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How To fish a texas rig - great article....

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Somethin i found on the NJ fourm thought it was a good article and might help some people out if they are unsure of some things i learned a few things from it myself.

*taken from another forum*

Fishing A Texas Rig

To begin, I think that once you learn how to effectively fish a soft plastic bait on

a Texas rig, you can fish just about anything. A Texas rigged soft plastic bait can

catch fish year round in just about any situation by simply varying your soft

plastic bait and your retrieve. The Texas rigged plastic worm accounts for more

wins in the B.A.S.S tour than any other lure ever. For some reason it has lost

popularity as of late, but despite it's apparent decline it is still catches fish.

The basic set up for the Texas rig is very simple: a hook (depending on size of

bait), a sinker (the lightest you can get away with, wind and water depth will

determine this), and a gob of plastic (which I will get to later.) You can add other

things to a Texas rig like a glass bead and clacker (brass piece) if you want.

Depending on cover and water clarity, you want to use either a baitcaster or

spinning gear in a medium/heavy action rod, 6 1/2 to 7 foot in length with 6-20 lb

test. I will usually start with 10-12 lb test and go from there. The lighter the line,

the more natural or realistic the plastic will work. The length of the rod is

important for taking the slack out of the line during the hookset. The action of the

rod is important in that you want the tip to be sensitive, yet not give yourself

away if you are feeling if a fish is there. You want the butt section of the rod to

have plenty of backbone to drive the hook home.

The way to rig a Texas rig is to insert the hook into the plastic and run it into the

worm about 1/4 inch, then pull the hook to the eye and turn it around and run the

hook tip through the worm and skin hook it on the opposite side so that the rig is

weedless. Be sure that the worm hangs straight or it will twist your line. I myself

don't often peg my sinker (pegging is to make it so that the slip sinker doesn't slip,

this is either done by jamming a toothpick tip in or running a piece of skirt

material through the sinker, or a new product called "peg its".) (TIP: if using a

toothpick, be sure to peg the sinker then push the sinker up the line and cut off

the line where you stabbed the toothpick in. Usually you damage the line slightly

when you do this, and it would not be good to loose a big fish from this.) The

only time I peg the sinker is when fishing heavy weeds or when I am trying to

skip the bait under cover (dock or tree limbs.)

Fishing a plastic bait on a Texas rig is fairly easy. The biggest problem I see most

people make is that they make too long of casts and they don't hold their rod in a

position in which they are helping them selves feel bites. As a result, they often

miss strikes. To avoid these pitfalls, Make short manageable casts to structure or

cover. The only time you need to make long casts is in ultra clear water when

there is little or no wind. Make sure you are casting to something. The Texas rig is

not much of a search bait--you are casting it to a specific area or cover. Once the

lure hits the water, allow the rig to have controlled slack. What I mean by this is

that you want the bait to fall as vertically as possible, yet still have contact with

the lure. It's also a good idea to pick a spot out on the line and to watch it for any

jumps or ticks. The bass will hit a Texas rig on the fall 90% of the time. As the

lure falls, keep your rod in 2:00-3:00 position. It is a good idea to keep a finger in

contact with the line (many times you can feel the strike through the line that you

have missed feeling with the rod.) When you feel the rig hit the bottom, let it set

for a second. Then, slowly lift the rod to a 1:00 position and wait for the rig to

settle back on the bottom. Once this has happened, reel in the slack line as you

drop the rod to the 3:00 position again. Many make the mistake of reeling in the

slack while the lure is falling and thus miss strikes. Continue this retrieve until you

are past the cover/structure you are fishing.

A hit or bite can vary a lot from the mood of the fish. It can be a smack that just

about rips the rod out of your hand or it can be something that you don't feel at

all but notice when your line is moving sideways. Remember: hooksets are free.

If you think it's a hit, do something about it.

To set the hook on a Texas rig: as soon as you feel the bite or think you have a

fish, reel down to the 9:00 position and set the hook with a lot of force. A hard

hookset is needed. When a fish eats a plastic worm, the bass will ball it up in its

mouth, and you may have to penetrate the worm a few times before you hit lip.

If you think you didn't get a good enough set on your first one, go ahead and set

the hook again, but don't give the fish any slack in the line.

The lure (hunk of plastic) is very important on a Texas rig. I hope to give you a

few hints on what lure to have on at what times, but remember, there really are

no rules, just suggestions that I can make. There are many different kinds of

plastic lures on the market today in a variety of colors that leave a person a

million different combinations. It's knowing when to use which color and what

kind of plastic that will help put fish in your boat. I'll begin with color. The color

of the lure can play a large part in how the fish will hit the bait. Sometimes if you

are setting the hook and not hooking the fish, just by changing the color you will

begin to hook the fish. The fish are trying to tell you something if you are getting

bite and not hooking fish. I'm sure many have heard that light day-light color,

dark day- dark color, clear water-natural color, dark water-bright colors. Most of

that holds true in deciding what worm you should be throwing. I pretty much try

to keep my plastic colors as simple as possible. In my opinion, you really only

need a few colors. Watermelon seed is a great color for clear water, dark day or

bright day. The other clear water color I use is Pumpkinseed. For stained water, I

like Red Shad and Black. And for water in between, I like Tequila Sunrise. I can

pretty much fish all water under all conditions if I have those colors in a variety of

shapes and sizes.

