INTERMEDIATE GUIDE to BASS FISHING: 3B – Texas Rig

hey everyone welcome back to the intermediate guide to bass fishing this is hat cam bass and my name is jeff in this episode we’re going to do a full breakdown of what might be the most tried and true technique in the history of modern bass fishing the texas rig we’ll start with where this classic go-to rig comes from then jump right into how it’s rigged when where and how it’s used as well as talk about some more advanced tips and techniques we’ve got a lot to talk about so if you need to skip ahead to a specific part of the video just use those time stamps below so here’s the texas rig it’s simple old-fashioned but highly effective all you need is a weight worm hook and the soft plastic of your choice what makes the texas rig a texas rig is the unique way the plastic is threaded onto a single hook notice that it has not one but two points where the hook is inserted into the plastic effectively making the rig completely weedless it was that desire for a weedless bait that led to its creation many years ago but the story of the texas rig actually begins with nick cream a blue-collar worker from ohio who created and sold the very first soft plastic worm in 1951 originated the plastic worm the creation of this worm was a huge first step towards a wave of innovation into a modernized version of bass fishing that was set to explode in popularity he created a mighty fine fishing lure when he created plastic worm and who became uh of the finest fish catchers known for fishermen today and an awful lot of thanks to mr cream prior to cream’s revolutionary synthetic worm anglers had relied mostly on live night crawlers the original cream wiggle worm even came pre-rigged with a two or three hook harness much like live bait would have been at that time it wasn’t until this new artificial worm crossed paths with anglers in texas that the rigging we know today was created the 50s and 60s saw a host of new man-made reservoirs being built in the state and many bass fishermen there were seeing the need for a bait that could be fished efficiently around all the submerged brush piles and timber that these lakes are mostly comprised of as you can see we’re in lots and lots of timber timber about every way you can look and this is the majority of the majority of the fish are caught in these type areas and there’s lots of it on the lake a big portion of the lake is solid timber most people who were witness to the bass fishing explosion in texas during this era say that it was an angler on lake tyler located in tyler texas who was the very first to figure out how to embed a single hook into creams plastic worm and it was producing amazing results information didn’t spread quickly in those days though partly because local secrets were closely guarded so it wasn’t until kareem began to receive numerous requests from texas anglers for a worm that did not come pre-rigged that he realized something might be happening down south to capitalize on this amazing innovation cream eventually moved his entire operation to tyler expanded production created the very first sponsored pro staff to help spread the word about his worms and by the mid-1960s the texas sized secret was a secret no more this is one of the most important things about this plastic worm fishing and most of our fishing today will be done with slip sinkers they pay really good attention to how this is threaded on because this is the thing that makes this worm real weedless we’ll get into specifics on tackle later but start by sliding your weight down the line and tying the hook to the end to get things going hold the hook with your off hand and the plastic bait in your dominant hand position the nose of the plastic near the hook point with the back side facing in towards the hook start threading by sticking the hook point into the exact center of the nose and exiting quickly to the back side of the plastic if you’re using an offset worm hook like we’re using here we want the distance between this first entry and exit point to be about the length of the offset portion of the hook shank next start sliding the plastic down the entire hook shank and when you get to about here rotate the plastic 180 degrees while continuing to slide the plastic up until it’s resting perfectly onto the offset portion of the hook shank and just covering the knot

