City Bass are Still Bass

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skyline - central park
Central Park, New York City

It never fails. Break out the cameras and a cold front will blow through. That’s one of the few guarantees in life.

Naturally, that’s what happened when I fished with Joe Sancho in Central Park in New York. The bite started off really slow. Then it got tough. Nothing we were throwing seemed to interest them. But, we had a show to film so we needed to do something. That something turned out to be soaking a jig.

Here’s the deal: bass are bass regardless of where they live. The ponds in Central Park have some cover just like waters everywhere else. There are bushes that overhang the bank, tree limbs that fall into the water and even big pieces of trash that the bass can hide under.

Ike’s Mini Flipping Jigs
Ike’s Mini Flipping Jigs

We decided to target those fish with Ike’s Mini Flipping Jigs. They’re made by Missile Jigs. We used conventional stuff — 3/8-ounce weight in black and blue. We added a small Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw, one that I cut down, to give the jig a little more bulk and add to its realistic appearance.

You’ll notice that with a lot of the lighter techniques I use I cut down my plastics. That’s so they match the size and weight of my lure. It’s easy to do, especially with creature baits. Just snip off a little of the body and maybe shorten the tentacles or arms. A small pair of scissors will work or, in an emergency, you can use your teeth. Be careful with scented baits, though. They can be really nasty in your mouth. Believe me. I know.

Our decision to use Mini Flipping Jigs was no accident. The skirt on those little critters is made up of very fine, thin strings of material. It’s a true custom, fine cut. That skirt will give the lure a little movement even when everything else is perfectly still. That’s really important as you’ll see in the next couple of paragraphs.

Berkley PowerBait Crazy Leg Chigger Craw
Berkley PowerBait Crazy Leg Chigger Craw

Soaking a jig is sort of like dead sticking except that it’s different. What I mean by that is that you throw the jig out, let it fall to the bottom and then count to 10, slowly. What happens is that the skirt material will continue to move ever so slightly even when the body of the jig is sitting still.

After your 10 count has passed move your rod tip just a little — less than an inch — and repeat the process all over again. If that doesn’t produce a bite, you reel everything in and cast to another part of the cover.

This is different from dead sticking in that you don’t let the lure sit motionless. You take advantage of the slight movement the jig’s skirt gives you. That may seem like nothing to us but it makes the jig look alive to the bass.

They’re predators. Even when they’re not actively feeding they’ll attack something that looks alive but vulnerable.

Don’t be afraid to try soaking a jig this year. It’s a really good technique when things get tough.

Lures are tools

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Kayak Combat!

I know you hear all the time that lures are nothing more than tools. The thing is, though, it’s true. And nowhere was that more obvious than in our filming of the .

It was early fall so the bass were in a transition mode. We launched our big BassCat with the Hobie kayak onboard. When we got to a backwater area we dropped the kayak into the water and went on back into a place that wasn’t accessible any other way. It was basically a perfect spot for what we wanted.

There was a mixture of hydrilla and coontail that was still bright green. That mattered because most of the vegetation was starting to turn brown. The green growth — it was slightly submerged — was a magnet for small baitfish. And, in the fall when you find baitfish you find bass.

Molix Lover buzzbait
Molix Lover

We needed a bait that matched the hatch and that we could get down into the grass. But it also had to be a bait that wouldn’t foul on every cast. Our choice was obvious — a Molix Lover.

What made our choice so simple was that the Lover is just about the right size for fall baitfish and, at the same time, its design allows it to work through grass without fouling or hanging globs and strings of grass every time we brought it out of the grass. When that happens you’ve pretty much wasted a cast or, at the very least, not gotten what you should have out of it.

The blade on a Molix Lover is fixed so it kind of works like a windshield wiper. It moves back and forth and as it does that it brushes most of the vegetation off to the side.

