How to Bass Fish With Rubber Worms

by Larry Anderson
Rubber worms are some of the most popular bass lures.

Rubber worms are some of the most popular bass lures.

Rubber worms are synonymous with bass fishing. These versatile lures are available in a nearly endless array of colors, shapes and sizes. The ways in which they can be fished are limited only by anglers' imaginations. They are effective when bumped or dragged along the bottom, retrieved through the middle of the water column, and reeled on top of emergent cover such as lily pads. Two of the best ways to rig rubber worms are on Texas rigs and lead-head jigs.

Texas Rig

  1. Select a 6- to 7-foot, medium-heavy action rod. Combine it with a reel spooled with 10- to 20-pound test fishing line. Many worm anglers use braided fishing line.

  2. Slide a bullet-shaped sinker on the end of the line so the narrow end of the sinker faces upward. The sinker must be heavy enough to penetrate heavy cover and hold the worm on the bottom. A 3/8-oz. sinker is a good starting point.

  3. Tie a size 1/0 to 4/0, long-shank hook to the fishing line with a Palomar knot.

  4. Insert the tip of the hook in the top of a 7-inch rubber worm. Slide the hook down 1/4 inch and push it through the skin of the worm. Slide the worm all the way up the shank of the hook. Rotate the hook 180 degrees so it faces the worm. Press the hook point into the worm, stopping just before it emerges from the other side.

  5. Cast the Texas-rigged worm into heavy vegetation, wood cover, or underneath boat docks. Rubber worms also work well along the deep edges of weedlines.

  6. Experiment with retrieve styles. One of the best is to work the worm slowly along the bottom. Raise your rod tip to the 12 o'clock position and then lower it to 9 o'clock. Reel in the slack line and raise the rod tip again. Another good method is to reel the worm so it swims through the water column. The action of the tail resembles a fish and could provoke a bass into striking.

Jig and Worm

  1. Select a 6- to 7-foot, medium-action rod. Combine it with a reel loaded with 6- to 8-pound test monofilament fishing line.

  2. Tie on a mushroom-head jig that is heavy enough to drag the worm to the bottom and hold it there. A 1/8-oz. jig works well in water less than 10 feet deep. Increase the weight to 1/4-oz. in water deeper than 10 feet.

  3. Push the head of the worm onto the jig's hook. Thread it up the shank and push the hook out of the bait. The worm should be straight on the jig.

  4. Cast the jig and worm to likely spots, including deep weed edges, rock piles and drop-offs. Let the rig sink to the bottom.

  5. Experiment with retrieves. One of the best ways is to reel the jig and worm steadily just off the bottom. Another good method is to bump the jig and worm slowly along the bottom.

Items you will need

  • Fishing rod and reel
  • Jig heads
  • Bullet sinker
  • Long-shanked hook
  • Rubber worms


  • A black plastic worm works well in nearly any body of water. As a general rule of thumb, use dark and gaudy worm colors in murky or stained water. In clear water, opt for natural colors like greens and browns.

About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

Photo Credits

  • Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images