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John's Journal... Entry 197, Day 1


Swimming-Worm Technique

EDITOR'S NOTE: Ken Cook of Meers, Oklahoma, a professional bass fisherman since 1983, and before that a fisheries biologist, won the BASS Masters Classic in 1991, as well as other B.A.S.S. events.

Question: Ken, tell me about the swimming worm. When, where and how do you fish it, and why is the rod you've developed best for that lure?
Answer: I use floating-worm, swimming-worm or wacky-worm techniques often, especially in the springtime, because the bass in shallow water won't necessarily be in a very aggressive mode. The floating, slightly- sinking worm tactics work well when fish aren't particularly aggressive. Since this lure is natural-looking and sinks slowly, bass will be attracted to it, even when they're spawning.

The rod I've designed for fishing the swimming worm is a 7-foot, medium-action graphite rod. It features a parabolic bend, makes long casts and holds the line up off the water. I usually fish it with FireLine, a swivel and about 1 foot of fluorocarbon line as a leader. I fish with a weightless, offset shank hook and a floating worm, a Power Bait Carolina Slug or something similar that I can twitch and sink slowly in the grass, around cover or wherever I think I'll locate bass.

Question: Using this technique, walk me down the line. What's your main line?
Answer: I usually use 14- to 20-pound test FireLine as the main line off my center-drag reel. FireLine works great with this method of fishing for several reasons. FireLine casts easily off a spinning reel, and it features no-stretch, which gives you a faster, harder hook set. I use a ball-bearing swivel, but I don't use a snap. I usually fish with about 1 foot of fluorocarbon line as a leader. Then I tie it directly to an offset shank worm hook and usually Texas-rig the worm. I also use the Carolina Slug a lot, which is a bait with a shape similar to a shad that bass in most areas haven't seen very much.

Question: What rod will you use?
Answer: I'm casting it on my spinning rod.

Question: What kind of action will you give the bait?
Answer: I use a twitch-and-stop action where I twitch the lure a few times and let it sink into a hole in the grass or near a stump or whatever cover you're fishing -- kind of a soft-jerk-type retrieve. You jerk it, let it settle and then sink.




Check back each day this week for more about KEN COOK ON BASS FISHING ...

Day 1 - Swimming-Worm Technique
Day 2 - Ken Cook's Spinner Bait Tactic
Day 3 - Ken Cook's Jerkbait Method
Day 4 - Ken Cook's Crankbait Strategy
Day 5 - Ken Cook's Doodling Worm Technique

John's Journal