The wacky rig is the rig to start bass fishing with. It is basic and catches bass in ponds, rivers, and lakes. A wacky rig is just a straight worm that has a hook stabbed right through the middle. It is best fished on a spinning rod and reel. A number of worms can work on a wacky rig like the Missile Baits Quivers and 48, Yamamoto Senko, or Zoom Trick Worm. I have even used a number of different hooks to put through the middle but a Gamakatsu G-Finesse Stinger hook might be my favorite because you can use the regular version or the weedless version around cover.
The Texas rig was one of the first ways that anglers used soft plastic worms. It consists of a bullet shaped weight on the line above a hook that is buried into the worm so it is weedless. I love a Texas rig. It would be best to start with a 1/8 ounce to 1/4 ounce weight and a Gamakatsu EWG hook in a size that fits the soft plastic you are fishing. You want to make sure you rig your worm on the hook so that it sits straight on the hook. The Texas rig is great to cast but also leads an angler into other techniques like flipping and pitching down the road.
Watching a bass blast a lure on top of the water is so exciting. Topwater is the favorite way to catch bass for most any experienced angler. I recommend starting with a popper of some type. The Rebel Pop-R is the one of the original poppers for bass. It is a great option but new poppers are still coming out like the new SPRO E-Pop. The reason is because they catch bass! Throw out a popper and give it a tug. You can also tug 2 or 3 times in a row to trigger a blow up. There is no doubt when you get a bite so just be ready.
The drop shot rig is a standard for any serious bass angler, and it is very simple to fish for beginners. A drop shot is a hook tied to the line and then the tag (leftover end of the knot) is put back through the hook eye and then a weight is tied to that piece of line. The distance between the hook and weight should be anywhere between 6” to 18”. Starting with a 1/8 ounce weight would be a good middle of the road for beginners. Straight thinner soft plastic worms are the way to start here as well.
The spinnerbait has been around for many, many years for a reason. The flash and vibration are a definite trigger for bass. The best thing to know is that spinnerbaits are often best in stained or darker waters. Bass have a lateral line on the sides of their bodies that sense vibration in the water and that is how bass feed at night and in muddy water. The spinning blades create vibrations that bass can sense a long way away. Spinnerbaits can be fished up near the surface or down near the bottom after letting it sink before retrieving. Bass often hit that spinnerbait so violently that it, no doubt, is one of my favorite ways to catch a bass.
Learning those baits and how to fish them will allow an angler to catch bass on many different types of bodies of water. Don’t worry about all the other hundreds of baits and rigs out there that are used for bass getting started. Yes, they all can work. The problem is that each one takes confidence to catch fish with. Start with these and you will be catching bass wherever you go in no time!