That feature was critical because we wanted to cast our lure out, let it fall into the grass, pull it back out with an upward motion and then feather it back down into the grass. You can’t do that with most vibrating jigs. They’ll hang in the grass and once that happens they don’t vibrate properly.

Molix Lover
Molix Lover

Our choice was a 3/8-ounce size in black and blue. We used a Berkley Havoc Rocket Craw as a trailer. I cut it down about an inch in length and removed the pincers. That gave me the size and action I needed.

We were in a kayak so we were close to the water. I wanted a longer rod to make sure I got a solid hookset. My choice was a 7 foot, 6 inch, medium-heavy spinning rod with a fair amount of tip from Abu Garcia. I mounted a 30 size Premier reel to it and spooled it with 15-pound-test Berkley braid. I used a 2 foot fluorocarbon leader. (Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon)

The experience doing this show was phenomenal. Being right down on the water with the fish was something I’ll always treasure. Watch the film a couple of times and you’ll see what I’m talking about and why I’m becoming addicted to kayak fishing.

At the professional level nothing replaces a top-quality full-size bass boat like a BassCat. But for other situations nothing replaces the access to unfished waters and the outdoors experience a Hobie kayak gives you. Try it and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It’s About Changing Direction

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Crankbait - blue backAnybody who has followed my career and what I’ve said about crankbait fishing over the years knows that I always want to change direction with my crankbait as I wind it back to the boat. I can’t remember a time when I threw one out and just brought it back through open water. As far as I’m concerned that’s a wasted cast.

There are a lot of ways to get a change of direction. You can move your rod tip left and right, or up and down. That’ll work. But, the easiest way is to just bang it into something. It’ll deflect naturally and in a way that’ll trigger the predator instinct of a bass. That’s the way I do it whenever I can.

The reasons why I do that are obvious if you watched our latest episode of Going Ike!, Landfill Bass. We were fishing a well-managed landfill lake in the fall that was full of bass. They were stacked up, right outside the bays, cuts and creeks.

It was a classic fall transition situation. The fish were moving from their summer holding areas but weren’t yet into their full, crazy fall feeding patterns. If they had been actively feeding, it would have been a perfect setup for a video show. But they weren’t. So, we had to do something to trigger their predator instinct — make them bite.

I reached for a crankbait. It’s the best reaction bait I know about, especially when there’s rock on the bottom in 5 and 6 feet of water like there was in our landfill lake. The situation was perfect for a crankbait that had a running depth of around 6 feet.

Without a moment’s hesitation I grabbed a Rapala DT6. They run at just the right depth to hit the rocks on the bottom, deflect and change direction. (In case you don’t know: The DT on Rapala crankbaits stand for “dives to.”)

We selected an Ike’s Custom Ink color, blueback herring. It looks like a blueback herring but it also qualifies as a great classic shad-type of color. Better yet, it matched the local forage, size and color perfectly.

We used Abu Garcia composite rods that have a really nice parabolic bend. They’re part of my Signature Series that I designed just for this type of fishing. Check them out if you’re in the market for a new crankin’ stick.

I’m going to be brutal here: I know glass rods are popular for crankbaiting, but I’ll put the composites we offer up against any rod you can buy or make. Our rods will give you the same delay that you need when you’re fishing crankbaits but with the added advantages of being more durable and cost effective. Mount an Abu reel spooled with Berkley line to one and you have as good a combination as can be bought.

What I just described is the same tackle I use to compete on the Bassmaster Elite Series. If there was anything out there that would help me catch more fish, I’d be using it — and I’m not.

Give this technique a try when you’re faced with the same or similar conditions. At the end of the day you’ll be glad you did.

Match the Hatch!

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Mike - South Jersey Slam -3
Click on photo to go to video

The South Jersey Slam was the one film that I would call a true winter fishing trip. We wanted to catch several species. That turned out to be an educational experience.

