that I think is necessary for catching a bass.”

The Swimming Worm

Tom Mann, Jr. of Buford, Georgia, (no relation to the late Tom Mann of Eufaula, Alabama,) and a FLW contender today, as well as guide on Lake Lanier, has found: “In the hot summertime, the swimming worm fished in weed beds is the deadliest lure I fish. I cast the worm in behind the weeds, and slowly and gently swim it through the grass. Often a bass will blow-up through the weeds and take the bait. At other times, the fish will hit the lure just as it leaves the weedline. But the important key to remember is not to set the hook the instant you see the strike. Wait half a second to allow the bass to inhale the bait, much like you do when you’re fishing a spinner bait. Then set the hook, and you’ll catch more fish.”

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe late Tom Mann of Eufaula, Alabama, the founder of Mann’s Bait Company, enjoyed buzz-fishing the swimming worm and said: “I’ve found that you can fish the worm like a buzzbait to cause bass to strike. I cast my worm right up against the bank or behind weeds. I’ll have a bullet lead pegged to the head of the worm. As soon as the bait hits the water, I start reeling fast to make the worm skip across the top of the water. When the bait gets to the edge of the weedline, or to the end of the bush or log I’m fishing, I let the worm fall. However, I keep a tight line as the bait descends, because most of the time the bass will chase the bait when it is being buzzed on top and then strike the instant the lure begins to fall. I’ve seen this tactic produce fish when no other worming method would work.”

How to Bass Fish Like a ProTo learn more about how to fish for bass, click here, or go to, and type in the name of the book, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro” to buy it. Too, you can download a Kindle app for free and buy the book from Amazon to read it on your iPad, Smartphone or computer.

Tomorrow: Fishing the Suspended Worm for Bass with Rick Clunn and the Late Charlie Brewer

Check back each day this week for more about "Hot-Weather Worming Tactics for Bass"

Day 1: Use Plastic Worms to Catch Bass in the Summer
Day 2: The Evolution of the Plastic Worm in Bass Fishing
Day 3: Methods of Worm Fishing for Bass – Flipping and Swimming
Day 4: Fishing the Suspended Worm for Bass with Rick Clunn and the Late Charlie Brewer
Day 5: Fishing a Worm that Does Nothing and a Texas Rig

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Entry 669, Day 3