The shape of the lure can play a very large part in whether or not you get a bite

also. There are plenty of plastic chunks out there in just about every shape

available-some that don't even remotely resemble anything in nature. Yet, because

the bass is the way he is, they still eat them. The more little frillies that come off

the bait, the more underwater noise that it gives off for the fish to feel in

vibrations. Lures like the Exude B.A. Hawg feel very different to a bass than a 4"

finesse worm. When the fish are feeding heavily, if you put a larger profile bait,

you can sometimes attract larger fish. But if the bite is difficult, downsizing is

sometimes needed to get a bite at all. What I use to help me decide what to throw

is this: if I am fishing clear water, I want to throw a smaller bait with few curly

tails hanging off it in a natural color. I want that bait to sneak up on the fish. I

dono:00 position. It is a good idea to 't want the fish to be able to look at it for a

long time from a distance to see if he wants to eat it or not. In murky water you

can get away with a lot more, I will use larger baits that make more noise (in

vibrations) to help the fish find the bait. However, like I said there are no set

rules, in high traffic areas where the fish may see a lot of pressure, downsizing is

the key. No matter what the color of the sky and color of the water.

Continue l

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So that is the typical Texas rig fished the typical way. However, you can take the

rig to extremes. Dead Sticking is a technique where you make a cast into an area

you believe holds fish. Let it sink to the bottom and just let it sit, as long as your

little heart can stand it. Just let it sit. This works best in areas where there is a

little bit of current created by a river system or by wind. You may think the lure

is not moving down there, but it is, ever so slightly. The other technique is called

rip worming. This technique was stolen from a Walleye angler in Minnesota and

works great on some days turning non-aggressive fish into aggressive fish. The rig

is set up the same way, it's the retrieve that is changed. With the premise that fish

hit a Texas rig as it falls, you try to create a retrieve that optimizes the falling time

and uses fast motions to create reaction strikes. To do this, cast out and let it sink

to the bottom. Then, let it sit a few seconds. Instead of just lightly pulling your

rod to the 1:00 position, snap your wrists so that the lure jumps off the bottom.

Then let a controlled slack in the line. You want the lure to jump about 3-4 feet

off the bottom, then sink back down. Practice this in shallow water and watch

what the lure does. Also be sure to make short casts with this technique, because

you don't want the lure to move very far horizontally, you just want it to jump up

vertically. I like to add a glass bead and brass clacker to my rig when doing this. It

creates a clicking noise that sometimes attracts fish.

I hope that through this article you have a better understanding of how to fish a

Texas rig and are able to boat more fish as a result.

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Then, slowly lift the rod to a 1:00 position and wait for the rig to

settle back on the bottom. Once this has happened, reel in the slack line as you

drop the rod to the 3:00 position again. Many make the mistake of reeling in the

slack while the lure is falling and thus miss strikes.

i have a question for someone more expeiriacned myself.

is this correct though? when you lift the bait keep your rod up till it hits bottom again. i always lifted it and then dropped the rod and waited to watch the line stop sinking then reeled up the slack.

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i have a question for someone more expeiriacned myself.

Well, I'm not sure that I'm that guys but from the article...

there really are no rules, just suggestions that I can make.

a.k.a. experiment   :)

(by the way, I know this was in the lure section, but it's the same idea for retrieves too.)

Thanks for the article!  Really interesting and informative.

Colin

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Seems like I have read that on this site somewhere before.  I can't put my finger on it  :-?

I'm certain I've read this before, but I think the writer (or possibly the plagiarizer) added a few phrases to something that was written before.  Maybe not.  There have been so many things written about how to fish a worm that I can imagine there would be alot of the same phrases showing up in each article.  Good information no matter where it came from.

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I disagree with a few things in this article.

Number 1: I NEVER set the hook twice. EVER. If you are using good sharp hooks of the correct size for your bait, have properly detected the fish, give a quick, yet strong hookset, and have the bait rigged properly you should not need a second hookset. Setting the hook twice could rip the hook from the fishes mouth or create a bigger hole for the fish to more easily throw the bait.

Number 2: I don't think color makes that big of a difference at all. The ONLY place I think color makes a difference is in clear water. In clear water I try to use more natural colored baits, so he is right there. But much more important than color of bait is how the bait is presented. Here is how I do things:

Clear Water: Lighter Natural Colors - Watermelonseed, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Chartreuse, White

Slightly Stained to Stained Water: Darker Natural Colors- Green Pumpkin, Watermelon Candy (Pumpkin and Pumpkin Chartreuse also work well here)

Heavier Stained to Murky Water: Dark Colors- Black, Junebug, Blue/Black Flake, Dark Red/Black Flake....anything DARK. Dark baits put up an easier to see profile in murky water.

This isn't any hard fast rule or anything. Just how I do it. Makes sense to me, works for me. ;)

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I agree with Valascus,

Color is not that important, but I like "dark".