We caught crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, pickerel and perch on small jerkbaits and grubs. There’s really nothing special about that. They bite pretty good even in cold water — we had temperatures all day in the low 40 degree range — on most conventional lures.

What I really want to talk about are the bass. They’re hard to catch when the water gets that cold in my neighborhood. Fortunately, however, I knew about a trick I learned back in the 1990s during a local tournament to deal with lethargic fish. The ones we caught actually had mud on their bellies from lying on the bottom.

We won that event with a limit of ordinary size bass by fishing small, black jigs. What we learned that tournament day was even more valuable than the win, however. As we were cleaning out the livewell we noticed that the bass were spitting up small, black larva. We had unwittingly matched the hatch perfectly.

We followed the same game plan for the film, and we caught several bass in the 4 to 5 pound class.

Molix nano jig
Molix nano jig

Keep something in mind, however. When I’m talking about small jigs I’m referring to micro sized lures. A 1/8 ounce model is absolutely as big as I go. Smaller than that is usually better. My choice is the Molix Nano Jig. They’re well-made, have a nice skirt on them and employ a fiber weedguard. (Yes, they’re real jigs in all respects.)

Berkley Powerbait Pro Jig
Berkley Powerbait Pro Jig

I use a trailer but I customize it. I start with a Berkley Powerbait Pro Jig Worm. Then I cut it down to about an inch or so in length. After I thread it on the hook I use a pair of scissors to cut a small V in the end of the tail.

Proper tackle and proper technique are critical.

You need to start fishing by making long casts. For that you need a long rod. I designed a 7 foot, 4 inch spinning rod just for this purpose. It’s manufactured by Abu Garcia. I mount a 40 Series Revo spinning reel to it.

If the water’s stained to muddy, I use a light braid with a fluorocarbon leader. If the water’s clear, like it was when we filmed the South Jersey Slam, I go with all fluorocarbon line. I think the fish can sense the presence of braid when the water’s clear. Naturally, I use Trilene braid and Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

I fish micro jigs deadstick style. It’s a great way to fish a lot of lures but I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about it. Deadsticking does not mean no movement. It means natural movement. The way I do it is to hold my rod tip up at a fairly sharp angle and then just hold it there. I let the natural movement of my body, the boat, the wind and the water to create the action.

Dead stick a micro jig the next time you’re faced with tough conditions. It’ll work all over the country. I can say that because I’ve fished it all over the country.

Blade baits aren’t just for deep water

Blade baits aren’t just for deep water thumbnail

Here’s the deal: We’re fishing the Upper Chesapeake Bay in the early winter. It’s tidal, a cold front has blown through, the water’s cold and it’s more stained than usual. Our mission is to find and catch bass on film.

After we tried all the usual baits without success we decided to do something different. We knew the bass were holding tight to hard cover and that

Silver Buddy in gold
Silver Buddy in gold

they were in shallow water. We used a combination of Silver Buddy and Molix Trago blade baits. They’re pretty much the same except for a few refinements on the Trago.

Silver Buddys are simple. They’re stamped out of metal, have a lead back and a couple of treble hooks. They come in two colors — silver and gold. The Trago has a variety of finishes, a head that actually looks like a head and double hooks instead of trebles.

That’s more important than you might first think. Blade baits are notorious for hanging on everything and anything in the water. At best that causes lost fishing time. At worst it gets to be darn expensive. When we fished with the Silver Buddys we clipped the forward looking point off the hooks. We didn’t notice any difference in hooking percentage using two point hooks instead of three point hooks.

Our color choices were simple— gold, or gold, or sometimes we used gold. The prevailing forage is yellow perch from 1 to 2 inches long. Is there a better match than a gold Silver Buddy or a gold Molix Trago?