our last step is hooking the plastic through the body to do this dangle the plastic vertically while holding the hook and look for the part of the worm that just reaches the bottom of the hook bend and pinch that part of the plastic with your thumb and index finger this is where we want the hook inserted using your pinched fingers as a guide adjust the body of the plastic so that the hook point can be inserted into the back side where you marked depending on what kind of bait you’re rigging at this point you might be able to leave the hook point partially submerged in the body if not then just push the point of the hook out of the front side of the plastic in this ladder case the last step is what’s called embedding the hook if there isn’t some sort of inlay for the hook point to be concealed then use your fingers to push part of the plastic up and onto the point of the hook essentially just slightly burying it into the plastic this makes the rig completely weedless so that’s the texas ring it’s very simple to learn but to make sure that it works exactly the way it should we do need to check that the entire rig including the weight at the top is as straight and lined up as possible if you’re having trouble with that here’s some common mistakes and how you can correct them if the soft plastic ended up backwards on the hook then you had it facing the wrong way when nose hooking just slide the plastic back down and flip it around a plastic that seems to be bunched up above the hook bend was hooked too far down the body when it looks like this or seems to be stretched it was hooked too far up the body in either case just pull the hook back out and retry body hooking the bait at the more appropriate spot if the weight doesn’t line up with the plastic then the nose wasn’t hooked exactly in the center redo the nose soaking or you can check to see that your knot is pointed straight up from the eyelet in the end most problems with rigging can be fixed by taking care that both hook entry and exit points are centered and lined up as perfectly as possible which will start to become second nature with practice next let’s talk about the tackle and equipment used with the texas rig the slip sinker normally used with this rig is the bullet weight either lead or tungsten the shape of a bullet weight gives the rig a very streamlined profile which allows it to be fished more easily around cover the weight is meant to slide up and down the line except in the case where a bobber stopper like this or a similar device is used to prevent the weight from moving which we’ll talk more about later as with any rig adjust the amount of weight you’re using based on the depth wind speed and type of structure or cover you’re fishing now the texas rig setup can vary a great deal depending on what we’re doing what we’re throwing or what our general preferences are this is a seven foot medium heavy casting rod fast action tip paired with a higher speed reel this is a general all-purpose kind of a setup for a texas rig now i prefer the fast action tip because the extra sensitivity is going to allow us to detect bites more easily and as for the reel we don’t work a texas rig with the reel so we prefer to have a reel that’s going to pick up more slack so that we can haul in fish better now like i said this is all going to depend on what we’re doing so if you’re pitching or flipping into heavy cover you might need a heavier stouter longer rod but if you’re taking a more finesse approach you may need shorter lighter rods it’s all going to depend on preference and what we’re actually doing as the texas rig increased in popularity new styles of hooks were being created to meet the needs of anglers who now had an expanding selection of soft plastics to choose from today there’s basically three styles of hooks used for texas rigging a soft plastic the straight shank round bend the offset round bend and the offset wide gap which is often called the extra wide gap or ewg hook for short we won’t get too technical in this video but the three primary differences in these hook designs is the presence of an offset section how big the gap is between the shank and the hook point and the angle of the hook point in relation to the eye the offset round bend is best described as the traditional texas rig hook that can be used in most situations the offset portion at the top allows the soft plastic especially larger ones to be easily situated around the eye without needing a bait keeper there’s a moderate amount of gap between the shank and the hook point making it the right fit for most standard plastics

the hook point and eye are parallel but not perfectly inline which is known to produce more reliable hook sets and better penetration into a fish’s mouth the wide gap hook is also offset but has more space between the shank and the barb than traditional hooks and is ideal for rigging bigger bulkier plastics that gap and the fact that the eye and the hook point are perfectly in line with each other allows for better hook sets with these bulkier baits although in practice it produces the weaker of the three hook sets overall the straight shank worm hook is known today mostly for flipping pitching or punching around heavy cover there’s no offset section on the shank instead there’s usually some sort of bait keeper that prevents the plastic from sliding down the hook this allows the bait to glide more easily through thick cover the gap is relatively small and the alignment of the hook point and eye both lead to the most reliable hook sets of the three hooks which is why it’s ideal for fishing heavy cover your hook size should match the size of the bait this chart gives a general guideline but this can vary as with many things in bass fishing using lighter smaller tackle gives a more natural less intrusive presentation the bottom line just make sure your hook selection and weight aren’t interfering with the bait’s action so what kind of bait should we be rigging well your choices of soft plastics are practically endless of course there are all types of worms available straight tail ribbon tail finesse worms cincos but there are also creature baits soft plastic jerkbaits tubes lizards and craw type baits you want to always pick your worm up with your rod and not your reel actually the reel is only used to keep the slack out of your line these plastic worms are worked very slowly and very carefully along the bottom a big advantage of the texas rig is that it’s useful in more than one situation which we’ll touch more on later but for now we’re going to start with the basics so go ahead and make a cast and let your bait fall all the way to the bottom on slack line now all we’re basically going to be doing here is hopping the bait along the bottom and to do that we’re going to use a very simple rod motion so start your rod off at about the 10 o’clock position and with a nice smooth motion just lift the rod tip to about the 12 o’clock position now after a pause reel up your slack as you reset the rod back to the 10 o’clock position and just repeat that’s all we’re doing now the key thing to remember here is that we’re using the rod tip to work the bait and not the reel we don’t need the reel to work a texas rig just the rod now the speed of the retrieve can vary although slower is generally considered more effective especially if you’re on cover in those situations an even slower rod movement going gonna work best that’s gonna help slide that bait through that cover without snagging so easily and it also gives a potential fish more time to see it just remember to always use that rod tip to work the bait in and around those obstacles and not the real as you gain more experience you’re going to become better at navigating cover like that so that you don’t snag so easily one of the things i like about the texas rig is the bite because we fished this a little slower the bite tends to be a little more subtle and there’s often a moment between the time we detect a bite and the time we set the hook where there’s like a buildup of anticipation and tension and i just love it you don’t often see that with a fast removing bait now it’s pretty common for a fish to strike this on the fall so be ready as soon as your bait hits the water now bites that come as you’re hopping the plastic along the bottom might feel like a tick or a thump or a series of ticks and thumps that you feel through the rod tip but sometimes you may not feel the bite at all this is where you need to be watching your line very closely sometimes your line may move off in a different direction you may suddenly see slack or tension in the line in those situations the fish may already have the bait in its mouth so be very observant and watch that line closely i’ve been in situations before where the person fishing right next to me saw that i had a bite before i even did because they were watching the line when i wasn’t now once you feel or see that bite as long as our rod is in the 10 to 12 o’clock position we’re going to be able to make a quick hook set and you do want to be quick about this because the fish can spit the bait out pretty fast so go ahead and reel up your slack as you move the rod back down to the 10 o’clock position or even lower and we’re going to set the hook with a strong upper jerk over the shoulder

