The WiredWorm is a plastic worm and can be bounced off the bottom or dragged on the bottom. It can be fished down slope, up slope, directly under the boat either on the bottom or for suspended fish. You can throw it on steep banks or bluffs allowing the bait to drop down the face of the bluff. These are all ways to fish a WiredWorm. And I will discuss these methods in more detail below. But first, I will discuss how not to fish a WiredWorm.
WiredWorms, with their dual open hooks are not designed for heavy cover such as thick brush, big wood, or grass. The open hooks will constantly hang up in the heavy cover causing the angler much grief. Instead use the WiredWorm in areas where fish are related to rock, gravel or underwater structure such as reefs, islands, points and creek channels. It is possible to fish structure with some cover. Reefs with sparse grass or points with scattered brush or stumps are suitable areas for applying WiredWorm techniques.
Working the Bank
Fish often can be found along the banks. Some banks have river rock, chunk rock, brush boulders and otherwise just look good. I like to fish banks that drop off quickly into deep water.
In low light conditions, dawn, dusk or at night, fish sometimes move into very shallow water. Sometimes less than six inches of water. There are two styles of fishing WiredWorms when fishing shallow water. The first is to cast a 450ST-3/16 model WiredWorm. This ight bait tends to enter the water with a very small splash even on a long cast. The other technique is to pitch a 550CT-5/16 or 550ST-5/16 into shallow water. Again the key is to present the WiredWorm with a small splash or no splash at all.
When the fish are holding in deeper water along a bank, the splash is not as critical. The key is to finding the depth the fish are holding and to determine the size of the WiredWorm and the fall rate the fish perfer. At times a slow fall is necessary and thus the 3/16 oz. models should be used. When the fish are very agressive the use either the 1/4 oz. or 5/16 oz. model. If you don't know start with the 1/4 oz. model.
Working a Long Tapering Point
Many western reservoirs and highland type reservoirs have what once were ridges that are now submerged and called underwater points. A classic example of a point will extend a long way into the main body of the lake with a slow tapering along the top as it extends out to deeper water. Usually the sides of the point drop off quickly into deeper water. An ultimate point will have a dog-leg and at the very tip it will drop off quickly. The fish use the top of the point as a feeding ground and suspend off the sides when needing sanctuary.
Finding fish on a point like this is a fairly simple process of elimination. Position your boat along the edge of the point, in deeper water, and cast to the top of the point. Simply allow the WiredWorm to land on the top of the point. Watch your line as it will indicate to you when you bait has landed on the bottom. The moment it lands, your line will get "instant" slack. When that happens simply crank your reel handle a few times and stop. Wait for the instant slack and do it again. Each time as the bait drops into deeper water it will usually take a little longer for the instant slack to occur. Alternate between 1, 2 and 3 cranks of the reel handle which mimics erratic behavior of wounded baitfish. A good rod position for this style of retrieve is between the 2 and 3 o'clock position. If you have no knowledge of the depth the fish are located then start this process in shallow water and move to deeper water. If the fish are present and biting, eventually you will catch a fish. When that happens concentrate on that location on the point.
Working and Underwater Islands and Reefs
I'm not sure if the definition of an island completely underwater is a reef, but I will use the term reef for this section. Sometimes finding unmarked reefs is the most difficult part of fishing reefs. Before you begin to fish a reef, it would be wise to understand how the reef is structured. What is its size, shape and how do its edges drop off into deep water; slow or fast. Start by placing your boat in deeper water near a break. Cast your WiredWorm to the top of the reef and begin to retrieve the bait back to the boat by reeling in line and waiting for the instant slack. Follow the contour of the break eventually making a complete trip around the reef. Depending upon the size of the reef. When you find biting fish, concentrate your effort in that location. Attempt to determine why that fish are located on that part of the reef. They may be a rock pile, bush, steep break or a ditch that is holding the fish.
Walls and Bluffs
Walls and bluffs are very common in western canyon reservoirs and bluffs are present in many highland reservoirs. Fishing a bluff is mostly a vertical presentation. Observing the angle of drop on the bluff will help determine how much you need to retrieve the WiredWorm each time. The steeper the bluff the less you will need to move your bait. The key is to keep the bait in contact with the bluff or in the case of a sheer wall, keep the bait as close to the wall as possible.
For this retrieve it is better to use the rod tip to move the bait. Moving the bait only 5 inches could cause the bait to drop many feet if the bait falls over a ledge. When that happens be aware! That is when many fish will hit the bait. Using a slack line technique is highly productive, because it keeps the lure as close to the bluff as possible. Having taunt like will produce the pendulum affect, not allowing the bait to make contact with the bluff.
When using the slack line technique, it is a must to watch your line. When you lines stops, use your rod tip to check for the pressure bite, (described in this article). If there is no pressure, the bait has landed on a ledge. Drag the WiredWorm with the rod tip until it drops off the ledge and again give it slack so it drops straight down. It is often the case that you will have to pull line off of your reel, the exact opposite of when working a point, reef or flat. Key areas on bluffs are little cuts and points, underwater ledges, and bushes or boulders.
Flats can be describe as large expanses of land without any obvious underwater structure; no points, channels, reefs or breaks. Yet key areas on flats are indeed the points, channels, reefs and breaks. So, what am I talking about? Flats are large expanses of slow tapering bottom. Even the smallest change will be a collection point for bass. So if you can find the channel on the flat, or the mini reef or the subtle point then you may be in luck.
Other things that hold fish on flats are scattered brush, grass, gravel and rock piles. Again finding them is the hard thing. Understand that it will be hard to find the small changes and initially don't bother to look for the structure, instead use and approach that allows you to cover water and find fish. In this case take a WiredWorm like the 550ST-5/16 with it heavy head and make long casts. When the bait hits the bottom use the reel technique to retrieve the bait. Because it is a flat the bait will not change much depth so as you retrieve the WiredWorm, it will seem as the bait is swimming along the bottom. As it bumps the bottom it will move erratically creating attention to itself.
This is a "cover the water" approach and keeping the bait moving is key. A way to describe this technique is "bump and run". It is very much like a using a crankbait. When you catch a fish, concentrate on that area and determine why the fish was present. Does a small channel, bush or rocks exist where you caught the fish? If it is impossible to determine and you catch only one fish in that area don't worry. Bass looking for food cruse a flat and it might have been pure chance that both the bass and your WiredWorm happened along at the same time. Simply keep working the flat.