Bass Fishing with Plastic Worms

Bass Fishing Plastic Worms

This post will thoroughly cover bass fishing with plastic worms. Largemouth bass are the most popular freshwater game fish in North America. Most anglers catch them using artificial lures. There are many lures that anglers fishing for largemouth bass to choose from. However, there is one bait that is the best largemouth bass fishing lure.

best largemouth bass fishing lure

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The best largemouth bass fishing lure is a plastic worm. This is true for several reasons. Plastic worms are very versatile and will catch largemouth bass under all conditions. They can be rigged and presented in a variety of ways to match fishing conditions. Finally, plastic worms are very economical to fish.

Plastic worm fishing video

Plastic worms first hit the bass fishing scene in the late 60s. At that time they were very stiff and were not very lifelike. That has changed greatly over the decades. Plastic worms look and even taste like natural prey. While largemouth bass do not necessarily feed on nightcrawlers all that extensively, plastic worms just resembles something that is alive and tasty and crawling along the bottom or swimming through the water.

bass fishing with a worm

Bass fishing plastic worms!

Plastic worms vary in length from small versions that are only a couple inches long up to gigantic baits that are a foot long. As mentioned above, these can imitate salamanders, crayfish, baitfish, and other forage. In most cases, a 6 inch or 7 inch plastic worm is the best choice for most anglers.

best largemouth bass lure

The key to the effectiveness of plastic worms is the action they produce in the water. Plastic worms undulate seductively in the water, both as they are falling through the water column and as they are being retrieved back in by the angler. In most cases, a slower retrieved works best to allow the natural action of the lure to attract the fish. Rarely does a fast, aggressive retrieves produce largemouth bass for anglers fishing with plastic worms.

Read this comprehensive article by Capt Jim on bass fishing

Anglers have many different colors to choose from when it comes to fishing with plastic worms for bass. In some cases, the selection can be overwhelming! However, the general rule of thumb of using light colored worms in clear water and darker colored worms and stained water works pretty well. Natural colors such as green pumpkin, motor oil, and black roof produce in just about any body of water and under all conditions.

best bass lure

Best tackle for bass fishing with a plastic worm

Anglers fishing for largemouth bass with plastic worms can use both spinning tackle and bait casting tackle successfully. Spinning tackle is becoming much more popular among bass anglers, especially when using finesse style plastic worms. These are smaller plastic worms used in conjunction with smaller hooks and lighter lines. It is easier to cast these lighter baits out with spinning tackle than it is with conventional tackle.

best bass lure

The best spinning outfit for largemouth bass fishing with plastic worms is a 7 foot to seven 1/2 foot medium action rod paired with a 3000 to 4000 series real and spooled up with 10 pound to 20 pound monofilament or braided line. This is an excellent all round combination that anglers can use that will cover a wide variety of fishing situations.

Read this article on tackle choices for largemouth bass

Heavier bait casting tackle certainly has its place when it comes to fishing for bass the plastic worms. This is especially true when casting worms into heavy cover. In this application, anglers will need to set the hook hard and horse the fish out of the vegetation or away from the structure. Bait casting tackle is better equipped for this. A medium action bait casting rod with matching real and 40 pound braided line is an excellent outfit.

Top plastic worms for bass fishing

There are too many manufacturers who offer quality plastic worms to listed this post. However, Capt. Jim will list several of his personal favorite plastic worms that he uses to catch largemouth bass.

Zoom Trick worm

zoom trick worm

Click this link to shop Amazon for Zoom Trick worms

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The Zoom Trick Worm is an excellent and versatile plastic worm. Capt. Jim prefers the standard 6 1/2 inch size. It is a long slender lure that comes in a wide variety of colors. Green pumpkin and motor oil work very well and are excellent all round colors for many different applications. White is also an excellent color and is underutilized by many bass anglers. This worm is most often fished Texas rigged or on a swim bait hook. It also floats, making it very effective when fished deep on a Carolina rig.

