There are many ways to rig up a plastic worm to effectively catch fish, but the Neko rig is perhaps my new favorite.
The rig, which consists of a worm hooked through the middle like a wacky rig and a weight that is screwed into its head, allows you to jerk your worm across the bottom of the area you area fishing in an enticing fashion for bass
I was fishing in a pond that had recently flooded near Perry Lake. There was still pretty heavy moss and hydrilla coverage on the pond, which made crankbaits a no-go, so I decided to go with the Neko rig. You have the option with this rig to add a weed guard and make it weedless, but despite the heavy vegetation I had relatively little trouble with the weeds.
On my very first cast, I felt a hard tug as a small bass attacked the worm as I bounced it across the bottom. I set the hook in the roof of the bass’ mouth, and soon had him on shore. The next cast, I again felt a hit on the worm and set the hook. This one got caught up in some weeds and was retrieved without much of a fight.
Wondering if my luck would hold up, I cast out for the third time and soon was greeted with a familiar feeling as the line tightened. I yanked, but could instantly tell I had missed, so I let the lure sit for a few seconds before again continuing to walk it across the pond floor. After a few more short jerks, the bass again hammered the worm — this time my timing was perfect. I set the hook and could immediately feel the fish flying toward the opposite direction. I kept my pole low and maneuvered the fish through the vegetation. Eventually he tired and I pulled a nice 2-pounder onto the bank — my third bass in three tries.
The bite slowed a bit after that, with a few sporadic hits here and there. I had one bass get off, but I blame myself more than the hook for keeping the fish too close to the surface. The bass flew out of the water and the hook was dislodged.
I began throwing toward a side of the pond that I knew was home to some nice crappie, and pretty soon something big hit the worm and took off toward the other side of the pond. My pole bent over double as I worked the big hawg around the vegetation, enjoying the fight, when he, too, got tangled up and eventually had to give in.
I pulled the fat crappie in and decided that my testing of the rig was complete.
I was very pleased with the weight. It was perfect for what I wanted to do with the worm, heavy enough to get a distant cast in but light enough that it hung in the water a bit before dropping on my retrieval. The hook did a pretty decent job of keeping fish on, with the one exception being mostly my fault, and my only complaint with it was the my worm — weighed down by the weight in its head — went flying off the hook during one of my casts.
I also was surprised by how well the black/blue Tightlines UVenko worm worked and I would have liked to see how it performed as it got dark. The worm supposedly features a UV vision enhancer that makes it stand out to bass but is invisible to anglers’ eyes. Sounds like a load of poppycock when you read the description, but I can’t argue with the results it produced.