Winter Bass Fishing: The Neko Rig Technique (How To) | This Works!

Winter Bass Fishing Videos
How to fish the Neko Rig in Winter. Discover the secret to successful winter bass fishing with Todd Faircloth's insights on the Neko rig. Learn how this traditional yet effective technique, a variation of the wacky rig with a nail weight, can yield impressive results even in cold waters. Todd shares essential tips on rig setup, bait selection, and strategic locations for Neko rigging. This video offers a unique perspective on winter fishing, highlighting the Neko rig's ability to navigate through tough cover and attract lethargic bass with its subtle, natural presentation.

Baits and Gear

Gamakatsu Cover Neko Hook:

Strike King Ocho:

Zoom Trick Worm:

Big Bite Baits Neko weights:

Z-Man Neko Nose Weight:

7' 4" Denali Lithium medium heavy spinning rod:

Seaguar Smackdown braided line:

Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon line:   


Hey, everybody. Todd Faircloth, here. We're going to talk about the Neko rig. And, I'll give you a little story on a Neko rig. I've been fishing a Neko rig since I was a teenager. I just didn't know, we just didn't call it a Neko rig. We called it a wacky rig with a nail weight in it. So, when I heard about the new technique Neko rig, you know, I do like everybody else does. I Googled it, and I looked at a YouTube deal, and I'm, like, "Well, man. That's nothing new. We've been doing that forever at home." We very rarely fished a wacky rig without a nail in it. So, basically, that's what a Neko rig is. It's a wacky rig with a nail in the head of it.

So, just to give y'all a little feedback on that. This isn't a new technique, it's just new terminology for the Neko. I guess, a lot of people fished a wacky rig without a nail in it, and then, you know, it has evolved over the years, and now it's a got a real bling name to it.

But, let's talk about winter time fishing a Neko rig. A lot of people would think, "Man, that's not really a time to fish a Neko rig." But, it can be really, really effective in the winter time as well. One of the really cool things about the Cover Neko is you can fish it weedless like this, and we can throw it in any type of cover, and especially rock. Maybe you're fishing, like, a rock jetty, or maybe you're fishing a steep rock wall, and, man, you just stay hung up all the time with, like, say, a shaky head, or a jig, or whatever you're fishing, this Neko rig will come through the cover really, really well.

And, in the winter time, I like to fish as light a weight as I can get away with, because the fish are, kind of, lethargic. The bait fish aren't moving, the water temperature's cold, everything's slowed down. So, I'm going to fish a light of weight in the head of the Neko as I can. This is a pretty light one here.

You can go to your tackle store, and there's all different types of heads and nail weights you can put in them. This is, kind of, a stand-up head that I really like in the winter time. The weight of this head will actually help the bait stand straight up, and I really like it in the winter time.

When you're fishing, I always like to use a spinning outfit, you know. And, I like it because I can skip the bait up underneath there, don't have to worry about overruns, I can cast it a long ways. A lot of times, you're dealing with a light weight in the head of the bait. You're fishing it on light line, I'd say 10 to 12-pound leader most of the time, sometimes even 8. So, the reason for the light line is it just gives the bait a more natural appeal. And, if you put this bait on 20-pound fluorocarbon, or 16-pound fluorocarbon, or, you know, big braid, or something like that, it's just going to take a lot of the lifelike action out of it.

So, that's why I choose a spinning rod set up, 7-foot-4, generally 10 to 12-pound test fluorocarbon leader with the, you know, 20 to 15-pound test braided line is my mainstay. And, that's my setup for fishing a Neko rig.

Keep in mind in the winter time to use, I like to use a bulkier bait, like, the 5-inch Ocho here, or even a bigger trick worm than I have here. And, I like to fish it really, really slow, bluff walls, maybe where rock transitions from, you know, boulder to gravel, or something different, channel swing banks. A lot of times the fish will be really tight on the bottom in the winter time, and this bait presents a finesse type presentation, and it catches big fish.

Just because you're fishing a worm in the winter time doesn't mean you can't catch a big one on it, because I have caught some big ones on it in the winter time.

But, great technique. It's something that's not real known for in the winter time. But, give it a try, and I think it'll put some fish for you in the boat during the winter time, the Neko rig.

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