Jeff notes “many anglers think that 10-inch worms are too big and that bass will not bite them. There are some rare occasions where that may be true, but these situations are far and few between. You will come across more situations where bass can and will be caught on 10-inch worms than situations of where they will not. This is exactly the main reason that during the summer months that I will throw a 10-inch Big Bite Kriet Tail worm as my number one summer bait. It is this thinking why that I throw it because no one else is, the bass never see this bait option on a regular basis. They see jigs and crankbaits day in and day out, and they see plastic worms on a regular basis also, but they are not seeing big worms, 10-inch worms on a regular basis and that why I feel that they work so well. I will take 5 bass that I catch on a 10-inch Kriet Tail worm compared to 5 bass that I can catch on a jig any day” Jeff adds.
When it comes to rigging and fishing his 10-inch Kriet Tail worm, Jeff rigs it on a 5/0 offset Gamakatsu worm hook. This hook match’s up with the pre-made hook slot that are built into the 10-inch Kriet Tail worm. These are key additions Big Bite made to the worm helping to getting a good solid hook up when you set the hook.
One of the biggest keys when fishing the Kriet Tail Jeff says “I am dragging the worm along the bottom. Other fishermen use a traditional lift and drop retrieve. I drag the worm on the bottom you could say that I use it like a depth finder. I drag the worm until I find something on the bottom. When I feel it up against a rock or a piece of wood, I will really work the worm because there is a good chance that this piece of cover is holding a bass as well. I will gently pull my worm over this cover and let it sit for awhile before I move on. If I feel the bass pick up my worm, I will let the line tighten then I will use a sweep hook set on the bass. I use the same hook set I would if I were fishing a Carolina rig. I feel I get a better, solid, hook sets doing this, and I rarely miss a bass this way. Most other fisherman are using a normal lift hook set; I was losing bass on the way back to the boat doing this and is mainly the reason of why I changed how I am setting the hook when using a 10-inch worm.
Other setup notes I will use a 3/8oz tungsten worm weight. I try not to peg my weight I want the weight to be free to slide up and down my line I will only peg the weight if I am fishing in brush. My go to weights are 5/16oz to 3/8oz, I will move up to a 1/2oz weight when using a technique called stroking the worm.
When you know that bass are still in an area, you may have caught a few of them the day before and have shut off the school or if you have a condition change. Example you are fishing a body of water where they pull water to support power generation and you get out there and they may not be pulling water yet that day. You make a few casts but cannot get the bass to trigger on your worm this is the time to try the stroking technique.
Up size your worm weight to a 1/2oz tungsten weight, and once you are rigged and ready to go make your cast and let the bait settle to the bottom. Give the worm a fast jerk to get your worm to go up and then let it fall back to the bottom on a semi slack line. Watch you line as your bait is falling looking for signs of a bite. Pick up your line and feel if there is a fish there if not repeat the process. Many time this will trigger a few more bites from the reluctant bass in the school before the school shuts off completely and moves”.
In tougher conditions I will switch worms and put the Kriet Tail worm down a rig another 10-inch worm offering from Big Bite called the B2 Worm. The B2 is a long curly tail worm that more represents a 7 ½” curly tail worm but is bigger. This worm is toned down from the Kriet Tail worm and is a perfect go-to when the activity level of the bass is toned down with weather conditions or when fishing in pressured waters.
Most of the time I will fish this on the same setup as I do a Kriet Tail worm 3/8oz tungsten sinker that is not pegged with a 5/0 Gamakatsu offset hook. I will fish this and my Kriet Tail worm on a 7’4” MH Denali N3 (N33743WJ) baitcaster rod that is teamed with a Lew’s BB-1 reel that is spooled with Sunline Sniper line in 16lb to 20lb.
I pick the line option to match the water conditions that I am fishing. If I am fishing around or in rocks, I will opt for the 20lb Sniper but if I am fishing more on weed edges and mixed rock conditions I will many times lean more towards the 16lb Sniper option.
On days when the bite is almost non-existent, I will take a page from the finesse play book, but I will make a few adjustments. I will grab an 8” Big Bite Big Finesse worm and rig it on a 3/16oz or 1/4oz Shaky Head Jig.
I prefer the football Shaky Head option as it makes the Shaky Head stay up-right instead of falling on its side if you use the round headed model. I make mine from the Do It Mold (FBB-6-SLA) and that I way I can beef up the hook a little to compensate for the bigger worm as well.
When it comes to equipment, I will change that up a little to match the worm setup. I will drop down to a 7’ medium action Denali Attax (AC702F) rod that is teamed with a Lew’s BB-1 that is spooled with 30lb Sunline XPlasma Asegai braided line. I will add a Sunline FC leader in 12lb test. Leader length will be in the 10ft to 12ft range. I switch to a braided line for two reasons one, is increased feel. With the limited stretch I get better feel and the second reason is better hook setting power with the bigger worm option.
When we get deep into the summer months give this big worm tactic a try in your waters. At first, I was reluctant to throw that big worm but now I am a believer. A 10-inch Kriet Tail worm plays a big part of my summer tactics now. Just like Jeff asked me “do you throw a 10-inch worm”? I do not see any of my tournament competitors throwing it, so now I make it part of my tournament rotation. I can tell your it has paid big dividends helping me book a couple of wins. It is now your turn, next man up?