Molix Trago - gold
Molix Trago – gold

We used 7-foot, medium action Abu Garcia Veritas rods. You don’t need a long rod when you’re making short casts that aren’t much farther than a pitch. Our reels were 7.1:1 Abu Garcia models and we spooled them with 15-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

Our approach was simple and direct. We made short casts, right up against the hard cover. We’d let our lures fall to the bottom and then jerk them up just a little ways. Most of our casts were less than 15 feet and we only snapped the bait up a couple of inches off the bottom. Basically, we stopped as soon as we felt it vibrate so that it could fall back down.

All you have to do is watch the film to see that blade baits are as good in shallow water as they are in deep water. That’s not an opinion or a theory. It’s a fact.

Bass are predators, guys. Throw what looks like something they want to eat and that attracts their attention. DO NOT get stuck in stereotypes, old ideas or things that “everybody” knows. If you do, you’ll be sorry.

Check out Smallmouth Bass on the Chesapeake Bay (Ep. #4)

Size Matters

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Missile Mini Flip Jig

OK, you just saw Fat Head and me skipping a jig in the Salem Canal, a tributary of the Delaware River. It was the only way to catch them. Our day was cold and blustery. The fish were positioned back under the shoreline cover and aggressive doesn’t describe the bite. That’s called tough.

But, we had to make the best of it. Filming, fishing a tournament or fishing on your day off work is all the same when it comes to the weather. You deal with current conditions. Period.

We fished with Missile Jigs’ Mini Flip jigs. There’s a reason for that: It’s the best small skipping jig that’s available when the bite gets tough, and I don’t say that just because I’m a part of their team. It’s the bait I used to win the Bassmaster Elite Series event on the Delaware River.

There are at least four things that make it my go-to lure for the kind of fishing conditions you saw on Salem Canal Revenge.

The first is that it’s small and compact, much smaller and more compact than other jigs of the same weight. Even the largest size, 1/2 ounce, is relatively tiny. When you don’t want to show the bass a huge profile this one’s where it’s at.

That small profile is useful when the local forage is small. If the fish aren’t actively feeding, you don’t want to show them something different, something they haven’t seen over and over again. That’s an immediate turnoff.

Buy Missile Jigs Ike’s Mini Flip Jig

The smaller size also gives the Mini Flip a faster rate of fall for its weight. That helps trigger a reaction bite when the fish are tight to cover. They have no time to figure anything out. They’re predators. They attack.

The last thing — not counting quality construction and an affordable price — that makes this jig so great is that the head design makes it skip easily and with super accuracy. You can put it back where the fish are, and where the other guys aren’t.

No lure can live up to its potential, however, unless you throw it on the right tackle. My choices for the Mini Flip are:

I start with a 7 foot, 2 inch medium-heavy Abu Garcia rod with a soft tip. (It’s one of my Signature Series rods.) The length is critical. I designed this rod specifically for skipping small jigs. I added 2 inches beyond the 7 foot mark because that’ll give you extra distance and accuracy without the rod becoming too long and too heavy.

My reel was an Abu Garcia MGX model, 7:1 gear ratio. I spooled it with Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon, 17-pound-test. I selected that particular line because it’s heavy and has a fast sink rate. That helps the jig get down quickly where it needs to be. That’s a part of triggering a reaction bite.

I’ve mentioned each product I used not because it’s the only good stuff out there. It’s not. But it is what I use, and I only use products that help me catch fish and that I can rely on day after day under tough conditions.

Yes, I Still Fish Spinnerbaits!

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As you can see from watching the Delaware River episode of Going Ike! most of the day was tough but once we figured out that we should be throwing spinnerbaits we ended up getting on them. There’s a lesson in that.

You don’t hear or see much about them these days but spinnerbaits will still catch bass when conditions are right. We proved that. That’s why I always keep a collection of them in my boat. There are times when nothing else works quite the same.

Like most of my tackle, though, I select my spinnerbaits carefully. First of all, I always carry Molix brand lures. They’re made to withstand the demands of Ike style fishing. (No one ever accused me of being gentle.) And, they come in a wide variety of sizes, weights and with several blade combinations.

