Paddle Tail Worms

Paddle Tail Worms are great baits for smallmouth bass.  Hop them along the bottom or fish them like a jerkbait and you can do really well with them.

Best Techniques

Jerkbait Retrieve

Paddle tail worms work great on a jerkbait retrieve.  Use a swimbait hook, Texas rig or shaky head jig and work the bait along with an erratic jerk and pause retrieve.  Most of your bites will come on the pause.

Hop Them Along the Bottom

Paddle tail worms look good when hopped along the bottom as well.  Use your favorite soft plastic bait rig and slowly work these worms along the bottom.  Many of the paddle tail worms look good on a shaky head jig as their tails will lift up off the bottom because of the style of the jig.

Go Vertical

Paddle tail worms look great when fishing them vertical in deeper water.  Fish them suspended or on the bottom and you’ll get some bass bites from summer through fall.

Best Rigs for Paddle Tail Worms

Carolina Rig

Carolina rigs are usually used for targeting smallmouth bass in deeper water.  Hop or crawl your favorite paddle tail worm over some rocks and you’ll find some hungry smallmouth bass.

Drop Shot Rig

The drop shot rig works great with some of those smaller, more finesse-sized paddle tail worms.

Florida / Texas Rig

The Texas rig is a great rig for most of the paddle tail worms on the market.


The smaller jigheads work fine with the smaller paddle tail worms, but if you are upsizing your smallmouth bass, try using a longer shank jighead with your bait.

Stand Up Jighead

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.

Swimbait Hook

The swimbait hook gives the bait a gliding action as you jerk the bait and then let it fall.  Combine this technique with a nice paddle tail worm and you’ll catch some smallmouth bass.