When we talk about fishing, one thing’s really clear: luck doesn’t work here. It is your skills, the tactics that you adopt, the place where you are fishing, the baits that you have used and much more. In case you have been fishing for years, you would know all of this. But, if you are an amateur and want to master the art of fishing and especially Texas rig fishing, you have landed at the right post. Here you would be able to learn everything right from the basics to the advanced level of Texas rig.
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Texas Rig Fishing: A Brief History
The Texas rig fishing has been in use for a long time. They are probably as old as the first ever soft plastic worms.
Developed in the year 1950 by Nick Crème, the first plastics that were used were effective, flexible and reusable. Through the past few decades, variations of the original one have been created and this has given rise to new kinds and styles of worms as well as completely new categories of baits. All of the baits that were created were effective in catching fishes. Some were more beneficial than the others depending upon the situation they were being used for.
However, first, you need to understand what bass fishing rigs are what its types are.
Though these rigs are popular in the USA for catching freshwater bass fish, they can also be used for catching other freshwater predator fish. Some of the bass fishing rigs are actually the adaptations of other rigs while some other are the ways of fishing soft kind of plastics like tubes and artificial worms.
All the different types of Bass Fishing Rigs have different uses as explained briefly below
The Carolina Rig
These kinds of rigs have been created particularly as bass fishing rigs. They have a soft plastic worm and a weedless hook. This rig works with egg sinkers of about 3 to 4 ounces. This light sinker allows the rig to pass easily through grasses or weeds.
The Texas Rig
This happens to be one of the most popular kinds of bass fishing rigs. This kind of rig requires a unique cone-shaped weight along with a worm hook which has been created in such a way that the pointy end of the hook remains unexposed.
The Drop Shot Rig
These are also quite popular because they give you the chance to present a plastic lure or bait to the bass which is suspended right above the bottom. They are great for catching catfish and other similar species. The hook needs to be faced upwards so that it can be prevented from snagging. Different types of fishing lure will help you pick the right lure to catch a big bass!
The Wacky Rig
This technique is mostly used so as to increase the chances of catching a good fish on harsh days. However, you might not be able to catch a large fish as the bait is rather small. Both of the sides of the rig flutter which creates a more natural action and therefore enables an angler to get a catch.
The Neko Rig
This rig is basically a head weighted plastic lure that has a hook somewhere up the bait’s body. If used properly, it would wiggle just like a wacky rig. It stands upright on the bottom rather than drifting horizontally towards the bottom.
What Is Texas Rig Fishing
As discussed above, the Texas rig fishing happens to be one of the most popular and preferred techniques that have been used for fishing since years.
This technique is quick and simple and can allow you to make your catch. In the original one, the worm is rigged on to the hook with the pointy end pinned back into the worm’s body. This one is most popular for its weedless properties and for the fact that it gives the worm a straight profile.
Generally, a bullet weight is used ahead of the hook on the line. However, in the recent years, many anglers rig their worms using this style but do not use the weight on it. This is achieved using the weightless feature of the rig. This isn’t as complicated as the other methods and to start you are going to require only a few things like rubber worms, hooks and bullet weights.
You may or may not use a weight stopper. This decision would entirely be dependent on the area that you are fishing in. Of course, as an angler, everyone has their own variation of the Texas rig. Everyone might have their favorite hook but, whatever hook you choose, it should be such that it offers the hook’s point to be stuck back in the worm’s body. The worm should have a straight body when it is suspended in water.
Size of the Hook
If you notice that there is a bulge or maybe a hump where the point has been inserted, this won’t seem like a natural arrangement. If at any time this happens, it would lower a number of catches that you get. And, the worm would in most cases tend to spin when it is being retrieved as there are chances of the line getting twisted.
Both of them aren’t favorable situations and mostly happen when the hooks aren’t appropriate. Hence, you need to choose hooks wisely.
There are a few factors that need to be considered when selecting a hook for Texas rig fishing
The very first factor that would determine the size of the hook would be the worm’s size or rather the bait’s size. In case, your worm is smaller, the hook would also be smaller and vice versa.
More than often, the plastic bait that is used by anglers isn’t something quite as small as a soft, small worm but is large creature bait or a Brush Hog. All these are rather big and heavy and thereby require hooks that are large enough to hold them.
The next determinant factor would be the weight of the line being used. As is quite obvious, heavy lines would need hooks that are heavy. If it’s not done so, the line would snap. Now that you know about the size of the hook you can even check the how to set hook and win the big fish!