You can purchase them at Tackle Warehouse. They have them in stock. If they don’t show what you want on their website give them a call. Tackle Warehouse is a first-class operation. They’ll help you in any way they can.

And that brings me to what I consider the most important thing about a spinnerbait — the blades. I carry a ton of Colorado, Willow leaf and Indiana sizes and colors. That’s critical. If you can’t customize your bait, you can’t fish the moment. You can get all the blades you’ll ever need from Tackle Warehouse.

My Colorado blades are for dirty or stained water, or when I’m fishing in deep water near the bottom. I want the hard thump they give my bait. I’ll put Willow leafs on when I want flash, like when the water’s clear and it’s sunny. The Indiana’s are in my box in case I want some thump and some flash at the same time. I throw single blades and double blades.

There are three basic ways to fish a spinnerbait, and then there’s a fourth that’s the best.

Molix Spinnerbaits
Shop for Molix Spinnerbaits at Tackle Warehouse

You can throw them out and wind them back. That’s a basic retrieve that’ll work under most conditions when the bass are feeding. There’s nothing wrong with fishing one like that. Jimmy Houston, Hank Parker, Roland Martin and a bunch of other guys put together darn good careers doing it.

You can also let them fall to the bottom and slow roll them back. That’s good when the bass are hugging the bottom or when you’re fishing after dark. You’ll want a Colorado blade on most of the time when you’re slow rolling.

The third way is to burn them shallow just under the surface when the water is clear and there’s plenty of light. This is a killer technique when conditions are right and the bass are actively feeding.

But, the best way to bring a spinnerbait back to the boat is to snap or jerk your wrist as you wind it in. This forces the spinnerbait to change directions slightly and, at the same time, it makes the blades clack and bang together. That’s a dynamite combination of things that bass find hard to resist.

This is something that Kevin VanDam has done for years but that he doesn’t talk about much. Check out some video of him fishing a spinnerbait. Ignore the fish he’s catching and the bait he’s throwing. Concentrate on his wrist. You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

(I’m giving Kevin some ink because if you watched the last episode of Ike Live! you know he’s my newest best friend. Ha!)

If you’re serious about catching more bass put a handful of Molix spinnerbaits in your boat, and cover them over with a bunch of different sizes, styles and colors of blades. There’ll come a time when you’re glad you did.

The Umbrella Rig

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Mike Iaconelli
Mike Iaconelli

If you’re even half-serious about bass fishing you should learn to fish the umbrella rig. It’s somewhat controversial but in the end it’s a real fish catcher, controversy or not.

However, let me give you a warning before we go any further. Some tournaments allow it, some don’t. And, the number of hooks that you’re allowed to have on one rig or rod varies widely from one state to the next. Make sure you know the rules before you start throwing it.

Another thing: Right now, on Going Ike! I’m fishing one with Britt Myers. Check it out if you want to see some real action.

Shane's Rig
Shane’s Rig

With that out of the way let’s get started.

The umbrella rig is at its best in the early spring and in the late fall. That’s when bass are seriously relating to baitfish, and no lure or rig on the planet mimics a ball of baitfish better than an umbrella rig. It’s a crazy looking thing with its mass of wire and turning blades but it absolutely mesmerizes bass when it’s rigged properly.

Proper rigging means starting with the right harness. My choice is a Shane’s Rig.   (I’m not sponsored by them. Nevertheless, it’s the best one I’ve ever used.) I like the ones that can be rigged with anywhere between five and 10 lures.

VMC Darter Head Jig
VMC Darter Head Jig

My favorite head is a VMC Darter Head, and I don’t worry much about the color. I’m partial to the 1/8-ounce weight but at times I will go up to 1/4 ounce. I rig everything except the one in the center with a small Berkley HAVOC Beat Shad. I always pick one that looks like the local shad — white, gray, smoke, ghost or whatever.

