Check the Trash Barrels

After a good day on the lake, your putting everything in the right place, making sure the boat is secure. A part of my end of trip ritual was gathering up all the used or discarded soft plastic worms, crawdads, tubes, etc and depositing them in one of the trash barrels along the launch ramp.

If all those “deceased” plastics mixed in with other trash could talk they could tell the tale of what was and what not caught fish that day. I never thought about when I looked into the trash cans, but maybe you could get a pretty good guess on what the favorite color or style was, or wasn’t.

“I ‘m catching all my fish on a grape Strike King Rage worm,” shared one angler as others gathered around in the parking lot to admire his limit catch.
Tackle Tips listed the most influential soft plastic worms in 2019. Number 1 was the original Creme Wiggler, created by Nick and Cosma Creme, who many call the creator of plastic worms.

That non-descript worm has been changed or copied by other innovative anglers or entrepreneurs into multiple different styles. Now we have short worms, long worms. Worms with split tails, curly tails, spade tails. There are salt impregnated, garlic flavored, crawdad, minnow and other flavors to tempt a bass. Plastic worms have colors such as Mossy Pumpkin, Junebug, Motoroil and Watermelon, to name just a few. Add glitter to the soft plastic or maybe make the tail a different color than the main worm body. Zoom has an active color list of 165 different colors, then another list of 300 plus special order colors.

Popular brand names are Zoom, Strike King, Net Bait, Robo Worm, Missile Baits, Bass Pro Shops Jackall Rhythm Wave, Keitech, Yum, Rage Tail, Yamamoto, Double Z, Mr. Twister, Bass Assassin, Gene Larew, Senkos, Manns, Culprit, Mr. Twister, 6th Sense, Missile Baits … to mention a few.

“I'm a diehard Zoom fan,” said one angler. "So far this year my ol’ faithful Zoom Trick Worms have been getting hits on pink, black and June Bug colors. But I will never leave the dock without a few packs of Robo worms. My Robo Worms never let me down!”

On Toledo Bend a Louisiana angler said he relies on Mann's 6" Jelly Worm, Black/Blue Culprit Ribbontails, the Mr. Twister 6" Phenom, Zoom Critter Craw, and Zoom U Tail worms. “I've always liked grape, purple, and blue shades. The Robo Worm color, Folkstead Special, has been good for a few seasons. I also like the Rage Menace in the summer craw color fished Texas style.”

Since the beginning plastic worm industry, there are soft plastic grubs, creature baits, and swim baits in various sizes and colors. I’ve heard bass anglers say that if they could only have one bait to fish with, it would be the plastic worm.

Color can be important for the fishing conditions (water clarity, shallow/deep, whether the weather is sunny or overcast, etc.). I’ve fished with a guide who said the color caught more fishermen than the fish. He believed that any color or style can catch fish. How you fish it is more important. Have confidence in the bait.

I drew a partner in a tournament that literally hadn’t fished much before. By midday he was putting it on me. My ego was taking a big hit. He ran out of the meager amount of plastic worms he brought with him and asked if he could borrow one or two of my worms. Sure. I gave him this bright orange worm thinking he won’t catch anything with it, maybe give me a chance to catchup. That worm must have been 10 inches long.

Well, yep he did, caught several. I have never caught any fish with that worm. I think the main necessity in choosing a worm is not what color or shape, but something you have confidence in. I never had confidence in that orange worm.

I have in my worm collection Tequila Sunrise, grape, black/blue tail, 4 to 10 inch worms that are my confidence baits. But if you have gone through a really tough day, check out the trash barrels when you leave. The offerings that are mangled the most might be worm colors and styles to purchase before your next trip, although ... maybe anglers were discarding worms that he or she did not have any faith in. Wait...did I see an orange worm in there? You just don’t know. What's your worm brand and color?


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Fishing Report from TPWD (Jul. 10)

GOOD. Water stained; 86 degrees; full pool. Fishing patterns are holding steady. Striper are fair to good in 30-70 feet of water. Live bait is still the most consistent way to put fish in the boat, but some can be caught using white, silver or chartreuse spoons. Sand bass are slow in 20-30 feet of water with live shad or small slabs and jigs in white, or silver. Catfish are fair on cut shad in 5-20 feet of water. Water clarity is 4-12 feet of visibility. Report by TJ Ranft, Ranft Guide Service. Bass are tough in 20-35 feet of water on Texas rigged worms, deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigs, dropshots, and shaky heads. Report by JK Outdoors Bass Fishing Guide.

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