4 Ways To Bait A Hook For Bass
There are a countless number of ways you can bait a hook for bass and that can be overwhelming to the beginner. Which one is best? Well, that depends on the body of water!
Determining How To Bait A Hook
Before you bait your hook, take a second to look at the body of water you're fishing in. The best hook for the job will change depending on what's in and around the water. There are two primary ways to bait a hook: a weedless or exposed hook. Here are some variables to consider when baiting a hook:
- How deep is the water level? Are you fishing in just a couple feet of water, or 12 feet of water? What about 30 feet of water?
- Are you planning to cast around heavy cover, like brush piles, matted grass? Or just dragging your lure across tree laydowns and around stumps?
- Not a lot of structure? Is the bottom muddy or is it rocks? Will you get hung up if you're dragging an open hook across the bottom?
Make sure you take note of the cover and structure in your surrounding waters before chucking any old fishing rig in the drink.
The Texas Rig
The Texas Rig is one of the most popular ways to rig a weedless hook presentation to catch bass. This lure presentation can be found on almost every bass anglers fishing rod across the country. Next time you're out at the lake, take note of what others are throwing in the water, you're bound to see a few Texas Rigs.
What's so great about the Texas Rig?
The Texas Rig is one of the most versatile lures a fisherman can use to catch bass. First off, it's weedless. That means there is no exposed hook when you're dragging your lure across stumps and laydowns. You can hop a Texas Rig through brush piles and rip it through grass lines, and chances are you won't get hung up.
Plus, you can fish it weightless or weighted. If you're fishing in deep waters, add a bit of weight if you don't have the patience to wait for a weightless senko to hit the bottom! Trying to fish around matted grass? Add a bobber stop and a 1-½ oz. weight before the hook. Chuck that rig in there like a cannonball to punch through the scum mats and get your hook in the fish's face.
The Wacky Rig
The Wacky Rig is another go-to lure for many bass anglers when fishing around sparse cover or grass. The biggest downside to it is if you're not using a hook with a weed guard, it's easy to get hung up with its exposed hook. So it's best used around areas where there is sparse or no grass or other cover to snag on.
What's so great about the Wacky Rig?
The horizontal profile of the wacky rig provides a different presentation for the bass. When fishing the wacky rig weightless, the horizontal profile provides more surface area resistance and causes the bait to fall slowly to the bottom. Sometimes this is exactly what the bass wants! The vertical presentation of a Texas Rig, weightless or not, can cause your soft plastic worm to plummet towards the bottom too quickly. Sometimes that's what the fish wants, and other times, it's not.
The Nose Hook
Nose hooking a soft plastic worm is probably the simplest way to bait a hook, but super effective for luring bass to take the bait. Because a nose-hooked soft plastic artificial bait is only hooked at the tip, the bait has a very natural action in the water. The downsides to a nose hook are similar to a wacky rig in that you have an exposed hook tip.
What's so great about a Nose Hooked bait?
Because a nose-hooked bait has limited contact with the hook, the bait is essentially free floating in the water giving off a very natural looking presentation to a fish.
The Drop Shot
Once you've learned the above techniques for rigging a bait on a hook, you can use them to rig up different presentations like the ever so popular Drop Shot technique! The drop shot is a must know bottom fishing presentation for the beginner bass angler. Need it weedless? Rig it Tex-sposed! Fishing deep or open waters? Nose hook or wacky rig it for more action!
A drop shot can be quickly rigged up by tying your hook to your fishing line with a palomar knot. Just leave some excess line on the tag end. Once you sinch the knot down, take the tag end of the line, and thread it back through the front of the eye of the hook, attach a weight at your desired depth, and viola, you have a drop shot rig!