NEVER set the hook twice.

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The part about working the bait...if you move your rod from 3 oclock to 1 oclock every time you go to hop your worm, the thing is gonna be zooming across the bottom in 6 foot hops.  I like moving my worms 6-12" at a time, which doesn't take much movement of your rod.  Too many people forget that their rod is 7' long and that moving your wrist a little bit moves your bait a whole lot.

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It's about how you fish soft plastics.

That's not how I do it at all. I want my soft plastic to look like a crawdad crawling over a rock. This involves a HORIZONTAL 6"-12" sweep, not a vertical hop.

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This technique was stolen from a Walleye angler in Minnesota and

works great on some days turning non-aggressive fish into aggressive fish. The rig

is set up the same way, it's the retrieve that is changed. With the premise that fish

hit a Texas rig as it falls, you try to create a retrieve that optimizes the falling time

and uses fast motions to create reaction strikes. To do this, cast out and let it sink

to the bottom. Then, let it sit a few seconds. Instead of just lightly pulling your

rod to the 1:00 position, snap your wrists so that the lure jumps off the bottom.

Then let a controlled slack in the line. You want the lure to jump about 3-4 feet

off the bottom, then sink back down

I just did this on my own before reading this and caught a nice size Perch. I use a lot of unconvential techniques that have caught me fish some of them are pretty wacky that I did while clowning around and catching a fish.

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It's about how you fish soft plastics.

That's not how I do it at all. I want my soft plastic to look like a crawdad crawling over a rock. This involves a HORIZONTAL 6"-12" sweep, not a vertical hop.

Thats what I usually do. Ill sweep with the rod at 3 or 9 o'clock if that dont work ill jerk in some sort of interval at the same position. Ive done this always and my woman outfishes me with plastics. Here's what I learned today that my woman does everytime by her own instinct I tried it and caught more suprisingly. Hold the rod at a 10-11 or 2-3 o'clock postition while giving jerks in intervals and you sort of create a vertical hop but not completely I caught a lot today doing that lol. Give it a try..

The thing with me and this thread that I could never do is where you cast and just let it sit id last about a good.. 3 minutes tops.

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Lifting the rod and holding it is just so you maintain contact with the bait. There are tons of variations, sometimes I like to make a couple of extra pumps when lifting the rod, to give the bait a swimming action, but still being sure to maintain contact. You never hop the bait then drop the rod to take up slack. On the fall is where you get 95% of your bites, if you're dropping the rod and loosing contact, you are gonna loose fish because when you take your slack up and figure out you've got a fish on, it's usaually too late, becasue many times he'll spit that thing out quicker than a hot potato. The two critical things fishing plastics, watch the line and maintain contact.

For hooksets, it's like they tell inlisted members in the military, "when in doubt - salute", hooksets are free. There will be many times while learning bites that something just felt different. If it's something you've never felt before, set the hook. Eventually you will get a pretty good feel for what is and not bites. I've been fishing plasctics almost 50 years and I'm still saluting.

Oh, and I almost always do a double hookset, if I don't feel I got a solid set on the fish, I'll do even do another one or two. Many times the fish is not in position the get one of those rock solid sets that makes the line twang, so, if it's a mushey set, you had better give it another and another until you get a good solid set. Now this is not dropping slack in the line and popping it again, this is just giving it another hard jerk or two.

For many years I was like Henry Ford painting his Model T's and A's.  Didn't care what color they were painted them just so they were Black when they rolled out the door.   Plum, Purple, Junebug, watermellon seed and pumpken seed are what I throw about 95% of the time

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Then, slowly lift the rod to a 1:00 position and wait for the rig to

settle back on the bottom. Once this has happened, reel in the slack line as you

drop the rod to the 3:00 position again. Many make the mistake of reeling in the

slack while the lure is falling and thus miss strikes.

i have a question for someone more expeiriacned myself.

is this correct though? when you lift the bait keep your rod up till it hits bottom again. i always lifted it and then dropped the rod and waited to watch the line stop sinking then reeled up the slack.

Well, sort of.  I actually lower the rod tip back to around the 1:00 position as the worm falls trying to keep the most minimal tension on the line as possible so as to allow the worm the freedom to freefall straight down without allowing it to swing away from the cover I'm fishing.  If you just drop your rod tip to 3:00 after the lift you'll have too much slack hanging and I guarantee you'll miss strikes if the fish are light biting on the fall.

It's one of those "touch" deals that comes with experience.  

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I believe either hopping or dragging can work, depending on the mood of the fish on a given day.  Check out the Bigmouth (not Bigmouth Forever) video clip here: http://www.questforadventure.com/videosamples.htm

The hops clearly worked this time.  The fish is just watching on the small hops, and then on one big hop...GULP!  

Once the fish gets up to the boat, you see who this amazing angler really is.......it's GILLIGAN!!!   ;D ;D ;D

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Thanks for the post and the article.  Generated some good conversation.  The basics seem to be the same with some different variations.  I'm going to try to make shorter casts fishing the more productive water, slow it down, and be more attentive to the fall.

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