John's Journal...

Hot-Weather Worming Tactics for Bass

Day 4: Fishing the Suspended Worm for Bass with Rick Clunn and the Late Charlie Brewer

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

The Suspended Worm

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewWhen someone mentions worm fishing, most anglers think of fishing a worm on top, fishing it in structure, or working it on the bottom. But as we all know, bass – especially in the hot summertime and even during the winter months – will tend to suspend. And these are the times of the year that the small 4-inch Slider worm is really effective. “I like to fish the Slider worm under boathouses in the middle of the summer,” says professional bass fisherman Rick Clunn of Ava, Missouri, winner of four Bassmaster Classics. “During that time of year and under that particular structure, bass often will suspend. Many times swimming a small, slow-moving Slider type of worm through mid-water is the most-effective technique for taking bass. The trick to Slider fishing is to cast the bait out, let it sink to mid-water and retrieve the bait on a slow, steady retrieve. With almost-every-other lure, the angler must give the bait some type of action to make it appear life-like. But when Slider fishing, giving the lure as little action as possible, makes it more likely to draw strikes.”

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIf the Slider worm is deadly under boathouses during hot summer months, it is equally efficient during winter months on deep, clear, rocky lakes such as Alabama’s Smith Lake. That’s the time of year that dedicated fishermen such as the late Charlie Brewer of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, past president of the Crazy Head Lure Company ( HYPERLINK "" which made Slider worms, came to Smith Lake to catch spotted bass. Smith Lake has given up four world-record spotted bass. And, most anglers agree that the winter months at Smith Lake are the hardest months to try to catch bass. But this is when Brewer and many outdoorsmen head for Smith Lake. “Remember that during the winter months bass want little, slow-moving baits,” Brewer told me. “In clear lakes, the smaller the line you fish, the less you spook the bass, and the better your bait seems to perform. I use 4-pound-test line and an ultralight spinning rod and reel to Slider fish for Smith Lake spots in the winter. Using the light, slow-sinking, 4-inch worm, I count the bait down and fish every story of the water. With most baits, you generally only fish one story of the water. For instance, with a top-water lure, you fish the top of the water, with a medium-diving crankbait, you fish the middle story of the water, and with a pig-and-jig, you bump the bottom. But by using the Slider worm, I can slide that bait slowly through every foot of water and work all the depths from top to bottom, until I locate suspended fish. Then once I find the fish, I can maintain my bait in the depth of water through 75 percent of my retrieve. So, my lure stays in the bass’s strike zone longer, moves slower and generally produces better than many-other baits you may fish for suspended bass. And on clear, deep, rocky lakes like Smith in the wintertime, the green Slider worm works magic on big spots.”

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 a Worm that Does Nothing and a Texas Rig

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 4