Soft plastic presentations for bass have become incredibly popular and are now the go-to lures for catching the species. There are so many companies and designs to choose from that it can be pretty overwhelming.
Our resident guru, former fishing guide Shawn Chapin, breaks down the top seven best worms for bass.
While many designs appear almost identical, some still shine above others.
In this article we are going to list our picks for the best worms for bass and soft plastics on the market today, and tell you how to use them to catch more fish and bigger specimens! Put on some attractant and you’ll be amazed by how well these work.
The 5 best worms for bass – reviewed
- Berkley Powerbait 10” Power Worm
- Keitech Mad Wag Slim Worm
- Zoom Big Dead Ringer Worm
- Big Bite Baits Trick Stick
- Missile Baits Bomb Shot
- Gary Yamamoto Senko Worm
- XFISHMAN Senko Pack
For almost 20 years Berkley has been making a name for itself in the fishing world, not only in bass fishing but in other species specific angling like walleye as well.
The Berkley Power Worm is a bass angling staple and has caught countless fish in its history.
The ribbon tail on the Power Worm has a great swimming action on the fall and even when twitched.
Normally this worm would be rigged “Texas style” (see at the end of the article for descriptions of this and other rigging techniques) and it is most productive fished that way.
These are great for sliding through and around cover with very low chance of snagging. The large profile makes the lire stand out too. There should be a bag of Power Worms in everyone’s boat or tackle box.
The larger profile also helps weed out smaller fish and targets larger ones, and the Powerbait scent is great for making fish hold on longer. That’s why this is one of our best worms for bass.
The Mad Wag is great for tough fishing conditions when you need more of a finesse approach with a smaller-profiled lure.
Molded with a ribbed body design to give off more vibration and a thick ribbon tail for great action and vibration in the water, the Mad Wag Slim Worm carries the same punch of larger worms all while keeping it in a small finesse package.
Ideal for highly pressured fish scenarios and great for using either a Texas or Carolina style rigging.
This bait also has some serious wiggle action thanks to the extra thick tail and triggers some explosive strikes.
The Big Dead Ringer worm is an excellent choice whenever you want a but wide curlytail presentation.
Just looking at the bait one thing that stands out is the body to tail proportions, with a thick stocky body and a long and wide curly tail.
This thing is sure to pump out a ton of vibration on the fall, or even swum or crept along the bottom.
The rings also aid in vibration. This thing is great Texas rigged or Carolina rigged, and works exceptionally well when punched through heavy subsurface vegetation.
The wide and long curly tail also slows down the bait considerably on the fall, which can be absolutely key in times where the fish may be less active, and forces the angler to fish slower in those conditions.
The Trick Stick can be summed up as simplicity at its best. These are simple yet extremely effective. They are also extremely affordable, giving the angler 25 baits per pack for the same price as other brands in which you get less than half.
These baits are your standard but very popular senko or tiki stick design and work great in a wacky rig configuration, Texas rigged, Carolina Rigged and last but not least, using for Dropshot fishing which is my personal favorite.
The Trick Stick is also available in a wide variety of colors and is a bait that hammers fish year round and should be something you always have within reach as one of the best worms for bass.
This is a very unique design in the soft plastic worm world and was made specifically for drop shot and finesse fishing.
The Bomb Shot has a wide paddled tail connected to a thin stalk that undulates and flaps to the slightest movement, current or wave action, you cannot stop this bait from wiggling, shimmying or quivering.
It features a highly ribbed body for further vibration, but with a solid head for rigging to a single hook and giving it a solid anchor point.
The bait is 4 inches in length and comes in a wide variety of colors. It also works extremely well Carolina rigged.
A bait doesn’t get to be a top seller on Amazon if it doesn’t work. The Gary Yamamoto Senko worm is not the toughest bait on the market or the cheapest, but it is arguable the most effective senko style worm available.
These baits have better action and they are softer than other senko worms and the fish bite them and hang on. Bass tend to swallow these baits down deep they are so effective – make sure you set the hook early to avoid this.