Berkley HAVOC Beat Shad
Berkley HAVOC Beat Shad

On the center head I use a Berkley PowerBait Hollow Body usually in a Hitch color. I use this bigger bait, and in a different color, because I want to create a target for the bass. If they’re moving in on the center lure, they’re more likely to grab an outside lure during an attack, a feeding frenzy or just out of desperation

Berkley Powerbait Hollow Belly
Berkley Powerbait Hollow Belly

Note: My tackle does not include a heavy saltwater rod and reel and I’m not using rope for my fishing line. That is totally unnecessary. Don’t overdo your tackle. Use medium-heavy bass tackle and you’ll do just fine with an umbrella rig.

Abu Garcia Ike Power Series Casting Rods
Abu Garcia Ike Power Series Casting Rods

The only thing you do when you fish an umbrella rig is throw it out and wind it back. Vary your depth in the water column until you find them. I suggest you hang on after that.

Nothing else need be said.

Mike Iaconnelli
Mike Iaconnelli





Umbrella Rig Fishing with Britt Myers Recap Bass Fishing Video



Mike Iaconelli, Gerald Swindle, Adrian Avena
Mike Iaconelli, Gerald Swindle, Adrian Avena


Ike, Swindle, Avena Talk about A-rig or Umbrella Rig Bass Fishing Video




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Jiggin’ Spoons

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Mike Iaconelli
Mike Iaconelli

I’ve been out in San Diego, California, doing some saltwater fishing for my new TV show. We’ve been using jigging spoons, but in two ways besides just letting them fall to the bottom and then jerking them up or snapping them at a predetermined depth. So, for this blog the term jigging spoon is a little misleading.

Early in the morning when the baitfish are up on top we’ve been casting them out and holding the rod tip real high as we cranked them back with an occasional twitch of the rod tip. They work really well for that kind of fishing.

Later in the day, when the sun was up higher, the baitfish would drop down and so would the fish that were holding under them. When that happened we’d let our spoons drop down to where the baitfish were — one foot per second — and then bring them back the same way except that we’d hold our rod tips lower to help keep our spoons down.

Molix Mike Iaconelli Lover Spoon
Molix Mike Iaconelli Lover Spoon

Finally, in the middle of the afternoon when the sun was high and it was getting hot, we fished them in a more traditional manner, snapping them up off the bottom.

A lot of anglers think only of jigging spoons as jigging lures. But they are much more than that. They’ll do the exact same thing in freshwater for you that they did for us in saltwater. All you have to do is pull them shallow and horizontal early, pull them deeper and horizontal in the late morning and pop them off the bottom in the afternoon.

I’ve done everything I’m describing to you here in Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments. It will work for you just like it has worked for me.

My choice for a jigging spoon is the Molix Mike Iaconelli Lover Spoon. My usual preference is the 3/4-ounce size. It’ll cast a mile. It’s as tough as a 10 penny nail, and it looks like the real thing. But, good as it is right out of the package, I make two modifications to it that make it even better.

The double hook is tucked tight to the body
Molix Mike Iaconelli Lover Spoon

First, I replace the back treble with a feathered one. (I don’t mess with the two prong front hook.) I don’t really know why but this makes it more effective. And, I never tie directly to the lure. I always add a split ring or a snap to the line tie. That gives it just a little more action, especially when it’s moving horizontally.

VMC X-Rap Tail Treble Hook
VMC X-Rap Tail Treble Hook

My Lover spoon comes in 5 colors. The best color is the one that most closely resembles the local forge where you’re fishing. This is a reaction lure but it needs to look natural. Color is a big part of looking natural.

Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak
Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak

PS: If you want to have as much fun with a spoon as I had out in California, fish one out of a  Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak. You’ll be right down at the fish’s level. There’s nothing better than that.



