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rebel909

worm presentation

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when fishing a plastic worm, do you find it more effective to hop the worm with short jerks of the rod tip, or to slowly drag it across the bottom with occasional pauses?

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Both and neither.  Depends on what the fish want.  The retrieve I use most often is slowly raise the rod tip, let it settle, and repeat.  

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Here is how i sum it up. Just start with whatever. Usually a lift drop retrieve, at a fairly slow pace. If you notice bites on the fall, try to make it fall as much as possible, or make it hop more in other words. If the bites come when you raise the worm, something like a crankbait, or try a swimming worm, may be more efficient. If they bite on the bottom, try to keep contact with the bottom, and maybe switch to a jig just to increase efficiency. On a normal day, you will get hits on all 3 phases, lift, drop, and sit. So basically, its up to you.

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I vary my retrieves according to season and water temperature. In the spring when the water temps are rising I will work my t-rigged worm aggressively with sharp jerks of the rod. However, in the heat of summer when the bass become more and more inactive I will rig up a trick worm and slowly drag it across the bottom to catch stubborn bass. Then in the fall when the water temps cool and the action picks up again I will rig up a white or pearl colored worm and work it very aggressively across the bottom to imitate a dying shad. Then in the cold of winter I will rig up a shaky head with a 4 inch finesse worm and work it VEEEEERY slowly across the bottom.  

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I mostly just use a steady retrieve without any hops because that's how I catch fish. It's just a confidence thing for me, but sometimes I do use hops and jerks, but I don't know if it makes a difference or not.

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Heres what my amatuer butt does

1) Cast, let it sit then reel in very slow, set hook when needed.

2) Cast, let it sink, 3 quick jerks a pause then 1 long jerk, reel in the slack, repeat jerk process, set hook when needed.

3) Cast without a weight over heavy cover at dusk if you dont get a bite after a few mins and jerks, reel in, repeat.

I basically use these three methods only with grubs and they work everytime for me.

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Just like the fish, it depends what mood Im in. There is times I will rip a worm across the surface out of sheer boredom and the need to break up the pace. Cool thing is I have often caught em just doing that.

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basspro48 said it all. I wish I was that versatile. When the fish are obviously aggressive as evidenced by their fast and hard pickups, I  then feel safe to start moving it a bit faster with lots of jerks then short drops, then jerks, then drop, etc.  When they're slow in their pickups, I will just work it slowly across the bottom....nothing fancy there. During some spring seasons, I've had superb results by throwing a Slugo with no weight on, especially during the week right before the spawn begins. In that instance, I like to let 'er drop and occasionally do the twitch twith, long pause retrieve. I hope that makes sense.

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I'll usually do the hop method. However, I've also had some success taking a worm putting on an extremely light weight and swimming it back. If I do that approach I'll throw it out let it sink for a few seconds (half way to the bottom) and then retrieve it by swimming it slowly back and occasionally lifting it slowly with the rod tip. Has been pretty good in the summer in about 8' of water. Usually done on the outside of lilly pads.

bassdocktor

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