To find out the size of the hook that would be most appropriate for most kinds of bait, you would need to place the bait absolutely flat alongside the hook’s shank. By doing so, you would be able to determine as to how much space is present between the point of the hook and the bait’s back. If you see that the gap is appropriate, then this is the perfect hook for you. If the bait seems too small and the hook seems large, opt for a smaller hook. In case the gap isn’t as wide as it should be, opt for a bigger hook.
Best Hooks for Texas Rigging
With straight shank hooks, you can most certainly Texas rig a bait but the offset hooks seem to work really well. They prevent the head of the worm from sliding down. The offset hooks are of two types:
Wide Gap Hooks
Just as the name suggests they are rather wide and thereby show lesser hook to the fish.
Round Bend Hooks
These hooks have a better hook up ratio as compared to the other one.
The only dissimilarity between these hooks while rigging Texas style is basically the angle. The angle at which you enter the pointy end of the hook into the worm or the bait is different. With the wide gap hooks, you would enter the point of the hook straight in while with the round bend hook; you would need to enter the pointed end at an angle of 45 degrees.
Best Weights for Texas Rigging
Why do you think weights are important when setting up the bait for Texas rig fishing? Well, it is because weights are what determines the water column’s depth that you hope to target. It would also help in determining the rate at which the worms tend to sink. Bullet weights should more generally be used for Texas rig fishing. This is because they can easily slide on the line before the hook is tied and sit at the worm’s head. Now, there are three ways in which the bullet-weight can be utilized:
- By pegging a set distance away from the worm
- By pegging it to the worm’s nose
- By sliding it freely on the line
The way that you adopt would be dependent on how you prefer the worm to present itself when it touches the bottom. When you choose the option of pegging it to the worm’s nose, the worm would land exactly at the bottom. For instance, let’s consider that at the bottom, there was grass about 14 inches tall. In such situations, you should generally peg the weight about 16 inches or so away from the worm. But, why is it necessary? This is because; it would prevent the worm from disappearing in the grass when the weight goes down and hits the bottom. This would make the bait sink slowly and naturally at the tip of the grass.
In case, you don’t do so, the bait would disappear in the grass which means that you wouldn’t really be able to catch anything. It is for this reason that you need to ensure that you are choosing the right kind of weights for Texas rig fishing.
Free Sliding Vs. Pegging the Sinker
If you leave the weight as a free sliding sinker on the fishing line, you would be able to get some really good catch with the bait. However, if you feel that the fishes aren’t really getting attracted to it, you might consider pegging the bait. Pegging can be done in the following ways:
- Putting a bead stopper in front of where the weight has been placed. A rubber stopper works pretty well.
- Inserting a few bits of wood, mostly a toothpick onto the bullet’s head until it is all wedged properly. Once done, break it off inside it so that the wood remains inside.
Choosing the Plastic Worm
There are hundreds of types of plastic worms with a variety of colors in the market today. The key is to know which combination of the worm and color will catch the fish. Let's start with the color as it can determine how the fish will hit the bait. Sometimes if you are missing the strikes, then try changing the color as it might lead to better hookups. The typical color choices can be made like
- Light day - light color,
- Dark day - dark color,
- Clear water - natural color
- Dark/stained water - bright colors
The shape is the next thing to look out for. Again have a wide variety as you might want to experiment before hitting on the ones which the fish are biting on that day. And everyday it could be different. Worms with frilly tails give off more underwater noise and vibrations which can attract fish. Sometimes if the fish are feeding heavily, try a larger profile bait to attract a larger fish. At other times if the bits are difficult to come by, then try downsizing and it might get the strike you were looking for.
A few thumb rules can be applied here:
- Clear water - smaller bait with curly tails in natural colors which can suddenly come near the fish and cause a reaction strike Always remember the longer a fish has the time to look and judge the lure, the lesser the possibility of a strike.
- Murky waters - use larger profile which can create more noise and vibrations to help the fish find the bait.
How to Texas Rig a Plastic Worm
Texas rigging a plastic worm is quite easy. After practicing it for a few times, you would soon be able to master it.
- Step 1:
Take a bullet sinker made up of ceramic or brass (avoid using lead) and slip it onto your line. Do so by inserting the line onto the sinker’s pointy end.
- Step 2:
Now, tie on a worm hook that you prefer (offset is recommended) using your preferred fishing knot. After you have done that, insert about 1/4th inch of the pointy end of the hook straight onto the worm’s top.
- Step 3:
Turn the pointy end of the hook and take it out of the worm from the side of its head. Slide the worm upwards towards the eye. Now, twist it round the wire of the hook as you keep sliding it. It should be in such a way that the hook’s pointy end would face the worm.
