Whenever tournament pros get together there is common agreement that the master of fishing a plastic worm is Harold Allen.  Harold turned worm fishing into nearly a half million dollars in prize money on the BASS and FLW tournament trails. 

Never having been very good at worm fishing, I sat down with Harold in his bass boat to receive some lessons.  It comes in five parts. 

It is important to get a sense of feel with a plastic worm in order to be successful.  To get the optimum feel Harold recommends a graphite rod of 6 to 7 feet in length.  It should be a medium to medium heavy one.  He finds the heavy style rod aids in setting the hook.  With a Texas style rig the point must not only go through the fish’s jaw but also through the plastic worm.

Harold recommends that before setting the hook drop the rod and take up any slack line.  “It pays to be on your toes,” said Allen, “as far as feeling the strike.” 

Plastic worms can be rigged either Texas style or Carolina rigged.  Both can be used with or without a weight.  Allen likes the lighter rig since the twitching in shallow water makes the lure appear more life like. 

For color selection Harold believes you should stick to four or five basics.  He uses the same basics everywhere he travels on tour.  It has resulted in his qualifying for 15 BASS Master Classics. 

“Too many times people get caught up in color and shades,” explains Allen.  “In low water conditions I like a solid color that is darker,” mentions the pro.  “In water with a lot of clarity, I use worms that are a bit more transparent.” 

Harold’s theory in color selection is that in clear water one does not get that vivid contrast that might spook fish.  If the worm is somewhat transparent it does not project a distinct silhouette on the bottom to scare the fish.  Allen uses June Bug, Red Bug, and pumpkinseed colors. 

As for line size Allen recommends that one let the conditions dictate the choice.  He uses a camouflage line.  The size is dictated by water depth, clarity and the amount of cover that is around where his fish are located.  Normally he prefers a 14-pound test. 

Allen’s final tip may be his most important one.  “When you think you are fishing slowly, slow down.”  He believes that one cannot fish a worm too slowly.  When one fishes a worm slowly, he begins to feel things that might be missed with faster retrieves.  “If you get to the point where you cannot feel the worm,” says Allen, “then go to a little bit more of a weight.”  He is quick to add that one should add just enough weight to be able to feel the worm. 

Working a worm requires that one use short strokes of a foot or two at a time.  This attracts the attention of less aggressive fish that would not move very far to strike. 

To Allen the plastic worm is the most versatile type of artificial lure.  You can work in it all types of conditions and any body of water.  It can be customized with a slip sinker.  Most importantly it is inexpensive.  The cost of some hooks, weights and worms will be about the same as a single crankbait. 

Fishing a worm has helped Harold to build a lifetime career in professional fishing.  More than a few big bass have been taken by Allen using these simple tips.



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  1. Pingback: Bass Fishing Tips For Beginner – What Is Bass Fishing? | Bass Fishing Tips Today

  2. Im fishing a 10 curly tail worm on my bait caster , i keep on getting my line twisted bad how do i fix this problem ?

    • Jerry, If you are in a boat and moving from place to place, you can let your line play out behind you and it will untwist by itself. Another thing that I find helpful is to spray my line on the reel with “Reel Magic”. It is a lubricant that seems to cause line to relax and not twist as much. There is also one of the Pure Fishing Lines (I can’t think of which one right now) that has no memory and resists twisting. You might check at your local bait shop.

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