No other type of fishing rig has such loyal advocates of their own style of fishing than the Texas Rig. There is little question that soft plastics are the #1 lures to use if you want to catch bass.
There are people who fish with little else. And the Texas Rig is by far the most common method of using them. Here’s how to do it.
What’s So Special About The Texas Rig?
The main attraction to the Texas Rig is that it is as weedless as a lure can be. Next, it produces bass, more so than any other lure. It is inexpensive, and easy to rig. It is also easy to fish, and believe it or not, most people try to over-fish it. You need to fish slowly with it.
The Texas Rig is not limited to just plastic worms, which come in every possible design and color. The Texas Rig can be used with soft plastics made to look like grubs, crawfish, lizards, salamanders, baitfish, snakes, leeches, and some things that probably never existed outside of someone’s nightmares. They all rig and fish the same.
The Parts Of A Texas Rig
The Texas Rig is easy to set up. It has only 4 parts to it.
Soft plastic is cast into many shapes, the most common being a nightcrawler imitation, but they also come shaped like crawfish (sort of…),. baitfish, tube jigs that look like baby squids, grubs, leeches, snakes, and more. Lizards are particularly popular in the spring.
Bass seem to regard them as threats to their nests during the pre-spawn period. As to colors, the basic rule is light colors for dark water, and dark colors for light water, but keep in mind that after about 25 ft. deep, there are no more colors except blues, greys and maybe some green.
This is the most critical part. You can use a wide gap straight hook, but I highly recommend using the specialized worm hooks made by Gamakatsu and Owner. They have special bends near the eye to help the lure track straight and stay in place on the hook. Referring to the picture above, you may notice I use smaller bodies than average. It is because I live in the N. Ga. Mountains with numerous trout and smallmouth bass streams, so I scale down a bit, For 2” -4” bodies, I recommend a #4 Wide Gap Worm or Octopus Hook. For 5-6” bodies, I use a 1/0 worm hook. Anything bigger, like 7” and above, I use a 2/0 hook.
Originally, an egg-shaped slip sinker was used, but now we have bullet-shaped sinkers that help to slide and punch through brush, moss, timber, and other obstacles. They have a recessed base to allow it to slide all the way to the worm head and hide the hook eye and pegging device.
Use light weights for a slow sink, and heavy to get it down in deep water. With my smaller baits, I use 1/8/oz. weights, but with 5” and above, I go to ¼ oz. For bigger baits and deep water, you may even want to go as high as ½ to even ¾ oz., or bigger,
The pegging device is just a glass or copper bead that nkeeps the slip sinker from sliding over the hook eye, and also makes ‘clacking’ noises to attract fish.
How to Set Up the Texas Rig
First, get your gear together. You can use the Texas Rig unweighted if you want, like with Senkos and flipping baits.
Slide the sinker up the line, followed by the glass bead, then tie the hook on. I recommend the Uni-Knot, but Trilene and Clinch knots are OK.
Now, insert the hook point into the head of the body as close to the center as possible, and thread it up the hook shank for about ⅛” to 1/4”. Run the hook out of the body, then turn it so that the point is towards the body.
Run the impaled portion all the way to the hook eye to determine the 2nd insertion point. You want the body to be straight with no humps or kinks so that it will track straight.
Now, reinsert the hook point into the body until it is almost through. That’s it. You now have a Texas Rig, ready-to-fish.
Fishing The Texas Rig To Catch Bass
This is the simple part. Just cast the rig out beyond what you are targeting and let it sink to the bottom, but keep the line tight and be ready to set the hook at any time, because fish often hit these as they fall.
Let it set on the bottom for a bit, then retrieve it with short hops, with long pauses in between. If you feel a ‘tick’, or the line moves funny, set the hook just a little faster than instantly, and hard. You have a fish on.
That’s really all there is to it.