Tips and Tricks for the Do-Nothing WormTips and Tricks for the Do-Nothing Worm This bait is easy-to-use and catches fish. It practically works itself. You – do nothing.
By M.L. Anderson
You may remember Eddie Johns from the article about keeping a fishing log. He’s the dude who wins an average of one out of every three tournaments he fishes. WINS. If you add just being in the money, his stats are off the charts. Eddie has fished for over 30 years. He’s learned a thing or two. He watches the big tournament circuits and keeps current on the latest and greatest new lures and techniques. Doing so does not mean he neglects tried and true baits. One of his favorites is the Do-Nothing rig. Do-Nothing can refer to the Carolina rig or to the worm itself, and the Do-Nothing Worm is sold by Ike-Con Lures.
In 1985 Jack Chancellor won the Bassmaster Classic with a three-day total of 19 fish that weighed 45 pounds. He credited the Do-Nothing worm with his win, and sales skyrocketed. But that was then. Nowadays, although the lure is enjoying some resurgence, Eddie says that for the most part, “these young squirts don’t think about it.” But Eddie has been fishing these worms for a long time – in fact, when he first started buying them, they were 2 for 25 cents. This was in the late 70’s, and he immediately lost the first one he tied on. He was a bit more careful with that second worm, and caught a 7- or 8-pound bass on it. After that, he was hooked.
One of the benefits of this lure, Eddie said, is that you can change the weight without changing the size of the bait. The Do-Nothing is simply a small, ribbed worm that comes pre-rigged with two hooks and no weight. A loop of 15-pound-test line comes out the front of the lure, and you simply clip your snap swivel to that loop. Most often the Do-Nothing is fished on a Carolina rig. The line inside the worm makes it buoyant so that it barely sinks in the water. A 7- to 7-1/2 foot medium-light rod is an ideal Do-Nothing rig, and Eddie spools up with 14-pound-test line. In clear water he attaches the worm with a 10-pound-test leader, and if the water is dirty he’ll use 12-pound line. R & S Rods made his Do-Nothing rod – you call them and tell them what you want and they build it for you – you choose the blank, handle, and all. You can even include your name, artwork, etc. It’s a sweet deal.
In winter with water temps in the low 50’s, he uses a 4-foot leader, and once the temps climb above 55 he shortens it to 3 feet. One of the beauties of this is that even though you are fishing a finesse worm, you can still get a good cast with it, even if it’s windy. Cast it out, let it hit bottom, then move it about six to 12 inches. Give it time to sink before moving it again. To get the timing right, Eddie suggests picturing a feather in your mind. Imagine dropping that feather from about 8 inches off the ground, and don’t move your lure until that feather hits the ground.
Sometimes you’ll feel a tug, but for the most part, fishing the Do-Nothing is a line watching game. If the line is moving, you’re on. It’s a great bait for kids because you really don’t have to feel the bite or set the hook hard. The fish take the whole thing because it’s such a small worm, and 97% of the time, both hooks are in the fish’s mouth. To set the hook all you need to do it give it a little jerk and then reel it in. Eddie says hit yourself in the chest with the rod handle to set the hook, then reel. The one drawback of this worm is that it gets snagged quite a bit because of the two open hooks. It’s such a fish-catching machine, though, that Eddie doesn’t mind planning ahead.
He keeps at least two rods rigged up with the Do-Nothing, especially on tournament days. That way if he breaks off on one, he can just pick up the other one. Also, he slices a pool noodle into one-foot lengths and uses it to keep his Do-Nothings ready to tie on. The night before going out he’ll tie up a whole bunch of them with three-foot leaders and a bunch more with four-foot leaders. He ties a loop in the end, and simply wraps them around the pool noodle. You can push the hooks into the noodle and they stay organized and ready to use, and you don’t even have to tie them on – you just attach them to the swivel with the loop you tied in the end.
Slip the weight onto your main line and then tie on a swivel. Eddie never uses a barrel swivel, he prefers the plain old snap swivels because they make it so easy to attach his pre-rigged leaders.
You can swim a Do-Nothing worm in open water or down rocky banks, but if you bend the hook points just a little toward the body you can get it through a surprising amount of brush without hanging up. Or you can cut a tiny piece of corkboard and stick it on the end of the hook to make it weedless. It will easily go through the cork when you need it to, but the cork will deflect light weeds. You can also use a little piece of sponge on the tip of the hook to make it weedless. Squeeze a small bit of sponge and dip it in scent before letting go. It will soak up the scent and once you put that on the tip of the hook it not only helps the lure get through weeds, it also creates a bubble of scent around the lure. Eddie swears by Brush Pile Fish Attractant.
The Do-Nothing is a killer bait in current because it just gets carried along right into the eddies where the bass hang out. It’s fantastic for smallmouth. Eddie has gone as light as a ¼-ounce weight and as heavy as an ounce – it all depends on how fast he needs to get it down. Use a slightly heavier weight in current, and very light weight on windless days when you’re pitching it around piers and structure. You can also flip a Do-Nothing rig. Use a 2-1/2 foot leader and let it float down once you’ve flipped to the cover.
If you want to go ultra-finesse, you can even fish a Do-Nothing rig on spinning gear with no weight at all. You’ll still use the swivel, so there is a tiny bit of weight, but not much. It’s an incredibly slow way to fish, but sometimes that’s what it takes. Eddie once caught an 11-pound bass on a weightless Do-Nothing rig. He likes to fish it this way on steeper areas like cliffs and bluffs, in winter or summer. Get right on the bank and throw it ahead of you, then let it fall as you come toward it. Weightless, it’s also a dynamite bed bait. This is such a slow way to fish that he doesn’t do it often, but it still made the Top 5 on his list of ways to win tournaments.
Eddie has watched this bait work, and in the water it acts differently from other baits because it is so light – it actually lets the water move it. Fish don’t run up and attack it. They just watch until it gets where they want it, then they suck it in and just hold on to it. Watch your line. Keep a finger on it as well. They don’t try to kill it, they just pick it up and lay it back down. It practically works itself, so let it do its thing. You – do nothing.
Eddie ALWAYS sharpens the hook on any bait before he uses it, regardless of what kind of hook it is. He uses a small triangle file and also slips it under the barb and files it so it sticks out a tiny bit more – it holds a lot better that way. Hooks come out sharp, but they don’t stay that way for long, so after a few fish he re-sharpens the hook. This is particularly important on the Do-Nothing.
Eddie also makes his own pre-rigged worms for the Do-Nothing rig. Starting with a Creme worm, he cuts the ends off so it isn’t pointed. He ties a hook on a piece of line, leaving a 6-inch tag, then ties another hook on the tag line. He feeds the hooks through the worm just like you would if you were going to Texas Rig it, but he leaves the eye inside the worm and the hook exposed. He’s been doing this for decades and he says having that bit of line on the outside of the worm doesn’t make any difference at all. After tying a loop in front of the lure, he’s all set. It’s a bit of work, but it saves some money.
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