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updated: 6/19/2013 5:05 PM

In fishing, confidence comes in all shapes and sizes

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To the best of my knowledge, there isn't a manufacturer in the fishing tackle business that has an item in its product line called a "whacky-worm".

In fact, there aren't any official product names for setups such as Texas and Carolina rigs. These fish-catching plastic creatures' names came about as the result of anglers experimenting with differently configures plastic worms, grubs, and crawfish. And each style of "worming" has its place on different bodies of water.

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There have been times of late when I have been taken to task for mentioning product names, like Little Action Mac (a pre-rigged plastic worm).

I also mention other products such as the modern-day Evinrude, E-Tec outboard motors, Grandt Custom Rods, Yum-Dinger plastics, and a handful of other fish-catching devices and accessories that I've purchased during my five decades of being in this business. And purchased is the key word.

Anyway, back to worming and a brief primer as to how they are used.

I first encountered the whacky-worm style of fishing while hunting for big bass on Lake Fork in east Texas. My guide for the day tossed me a package of Culprit, plastic worms, an offset worm hook, and then explained how to rig it. And it was quite simple.

I ran the hook through the middle of the worm and had about three inches of plastic on both sides of the hook just dangling free.

I was using a spinning rig spooled with 10-lb. mono, which in my book is the very lightest I would go with a spinning setup on Fork.

I flipped the (non-weighted) worm out and let it sink just below the surface (no slip-sinker used here). The guide told me to retrieve the worm in a slow, consistent motion, sometimes allowing it to sink further below the surface. The water was quite clear in this section of the lake and I was able to observe the worm going through a pulsating motion as I retrieved it.

After years of research and personal experimentation, I came to the conclusion a game fish will react to the worm I used because the fish paid attention to the dinner bell, which in turn triggered its feeding instincts.

A Carolina Rigged worm or crawfish works with a setup like this.

Use an offset worm hook and thread it in the nose of head of the plastic bait. Many anglers prefer using heavier line. An egg or some other type of slip-sinker sits above a swivel. You first tie the line to a swivel and then use another piece of mono or whatever line you like as a leader, and then tie it to the hook. This rig is generally used to sit right on the bottom or have the plastic floating inches above the bottom.

A Texas Rigged plastic bait is slightly less complicated.

Your line is tied to an offset hook, and that hook is simply threaded into the nose of the worm and turned back into the worm to make it weedless.

There is only so much shelf space in many of the smaller tackle shops, and each lure manufacturer fights to get as much of that space as possible. And in the end it all depends on how well and how quickly any particular brand or product is snatched off those shelves.

And I must stress again that it appeared some angling readers may have been confused and suggested that the brand of bait I was using was Whacky Worm. It's just a style, and a very productive one at that.

And once again, for the record, I don't use or talk about a product or service I've purchased unless I've done extremely well with it, otherwise I'm wasting my time.

•Contact Mike Jackson at angler88@comcast.net, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and live-streamed at www.mikejacksonoutdoors.com.

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