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Legend of the White Worm

• Credit: Karl Kalonka
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Legend of the White Worm

Learn how to use the white worm to target big smallmouth bass

Bass love novelty

You may have heard of the legend of the white worm.

You may know someone who has seen the white worm.

Have you ever fished the white worm?

If you haven't yet, I'm confident you will after reading this article.

These days, it seems like anglers are looking for artificial lures and soft plastics that resemble some lifelike creature that lives where bass live. Crawfish patterns, minnow patterns, frog patterns, everyone wants to mimic the same stuff bass eat on a daily basis.

Here is a new train of thought—how about offering bass something they don't see on a daily basis?

Ever wonder why the simple piece of plastic called the stick worm became so popular? It is the simplest lure to use on planet Earth, yet has been catching fish since its inception quite a few years ago by several fishing manufacturers and now everyone has a version of the stick worm in their catalogue.

Bass were not used to seeing a bait like the stick worm stay in their face for so long on the descent thru the water column and they had to investigate it by opening their mouths and eating it. Bingo, the next best thing since sliced bread.

Anglers couldn't get enough of the new stick worm craze.

This is the same principle for using the “white worm”.

Not a lot of anglers use a simple, plain white soft plastic lure to catch bass. Sure, some use white crankbaits or soft shad baits like the Strike King Caffeine, but the slow-falling white Ocho stick worm by Strike King is a lethal weapon when it comes to big bass. And when you hook this simple piece of white plastic, flat-sided worm onto a weighted, wacky jighead or screw lock jighead while fishing it on fluorocarbon line, making long casts to submerged structure, bass just can’t resist—they have to investigate the “white worm.”

Weighted wacky jig head

Weighted wacky jighead

There are two ways I will fish the white Ocho worm. On a wacky style weighted jighead, I will use the 4-inch Ocho and make longer casts with 8-pound Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon line and a St.Croix 7-foot medium-action spinning rod like the Avid X or Bass X series to help me feel those soft pickups or light inhales from bigger bass.

Strike King Ocho

Strike King Ocho

The second way I fish the white worm is with a heavier Strike King ¼- ounce screw lock jighead and use a 5-inch Ocho flat-sided worm rigged onto the screw lock corkscrew thru the top end of the worm, and insert the hook point halfway back into the worm body, which makes the tail end of the white worm stand up and shake behind the screw lock jighead that I am dragging along the bottom of sandy, rock infested areas big bass hunt for food.

Screw Lock jighead

Screw Lock jighead

I use the white worm in all conditions from early spring during the catch and release season, thru the summer months, and into the late fall with cooler water temps. It works just about anywhere I have fished from Algoma Country, thru the North East and all thru Sunset Country in Northwest Ontario.

Bass love to investigate things they have not seen a lot.

This was the case during a road trip through Algoma Country this past summer, filming shows for the new season of Xtreme Bass Angler TV.

I was fishing some popular lakes for big smallmouth bass and tried all my favourites, like tube jigs, drop shot, and even jerkbaits to fool the bigger bass in the crystal clear water conditions of the lake I was fishing with little success. Then I totally threw caution to the wind and picked up my little 4-inch Ocho in bone white, rigged it onto a weighted wacky head jighead on a medium action St.Croix spinning rod, and began hooking up with some of the biggest bass I caught the entire filming season!

No kidding.

You can catch the entire process this winter on the new season of Xtreme Bass Angler TV in the U.S.A. on the Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network and across Canada on WFN.

When you’re shopping for new lures and soft plastics this winter in anticipation of the new season and you become overwhelmed by the huge selection of natural looking baits, be sure to look for the “white worm” and you, too, will learn of the legend of the white worm first hand.

Good luck.

Visit Algoma Country and Sunset Country in Northern Ontario for early season bass fishing opportunities and some of the best fishing lodges on the globe.

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