Yamamoto Senko


The Yamamoto Senko is a fantastic plastic worm in his Capt. Jim’s favorite finesse style bait. Both the 4 inch and 5 inch versions in natural colors such as green pumpkin and read Shad work very well. These baits are most often fished on a drop shot rig, wacky rigged, or on a Shaky Head jig. However, they can certainly be fished on a Texas rig or a swim bait hook as well, anglers just need to use a smaller hook size.

Click this link to shop Amazon for Senko baits



Click this link to shop Amazon for Culprit worms

Culprit worms are another one of Capt. Jim’s favorite plastic worms for largemouth bass fishing. He prefers this worm with a curly tail when a little bit more action is desired. It is a great worm to swim. As with the other manufacturers, this worm comes in a variety of fish catching colors. Capt. Jim likes to six-inch or 7 inch versions. Is mostly fished Texas rigged bite is very effective when reeled and steadily on a swim bait hook. It also works very well when fished wacky style.

Mann’s Jelly worm

jelly worm

Click this link to shop Amazon for Jelly Worms

The man’s jelly worm is an old-school bait that is been around a very long time. It was designed by legendary bass angler Tom Mann. It has a flat tail which has excellent action and the water. Capt. Jim goes to the jelly worm in the 10 inch or even 12 inch size when looking to fish a larger plastic worm.

Rigging plastic worms for bass fishing

There are several effective ways to rig and fish the plastic worm when fishing for bass. These include a Texas rig, swim bait hook, wacky rig, Carolina rig, and a drop shot rig.

Texas rig

texas rigged worm

A Texas rigged worm uses a special worm hook along with a sliding worm sinker. The worm is threaded on to the front of the hook while the point of the hook is inserted through the body. When properly done, the worm hangs perfectly straight and is virtually weedless. This is the best way to fish the worm in shallow water where cover is present.

Swim bait hook

swimbait hook and worm


Swimming a worm has become popular of late amongst both recreational and tournament bass fisherman. It is a very simple yet effective technique that is easy for novice anglers to learn. Swim bait hooks are similar to bare warm hooks except that there is a little bit of weight added to the shank. These hooks also have some type of device be it a bar or screw to hold the nose of the bait. The hook is then inserted through the body with the tip of the point buried in the worm. The lure is cast out and reeled and slowly and steadily. This works very well in vegetation.

Wacky rig

wacky rig

Wacky rigging a worm hit the bass fishing scene 20 years or so ago. It looks ridiculous, but is incredibly effective. The worm is basically hooked right through the center of the bait. The point of the hook is exposed. Most strikes occur as the worm lands in the water and falls through the water column, wiggling seductively. Largemouth bass will pick up the worm and run off with it, making the strike easy to detect. This is most often used in shallow water and is an excellent method for novice anglers to use to catch fish.

Carolina rig

carolina rig

A Carolina rig consists of a sliding egg sinker, a swivel, a length of leader, and then a worm hook. This rig is used to crawl over cover and structure in deep water. Many anglers prefer a floating worm with this rig as it will result in the worm hovering 6 inches to a foot above the bottom. That is basically determined by the length of the leader. This is not an easy method to master, but is very effective when fish are schooled out in deep water structure.

Drop shot rig

drop shot

Drop shot fishing is a very effective finesse style presentation that is grown massively and popularity. It works extremely well when bass are suspended in deeper water, when the water is clear, and imposed cold front conditions. It consists of a hook tide in line with a sinker generally 1 foot to 18 inches below. The worm is hooked through the nose than lower down to the desired depth usually starting on the bottom. Very little action is used, just slight manipulation of the rod tip. The lore will dance and wriggle in the water, attracting bass.

In conclusion, this article on the best largemouth bass fishing lure will help anglers learn how to purchase and fish a plastic worm.

Jim Klopfer

Capt Jim Klopfer has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. He grew up in Maryland, fishing the Chesapeake Bay waters. Capt Jim has been creating an writing articles about fishing for decades, contributing to many regional and national publications. He also lives part time in the North Carolina mountains where he fishes for trout and other species. Capt Jim Klopfer is a wel rounded angler with 50 years fishing experience, and he loves to share what he has learned with other anglers!

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