- Step 4:
The worm should be allowed to hang straight down. Once done, put your thumb and finger on the worm exactly at the point where the hook’s bend reaches.
- Step 5:
Just at the spot where you have placed your thumb and finger, begin to bend the worm so that the hook’s pointy end can be inserted into the worm at a right angle. Keeping the worm absolutely straight is very important because the hook is going to go back on the worm’s same side where it actually came from the top.
- Step 6:
Begin to push the pointy end slowly all the way through the worm. As you are attempting to do this, the worm should be able to make an absolutely straight line between the hook’s eye and the point. As you do that, push the worm a bit so that the point of the hook can be slipped right under the plastic’s surface.
- Step 7:
When you manage to hide the point under the surface, this Texas rig would be called weedless. As you have rigged it in this way, the bait or the worm would be able to slip through the weeds without getting stuck anywhere.
You must ensure that the final result has the plastic worm in a straight line. Any kind of twisting or bent position will drastically lower the chance of the fish striking.
Methods of Fishing the Texas Rig
Now, when you are all rigged up and are ready for fishing, try and find a bank that has fish-holding cover and cast your line beyond any spot that seems likely to have fishes.
Now, give it some time and allow the rig to go deep down and settle at the bottom. Once it has touched the bottom, begin to shake, slide or drag the bait through the entire area and back to the shore or boat.
Whatever you do, make sure that the bait keeps on touching the bottom.
You could, however, try to occasionally lift the rod up a bit so that the bait does come up off the bottom. Glide it for a few feet and then drop it back down at the bottom. This way you would be able to get the attention off the fish.
Just keep shaking or dragging the bait around so as make maximum noise. Also your retrieving speed should be according to that of the temperature - for warmer waters with active fish, the retrieve could be faster and vice versa. The best way is to keep on experimenting and this way you would soon be able to find out what the fishes want.
There are a few techniques that can be adopted while Texas rigs fishing. Just make sure to keep your eyes open and have a good feel of the fishing line. Listed below are a few methods that you can adopt.
This is one of the most common ways that is adopted by most people. All you need to do is make a simple cast and keep the retrieve slower. This is what is referred to as crawlin’. Just cast the lure into the water and give it the time to sink completely at the bottom. As it touches the bottom, retrieve it back slowly.
Try to swim the texas rig back to where you are. The fish would of course try to get to the bait. This is quite similar to crawlin’ with just a slower retrieve.
This is one of the most productive techniques if you wish to catch larger species of predatory fish like the largemouth bass. As you keep on moving along the shorelines, weed lines, brush, rip rap and all the other notable covers that are most probable ones to hold fish, put your bait in there and let it sit there for a few seconds. Try to shake it a bit and then take it back out. Just keep on repeating this process as you move ahead.
In this technique make a cast into the desired area and let the Texas Rig sink to the bottom and let it rest there for as long as required or your patience lasts. The current of the river or wind will make it move slightly attracting the fish to stirke. Not a great method for still water bodies like lakes or ponds.
This is a great technique to turn a non-agressive fish into an agressive fish. Everything is the same till the Texas rig is resting at the bottom. The difference is with the retrieve action which needs to be a quick snap of your wrists and let the lure jump off the bottom 3-4 feet and then let it sink down. The fast motions will attract the fish and cause a reaction strike when the lure starts to fall down. Ensure you make short casts as you want a vertical movement up and not horizontal movement of the Texas rig.
Dos and Don'ts of Fishing with Texas Rig
- Don't try long casts. Rather it should be tried only in ultra clear water with little or no wind.
- Do short managable casts to a structure or cover. Texas rig is not much of a search bait - you need to cast it to a specific area or cover.
- Once lure hits the water, allow the rig to have a controlled slack which means that the bait should fall as vertically as possible while maintaing contact with the lure.
- Do keep your finger in contact with the line, 90% of the time the fish will hit a Texas Rig on the fall and you might not feel the strike with the rod.
- Don't hold the rod in a position where you cannot feel the bites. Keep the rod parallel to the ground when the Texas rig is falling.
- Don't reel in the slack line while it is falling. This can lead to missed strikes.
It all might seem just too difficult at first but, keep on trying and experimenting with different hooks, weights, and lines and methods. Soon you would be able to master the art of fishing with the Texas Rig.
Have you ever tried fishing using this technique before? If yes, how was your experience? Do you have any tips that the beginners can follow? Feel free to share them with us.