The bass fishing world already knows how much Terry Scroggins likes to fish oversized 10-inch plastic worms during the summer months, but few realize the Yamaha Pro considers these his favorite go-to lures for spring spawning bass, too.
“The 10-inch ribbon tail worm is just a good, all-around big fish lure, and this time of year, you’re definitely going to catch some big bass with it,” notes Scroggins. “If bass are spawning in slightly deeper water four to five feet deep where you can’t see them, there probably isn’t a more effective lure to use.
“I know that years ago we all fished six- or seven-inch plastic worms, and no one used anything much larger, but today I hardly even own any worms shorter than 10 inches, unless they’re special finesse worms.”
As spring progresses and water continually gets warmer, bass gradually start spawning in deeper water. In early spring, the very first fish to spawn may come into water only a foot deep to build their nests, but by April and May they will frequently be spawning in water as deep as six feet and not visible to an angler. Rather than preparing special nests on the bottom, these bass often spawn on large roots, tree limbs, or rocks, which is another reason Scroggins prefers his big worm
“I Texas-rig the worm weedless with a heavy 5/0 hook so the worm slides through cover without any problems,” explains the Yamaha Pro. “The real key is fishing very slowly and persistently because it usually takes multiple casts to generate a strike.
“For example, if I’m fishing lily pad roots, which are a favorite place for spawning bass in many lakes, I’ll cast my worm well beyond the pads, crank it to within four or five feet, then let it sink. A 10-inch worm will glide and swim to the bottom, and if I don’t get a strike immediately, I’ll let it sit motionless for 15 to 20 seconds, then barely hop it around the roots.
“Then, I’ll let it sit motionless for another 15 or 20 seconds before I move it again, so it may take two minutes for me to complete a cast like this. On a lily pad root, which may be as big as six inches in diameter, the bass will only use a very small portion of it where they lay their eggs, and this is the area I’m trying to cross with my worm.”
Scroggins uses the same slow presentation when he’s fishing the edges of hydrilla and milfoil, standing timber, or mussel shell beds, all of which are also favorite bass spawning locations. Because he’s always fishing some type of cover and looking for larger fish, he uses 20-pound fluorocarbon, a slightly heavier 3/8-ounce pegged sinker, and a strong rod.
“I’m convinced the larger size of the worm offers several advantages over smaller worms,” continues Scroggins. “It certainly gets the attention of the fish, because even though I’m moving it very slowly, it still moves more water. At the same time, it probably appears more threatening, too, so the bass hit it to protect their nests. Finally, because I am making multiple casts to the same spot, the bass may just get aggravated at seeing a large creature continually moving around them, so they bite just to get rid of it.
“A lot of bass fishermen consider big 10-inch plastic worms only for their summer fishing, but I know from years of experience how effective they can be during the spawning season right now,” concludes the Yamaha Pro. “This is the best time of the year to catch a really big bass, and a big worm could hardly be easier to use.
“The major difference between fishing a 10-inch plastic worm now and in the summer is to remember to move it very, very slowly when you’re after spawning bass, and to just let the bass come to you.” Y