Floating Worms, great spring time lures.
Spawn and pre-spawn season is the time to use the floating worm. Bass often cruise the backs of coves which warm up first in the spring. After they start bedding they will hit a floating worm just to keep it away from the bed. In the fall when the water cools off at night, then heats up during the middle of the day you can find fish in the same areas.
The water temperature may be 55- to 60 degrees there in early morning, but as the sun rises, the surface temperature may jump to 70 degrees. Bass will move into the tops of brush piles and suspend there throughout the afternoon. They also will suspend in open holes of grass beds.
Because the floating worm is so weedless, you can use it in the same places you might fish a rat. In heavy grass you can slide it right along on top and then hesitate over the open holes and around the edges.
You may also add weight to the floating worm. For weight, I use Slug-o weights, which are like roofing nails without a head on them. The nail section is inserted into the middle of the worm and the hole is sealed with fishing glue to prevent it from coming out. By inserting the weight into the middle of the lure, it allows the bait to fall horizontally instead of nose first. The weight makes it easier to cast and provides the suspended action.
Always make sure the type of worm you're using is a floater. Some plastic baits will sink too fast with the simple weight of a 5/0 hook.
I use a very sharp, wide gap hook in a 4 or 5/0 size, Gamugatzu makes several hooks that work very well for this..
Most fishermen prefer a bright-colored worm because it makes it easier for them to see the suspended lure disappear when a bass grabs it. Simply twitch the worm, swim it, or let it sink slowly into holes in the grass or around the brush piles.
Hooking fish on a floating worm can be tricky. The secret is to not jerk until you FEEL the fish. It is hard not to jerk when you have a good fish grab the worm. Just drop your rod tip and slowly take up the slack before you set the hook and you will catch a lot more fish.
copyright 2000 Walt Reynolds
Clewiston, FL. 33440