By Ed Nelson
Over the next couple of months we are going to look at some of the basic rigs used in bass fishing. This month we’ll focus on the Texas Rig. Why start with the Texas Rig? Well, it’s probably the most commonly used rig in all of bass fishing. It’s extremely versatile in both size and application. It can be fished on 10 lb/test line and spinning tackle, skipping 1/8oz. bullet weights and small soft plastic worms under docks, to 65 lb/test braid on 7’6” heavy action baitcasting rods and 1 1/2oz. tungsten weights punching big creature baits through hydrilla mats. It can also be fished weightless anywhere in the water column. It’s an all season rig that every bass angler needs to have in their arsenal.
To rig it, first place the bullet weight on your line then tie on your hook. The rule of thumb for choosing a weight size is to use the lightest weight you can use and still maintain good bottom contact. Hooks are a little different. They are determined by the size and type of soft plastic you are using.
Next to rig the worm; Insert the hook into the worm until the head of the worm hits the bend in the hook, Bring the point of the worm out the part of the worm you want to be the bottom, Slide the worm up the shaft of the hook and rotate the hook so the off-set in the top of the hook shaft comes out the bottom of the worm (this should also cause the eye of the hook and your knot to be hidden in the head of the worm), Lay the hook next to the worm and see where it fits naturally, Insert the hook point and barb into the worm so it lays straight.
There you have it, the basic Texas Rig.
The easiest way to fish it is to simply cast it out into the lake and slowly drag it along the bottom. You can also cast it to fish holding targets like weeds, logs and boat docks. Old Mr. Largemouth is going to find this one hard to resist.
Another type of Texas Rig is to fish it weightless. It’s rigged the same way but the bullet weight is omitted. This rig falls much slower than the traditional Texas Rig and can be casted out and allowed to sink to the bottom, twitched up and let fall, then twitched up again. It mimics a wounded or dying baitfish. If the fish are a little more active you can twitch it faster as soon as it hits the water and it will stay just under the surface. For as many variations of the Texas Rig there are as many different ways to fish it. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Texas Rig. You can rig soft plastic jerkbaits, frogs, lizards and an endless number of creature baits.
The Texas Rig is a true multi-tool to bass fishing and definitely worth your time to master. For a more in-depth discussion on Texas Rigs or any other bass fishing questions feel free to come visit me at Bass Pro Shop. Just ask for Ed.
Tight lines to all and to my bass fishing brethren “See you at the scales”