Joey Nania Catches 25lb 1oz Bag at the Bassmaster Southern Open on a Texas Rig WormZ

After five days of practice for Bassmaster Southern Open #1 on the Kissimmee Chain I knew what I needed to do in order to keep myself around the quality of fish that could potentially win the tournament! Weeks earlier a good friend of mine from the sunshine state gave me a good lead about a strong worm bite on the Kissimmee Chain. Fishing a Texas Rig worm is no secret and is honestly one of the most basic and old school tools an angler learns when he/she begins bass fishing.

 The Deadly Weapon.  ZMan Sawtail WormZ

The Deadly Weapon.  ZMan Sawtail WormZ

It seems to me like across the country many anglers have forgotten about the good ol’ Texas Rig worm. The state of Florida however is a different story, every year countless numbers of big bass fall victim to this simple rig. Traditionally a Texas Rig was designed to be fished on the bottom with a slow dragging and hoping technique but in Florida the Texas Rig has taken on a new form. Swimming a Texas Rig worm is often over looked but definitely shouldn’t be. Every lake in Florida is loaded with submergent and emergent vegetation. This incredible amount of grass can make figuring out lakes in Florida a struggle for even the most experienced anglers. It didn’t take long before swimming a worm was my favorite technique for covering the mass amounts of grass quickly and efficiently while figuring out which specific stretches where holding good numbers and quality of largemouth bass. The technique is simple, cast the worm as far up into the grass as possible and then begin to slowly wind the bait back letting it tick the grass as you retrieve it. If the bite seems slow, just slow down your retrieve and occasionally throughout the cast pause allowing the bait to fall down deeper into the grass.

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My worm of choice for this presentation is the Zman Sawtail WormZ. This bait has the perfect size profile, the perfect tail action, and the best thing of all, the thing is virtually indestructible! Going into the tournament I had only one pack of Junebug 6” Sawtail WormZ, this would generally be cause for great concern but I honestly was not worried. On the Monday before the tournament while practicing I had 12 bites catching 10 quality fish all on one Zman worm. The tournament day was no different and I was able to catch my entire 25lb 1oz bag on one worm. I rigged the worm with a fairly heavy 3/8oz Bass Pro Shops Tungsten Worm Weight, accompanied by a 5/0 Gamakatsu Superline EWG Hook. The heavier weight allowed me to get the worm a little deeper in the thick Kissimmee grass I was fishing. The final key to my success with this worm I feel was the 20lb Vicious fluorocarbon I was using in the relatively clear water. A Co angler behind me where using the same technique and not getting the quality of bites I was with the Sawtail WormZ, the heavier weight, and the virtually invisible Pro Elite Fluorocarbon! If you haven’t tried swimming a worm I strongly suggest you do no matter where you live across the country. If the lakes you fish have grass on them then they deserve to be fished with the Texas Rig worm swimming technique. I’ll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania