Wacky Rig

The Wacky Rig is a great rig for catching smallmouth bass with soft plastic worms and live nightcrawlers. Hooking the worm in the middle gives the worm a different type of action that helps to entice more strikes. Most people think of the weightless rig when they think of a wacky rig and they are accurate, however, you can use the wacky rig with some other popular rigs as well when you need to get the bait down deeper.

Use an O-Ring

An O-Ring helps prevent the bait from breaking as easy.  You can catch a lot more bass per worm on average with the O-Ring verse no O-Ring.  Get yourself an O-Ring tool and some O-Rings and you’ll save yourself some money.

Best Baits Wacky Rigged for Smallmouth Bass

Wacky Worms

Wacky worms were made for fishing wacky style.  The slow-falling quivering action is awesome for catching smallmouth bass.

Finesse Worms

A lot of finesse worms actually look very good rigged wacky style.  To get it down deeper, you’re going to most likely need to use a drop shot rig.  Twitch it, pause it, twitch it, pause it.  Repeat and hang on.

Soft Plastic Minnows

Soft minnow baits can also be effective rigged wacky style.  Fish them with an erratic jerk and pause retrieve and you’ll get a lot of bites.


Lizards aren’t as popular for fishing wacky style, but they work great with this technique.  Fish them weightless or with a light weight finesse jig and you’ll catch plenty of bass.

Wacky Rigged Live Baits

You can also hook live baits wacky style and have lots of success.


Nightcrawlers look great and work very well when rigged wacky style.  Most of the time, you’re going to use a drop shot rig and then you will hook the worm wacky style.  This will help you get the bait down to the appropriate depths.


Some anglers prefer to hook leeches in the center as opposed to the sucker part.  The action is similar, but you will usually have less bluegill ripping off the end of your leech when you hook it in the middle.


Hooking a minnow in the middle of their back will usually prevent the minnow from falling off the hook while casting it, however, the action is similar if you still fish with it.  If you are moving your bait a lot while fishing with it, we recommend hooking the bait in the mouth, not the back.