Chunk Worms

Chunk worms have gotten very popular for smallies.  The Ned rig has made them one of the most popular action baits on the market.  However, you don’t need the fancier Ned rig jighead and the more expensive Ned worms to catch smallmouth bass.  Take any of your extra soft plastic worms that you would normally use for largemouth bass and cut off a 3.5 to 4.5″ inch piece of worm.  Rig it on a jighead and you’re set to go.

Best Techniques

Hop Them Along the Bottom

Chunk worms look great when hopped along the bottom.  Use a lighter jighead, small Texas rig or a drop shot rig and just hop them along the bottom with some pauses mixed in.

Slowly Falling Through the Water Column

These 3.5 to 4″ worm chunks look good fished wacky style with a slow fall through the water column. Fish them weightless or use a very light weight to make them fall a little bit faster. Both ways will work well.

Fish Them Weightless

Most anglers will be fishing these baits on the bottom, however, they work great on a weightless rig when smallmouth bass are in the shallows.  It is one of the better baits to use for smallies in the springtime once they invade the shallows.

Go Vertical

While most anglers won’t fish these chunk worms vertically, they really should consider doing it because it is very effective.  There is something about these short, but thicker worms that just drive smallmouth bass crazy when fished vertical over deeper water.  It’s an awesome summer through early fall presentation.

Best Rigs for Chunk Worms

Carolina Rig

Carolina rigs work well with a chunk worm.  Most anglers would fish deeper with this rig, but you can fish shallower too.  Hop the bait along slowly and expect to get most of your bites on the pause.


The smaller jigheads work fine with the smaller chunk worms, however, you’re going to want to go with a bigger jighead with the thicker chunk worms.  A longer shank jighead will also help you get better hooksets on bass that bite the back half of the bait.

Ned Rig

The Ned rig jigheads are the best for fishing the thicker chunk worms.  The regular Ned jigheads and the weedless ones are both awesome ways to fish the chunk worms.

Stand Up Jighead

The stand up jighead is another great rig for fishing with chunk worms.  The stand up jig allows you to keep the bait up off the bottom when you pause the bait.  It’s very appealing and helps draw a lot of strikes.

Wacky Weedless Jighead

This jighead is made for those thicker wacky worms and it also works great with the smaller version baits called chunk worms.  Fish is slowly through the water column around all types of cover and you’ll catch plenty of smallmouth bass.