The 5” is a good choice for most bass fishing situations. They come in a variety of colkors, but some good choices are green pumpkin, black flake and pearl gold.
This 30-pack of senkos is a good choice to have in your tackle bag when the fishing is on. The pack comes with senkos in five different colors: Lemon Yellow, Cinnamon, Watermelon, Pearl White and Chartreuse/Pumpkin.
As a cheaper bait, it always pays to coat these in your favourite scent for bass before using them to increase your catch rate.
What Makes Soft Plastic Worms So Great?
Soft plastics are great for a variety of reasons. They are great for fishing heavy cover where other baits would snag on tree limbs, pylons, stumps, or weeds. And on a per-lure basis they are far cheaper than crankbaits and jerkbaits (unless you make your own lures with kits or from scratch) so for that reason alone, they are often an angler’s first choice in heavy structure.
They are also incredibly lifelike in their action to a fish they look very close to the live bait they are chasing.
Companies also add additives like scent and salt to increase the likelihood of bites and bass will hold on longer if it tastes good (of course you can also add your own bass attractant).
You don’t need to be an expert to fish effectively with soft plastics for bass (check out our bass fishing tips for beginners if you are new to the game) as this style of fishing is relatively easy.
And one final reason that these lures are so great, is they are plentiful in types, colors and designs, from weird alien looking to natural!
Ways to Rig Soft Plastic Worms:
There are several ways to rig soft plastic worms for bass fishing, and certain rigging methods really shine at certain types of fishing.
Let’s take a look at different ways you can rig worms and what situations they work best in.
Texas Rigging soft plastics is probably the most common way bass anglers fish. Using a wide-gap single hook and a tungsten or lead bullet sinker.
This rig is essentially snagless and weedless, due to the tip being slightly buried in the soft plastic but still remaining ready to hook into a fish. For more info, check our Texas Rig article.
Carolina rigs are very similar to Texas rigs in that the same hook type is used.
The main difference between the two is that Carolina rigs have a leader that separates the weight from the soft plastic bait by anywhere from 12 to 18 inches.
This allows the soft plastic bait to swim freely rather than crawl on the bottom due to the weight, giving the bait a much more natural look in the water. For more information, check out our full article on the Carolina Rig.
Wacky rigs are awesome for stick baits or senkos/tiki sticks. Using smaller wide gap finesse hooks, some of which come with a weed guard, you simply pick the center point of the worm from each end and attach it to a hook.
This hook placement allows the worm to fall horizontally and each end making the worm look like it’s swimming or waving up and down.
The action is so weird it earned its name the wacky rig. While it might look kind of silly, it’s deadly in the water and can produce fish when nothing else does.
Drop Shot Rig
Drop shot rigging is great for deep clear water and when finesse is needed.
These attributes make it very popular for smallmouth fishermen where deep rock piles in clear water are sure to hold big fish.
The drop shot rig requires a weight sitting on the bottom with a hook placed at a given distance about the weight, this is angler preference but can normally work well at 12 to 18 inches about the weight.
What makes this presentation so great is you can work it in two ways, you can hop the weight off of the bottom and give the worm a very erratic action, or you can simply twitch your rod lightly to give the worm a very light finesse action.
Ned Rigs are a recently given nickname to what is probably the oldest way of rigging soft plastics.
You simply take a standard jig head and thread the nose of the work to the tip. In recent years this has become very popular as a finesse tactic when combined with a small stubby style worm.
And as always, standard jigs will always produce fish.
There is no one soft plastic worm type lure that is truly better than the other and all have their time and place on the water.
Figuring out what presentation best suits your local waters or conditions at any given time is the most important factor
In this article we picked our top picks on plastic worms that cover a wide array of tactics to help you decide what you need, and all the baits on this list will most certainly be productive for you on the water. Grab your bass rod (baitcasting or spinning) and head out with some plastics for a cheap and productive day on the water. The other thought to leave you with is that worms are also effective on a range of species besides bass including marine species such as redfish.
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