uh pulled up on a road bed in the middle of the timber he’s very obvious that we’re in the middle of the timber but it’s not obvious that we are on a road bed but uh this is the thing that made this particular place a real good for these smaller bass okay let’s talk about when and where to fish a texas rig one of the best things about this rig is it’s truly a year-round technique there really isn’t a time where you wouldn’t want to throw this especially if you’re in a more moderate climate in places like texas that don’t experience harsh winters the texas rig is fished year-round work it slower in colder conditions to trigger bites and experiment with more aggressive quicker speeds in warmer conditions as we mentioned earlier the texas rig was originally created deficient that cover like lay downs brush or around docks pitch or flip the bait to visible cover letting the bait fall subtly to the bottom then using those slow short rod movements we talked about earlier hop and slide your bait through as much of the cover as you can sometimes bass will be holding tight to cover and won’t move far to strike so make multiple casts to different parts of the cover and try different angles of approach with all that being said don’t hesitate to throw a texas rig in open water situations too like along a bank for deep situations where you need to cover lots of water the carolina rig might be the better option but the texas rig is useful at all depths the key thing to remember is that most of the work we do with the texas rig will be along the bottom let’s talk about a couple of common variations to the texas rig and what they’re used for the first is a weightless texas rig while technically no longer an actual texas rig without the weight the soft plastic is still threaded onto the worm hook in the same way with no weight this rig can offer a more natural and subtle bait presentation my absolute favorite bait to texas rig weightless is a soft plastic jerkbait like the zoom fluke or a stick bait like the cinco especially when fishing for spawning bass on beds in the spring with short quick rod movements both styles of baits can appear to dart back and forth in a way that’s hard for a bass to resist next is a pegged texas rig also referred to as pegging this is a texas rig where the slip sinker is not allowed to slide up and down the line instead the weight is locked or pegged right at the nose of the plastic and the eye of the hook this variation is used almost exclusively when fishing in thick cover where there’s a high probability of getting snagged a free-moving slip sinker can sometimes lead to the line tangling itself around cover something that is far less common with a pegged weight we mentioned the bobber stop before and this is one of the more common ways to peg a weight a quick easy demonstration on how to place a bobber stop on your line before the weight and hook are added thread your main line through the provided loop then just pull the rubber bobber stop towards the line it will thread itself right onto it cut off any of the line that has a kink or bend and eventually slide the rubber piece down towards the hook once it’s tied on other options for pegging include a tapered piece of rubber like this sometimes called a rubber stop this is just threaded from the bottom of the sinker up through the top pulled through tight and the excess rubber is trimmed that keeps the weight pegged another common method is taking a toothpick and sticking it through the weight and breaking it off this is not advisable however as it can cut into the line we also have to mention that there is a major downside to pegging which is that keeping a weight pegged near the hook and bait is known to lead to more lost fish a hooked fish can shake the hook far more easily when all the weight is fixated at one point in its mouth i’ve talked to many experienced anglers about this and most warn that you should only peg a texas rig when it’s absolutely necessary a spin-off or specific application of a peg to texas rig is a punching rig in bodies of water with thick canopies of matted vegetation usually called mats a specialized rig with increased weight is used to break through these mats where bass habitat underneath this rig involves heavier tackle and

equipment the weight is pegged and the baits are threaded onto thick wired straight shank round bend hooks let’s finish up with some additional texas rig tips if you ever end up with a soft plastic that looks like this it probably means you’re having a great day on the water but one trick to get more use out of a bait is to simply re-thread the bait where the plastic isn’t so beat up if the plastic is mirrored or the same on either side like a stick bait just flip the bait around and re-thread or maybe your plastic is pretty torn around the eye of the hook and won’t stay propped up try cutting a quarter inch or so off the top and re-thread onto better plastic or sometimes the nose of the plastic can get pushed off the eye of the hook by pieces of cover a dab of super glue on the eyelid of the hook can help keep it situated or this old trick where you thread a swivel onto the hook like this which sort of acts like a shield that prevents the nose of the plastic from getting beat up so much around heavy cover and last try customizing your plastics by dipping the tails in a paint solution often a chartreuse color this is an extra visual attractant to a potential fish to me the texas rig is sort of like a launching pad for beginners because it seems to open up new doors once you realize that there’s a bunch of different ways you can go out and catch fish and that’s the way it was for me i was just really excited to go out and learn as much as i could about bass fishing once i’d learned the texas rig and that’s why i love this technique so do me a favor if you’re one of those people that knows how to fish a texas rig go out and teach someone else how to fish it they’ll thank you for it later thank you so much for watching the intermediate guide to bass fishing as always if you know someone who’s interested in learning more about bass fishing send them this way i’ll see you next time you