Watch Mike fish the jigging spoon in San Diego:

Iaconelli in San Diego

Going Ike Episode 1: Kayak Fishing For Yellowtail In San Diego

And here Mike talk about the jigging spoon:

Going Ike - Season three, Episode 1, Recap
Going Ike – Season three, Episode 1, Recap


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I Fish the Neko Rig

I Fish the Neko Rig thumbnail
Mike Iaconelli
Mike Iaconelli
Last week at the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods I fished the Neko rig. I didn’t finish all that high but I did catch several bass that I wouldn’t have caught any other way. So, I thought it was worth sharing.
Neko rig
Neko rig

The Neko rig is a super successful technique because it mimics the real thing. When it’s fished right it kind of pecks along the bottom. That’s exactly what real baitfish do when they’re feeding. They put their tails up and then they just peck, peck, peck as they move across the bottom eating whatever they can find. Every now and then you’ll see a puff of mud or sediment kicked up by their actions.

The Neko rig is a simple thing to put together and doesn’t cost much, either. I start with my hook selection. I always use a VMC Ike Approved Neko hook, either with a weedguard or without one depending upon the conditions. They come in a half-dozen sizes. Use the one you want. I go with a #1 or a #2 about 90 percent of the time.

VMC Ike Approved Neko Hook
VMC Ike Approved Neko Hook

As far as baits are concerned you can use any straight tail worm or any soft stickbait. I’m partial to soft stickbaits.

They perform better when they’re pecking, or at least it looks that way to me. At Lake Hartwell I used a Berkley Powerbait Maxscent The General Worm. It’s a great pick when you want something to look natural and that has lots and lots of scent. I think scent is really important with a Neko rig.

VMC Ike Approved Weedless Neko Hook
VMC Ike Approved Weedless Neko Hook

I rig my hook to the plastic with a Wacky Ring from VMC. I like the clear ones because I don’t think the black ones look right with certain colors. I haven’t really tested my thinking on that a lot but it just doesn’t look right sometimes, and when something doesn’t look right I don’t fish with it. It’s a mental thing, but it matters.

I put the hook about three-quarters of the way down the worm near the weight. I always make sure that the point of the hook is up. I want an easy and efficient hookset when a fish takes my bait.

VMC Half Moon Wacky Weight
VMC Half Moon Wacky Weight

And speaking of weight, I use VMC Half Moon Wacky Weights. They fit right into the fat end of my plastic — that’ll make the rig look and act more natural — and they’re ribbed so that they don’t fall out on every other cast. In shallow water I like the 1/32 ounce model. When the water’s a little deeper I go with a 1/16 ounce weight.

Once you’re rigged up, it’s time to pick a rod and reel. I fish my Neko rigs with a 7 foot, 2 inch, medium action “Ike” Finesse Series Spinning Rod from Abu Garcia. My reel is a 20 or 30 size model from Abu Garcia. I like the REVO Rocket because of its fast retrieve speed. Truthfully, though, any model they make will get the job done. They’ve been making quality reels forever.

Abu Garcia Ike Finesse Series Spinning Rods
Abu Garcia Ike Finesse Series Spinning Rods

You can spool up with either straight fluorocarbon or with braid as your main line and fluorocarbon as your leader. I think the braid to fluorocarbon gives you better performance. I start that combination with 10 or 15-pound-test Berkley Trilene Professional Grade Braid. My. leader is usually 6 or 8-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Line.

Once you’ve got everything together all you have to do is cast it out, let it fall to the bottom and shake your rod tip for a minute or two. Then, reel it in a ways and do the same thing over again.
Always keep your rig on a semi-tight line and watch carefully as it falls. Aggressive bass will grab it before it hits the bottom.

The Neko rig is easy to build, inexpensive to fish and it catches them. What’s not to like about that?________________________________________

Learn more here:

Hottest finesse technique with the VMC® Neko Hook & Neko Half Moon Weight
Hottest finesse technique with the VMC® Neko Hook & Neko Half Moon Weight










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