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Yamaha Pro Terry Scroggins Always Has Big Plastic Worms Ready

Posted 5/19/2014

Bass May Hit These Lures When They Won’t Touch Anything Else

Terry Scroggins has a storage box on his boat filled with more than a dozen different styles of fishing rods, just like every other tournament angler, but what sets him apart is that several of his rods are always rigged with big, oversized plastic worms. The Yamaha Pro fishes 10-inch plastic worms year-round, something few of the other pros do.

“I’ve been fishing big worms like this my entire professional career, and I know there are times bass will hit a big worm when they won’t touch anything else,” notes Scroggins, whose single best day with the lure included five bass weighing 44 pounds, four ounces.

“I think the best way to fish big worms is to work them very slowly, which may be the reason bass hit them so well. It’s probably also the reason more pros don’t fish them, because it’s hard to make yourself fish slow in tournament competition.”

Scroggins does the majority of his worm fishing on offshore structure, often 20 to 25 feet deep, where he finds ridges, humps, and even rockpiles and brush. The day he caught the 44-4, he was targeting an underwater roadbed in 23 feet of water.

“I rig my 10-inch worms Texas style to make them weedless,” explains the Yamaha Pro, “and use slip sinkers ranging from 5/16 to 1/2 ounce, depending on the water depth. There are a lot of 10-inch worms on the market, but I prefer a ribbon tail style that floats.

“When I make a cast and let the worm sink to the bottom, the tail will not only stand up, it will also sway and even swim in the current. It really looks alive, and I can easily imagine bass swimming up to look at it.”

On his initial cast, Scroggins crawls the worm up to the edge of the cover he’s fishing, and when he feels the sinker touch it, he stops reeling and just lets the worm sit there motionless for as long as 30 seconds. Then he pops his rod once to make the worm jump, then lets it sit motionless 10 more seconds before reeling in for another cast.

“On more than one occasion, I have caught more than a hundred bass a day doing this,” he explains. “During a Bassmaster® Elite tournament on Lake Wheeler in Alabama several years ago, I actually caught about a hundred bass a day on three of the four days using a 10-inch plastic worm. I started the event fishing a jig because I could fish it faster, but after the bass stopped hitting it, I changed to the big worm, and it was as if the bass had never seen a lure like that before.”

The Yamaha Pro also likes to fish big worms in current, always casting upstream above his target and slightly across the current so the water can wash the lure down naturally. What’s important here is keeping a semi-tight line to maintain better control over the lure. 

In standing timber, Scroggins will start his retrieve before the worm falls completely to the bottom, slowly swimming the lure through the trees. When the worm hits a tree limb, he lets it sink several feet in hopes of generating a reflex strike before resuming his retrieve.

“Most of the time, I actually use a Carolina rig with a shorter six-inch plastic worm to find bass,” continues the Yamaha Pro, “because I can fish it so much faster and cover more water. If I get two or three strikes with it, then I’ll start using the larger worm and slow down.

“There is a lot of difference between a six-inch worm and a 10-inch worm. The larger worm naturally has a larger profile in the water, and when it is standing up on the bottom with its tail waving in the current, it certainly is much more attractive to bass, especially bigger fish.

“I’ve been fishing these 10-inch worms for more than a decade now, and I don’t hesitate to throw them in the spring, summer, and autumn. Honestly, I’ve never been to a largemouth bass lake where they didn’t catch fish.”