John's Journal...

How to Make the Plastic Worm Work for You to Catch Bass

Day 5: Fishing for Deep, Clear-Water Bass with the Split Shot Worm

Editor’s Note: Quite possibly the most-versatile bass lure ever created, the plastic worm belongs in every angler’s tackle box. His daddy was oil. His mother was heat, and his mentor was a fisherman. He swam into the world of bass fishing years ago and left such a definitive mark on the sport that no angler would consider searching for bucketmouths without him. Many sportsmen believe he is the most lifelike bait around, and some say he has the most action of any lure. And most agree that when bassing is tough, the plastic worm is the weapon on which you can rely to catch bass. Study these tactics to learn more about how the worm is bringing bass to the boats for the pros.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewDeep and clear are two words that most bass fishermen don’t like to hear to describe a lake. When there is talk of a lake being deep and clear, an angler knows he must prepare for three things:

*Can the bass see the line?
*Does the bass probably want small lures?
*Realize the bass probably will be extremely difficult to hook, since the bait may be 20- to 40-feet below the water’s surface.

Therefore, when a fisherman hears the words, deep and clear, he often thinks of 6-pound-test line, a split shot and an open-hook-rigged worm. When fishing deep, an angler often will file the barbs off the worm hooks, as most of these lakes don’t have many bushes or vegetation on which an open-hook rig can hang. And, because so-much force is required for setting the hook on a worm that is 20- to 40-feet deep, filing the barbs off the hooks and not requiring the hooks to penetrate the worm usually gets a more-efficient hook set and lands more bass. There is a caution, however, when fishing light lines and little worms with open hooks in clear water. Be sure not to pinch the lead on the line too tightly. When the lead is pinched on a line, it weakens the line, and the line can break. But the open hook, split shot, light line, clear-water rig often will produce bass in deep western lakes when all other tactics fail.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewNo matter which method of fishing the worm you choose, learn to fish the plastic worm. By understanding the difference aspects of worm fishing, you greatly can increase your catch of bass. The plastic worm has changed the way we all fish for bass, and it has taught us some new techniques of angling. And, even though the plastic worm has changed somewhat in appearance through the years, it still is one of the most-deadly bass lures. And, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “Love all lures; but trust few like the plastic worm.”

To get “How to Win a Bass Tournament: Personal Lessons from 8 Pro Bass Fishermen,” “Reelfoot Lake: How to Fish for Crappie, Bass, Bluegills and Catfish and Hunt for Ducks,” “Catch the Most and Biggest Bass in Any Lake: 18 Pro Fishermen's Best Tactics,” "How to Bass Fish Like a Pro,” click on the titles, or go to, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle, app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Make the Plastic Worm Work for You to Catch Bass"

Day 1: Texas Rigged and Do Nothing Plastic Worms for Catching Bass
Day 2: Slider Worm Fishing for Suspended Summertime Bass, Wintertime Spotted Bass and in Clear Western Lakes
Day 3: Using The Flipping Worm for Catching Bass with Gary Klein
Day 4: Using the Swimming Worm to Catch Bass
Day 5: Fishing for Deep, Clear-Water Bass with the Split Shot Worm

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Entry 720, Day 5