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Using Big Worms To Find Big Bass…

I’ve never been a big-bait/big-fish kind of angler. I prefer using finesse tactics to catch numbers of largemouth bass as opposed to holding out for a few quality bites each day. However, that changed two summers ago during a day of fishing with a young tournament angler on the Connecticut River. A very slow morning bass bite pulled us in completely opposite directions, with me downsizing to a 1/8-ounce jig and my young friend pulling out a pack of Zoom Ol’ Monster Worms. I grinned, thinking he had watched one too many southern fishing shows. An hour later, my smile was gone after he boated his fourth 3-pound-plus largemouth while I’d caught one small bass.
While I still don’t universally subscribe to the big-bait/big-fish school of thought, I have made an exception for largemouth bass, and big worms have a place in my tackle bag whenever I’m targeting this species. Of course, “big” is a relative term. In this case, it’s a 10-inch (or larger) traditional worm or a slightly shorter one with a beefy profile, like a Hags Tornado F8 or a Z-Man FATTYZ.
Unlike some big-bass-producing lures, such as large swimbaits, big worms are amazingly adaptable and can be fished just about anywhere you would throw a smaller bait using a variety of techniques. Shallow, deep, and anywhere in between, during several seasons and while using numerous techniques—what’s not to like?

Not a thing, if you ask Edwin Evers. A professional bass angler in Talala, Oklahoma, Evers is an 11-time B.A.S.S. winner, including the 2016 Bassmaster Classic. Asked why he fishes big worms, Evers replied, “Lots of times, especially when fishing in the Northeast, there are so many bass of so many sizes. Big worms help cull out the smaller fish you aren’t looking for. They’re a bait a lot of weekend guys don’t use and something that bass don’t see every day.”
Kaleb Brown, a 16-year old bass tournament angler from Massachusetts who spent last summer winning or placing in almost every adult tournament he fished, is also a firm believer in these worms. “Big worms are one of the most versatile big bass baits out there and I throw them in almost every situation,” said Brown. “They accounted for the majority of the largemouths over five pounds that I caught last summer.”

Where to Fish Big Worms

A great benefit of big worms is they work well in the same places one might throw a plastic bait—along shorelines, on humps, in deep channels, and around structure in 1 to 50 feet of water. The possibilities are endless. Evers fishes them around submergent and emergent vegetation, downed trees, docks, and rocky shorelines. Brown focuses on similar locations, but also targets bridge pylons and drags worms across flats to locate fish. I have often used these worms in the Connecticut River and found rocks, fallen trees, edges of milfoil stands, openings in lily pad beds, and steep drop-offs leading to the main river channel from vegetated shorelines to be productive areas for quality bass.

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