I was talking with a couple of other fisherman this past week when a common fishing question arose: if you could fish with only one lure, what would it be? Anyone who has seen my boat knows that I have over a dozen fishing rods rigged with different baits for different fish and different situations, so to choose one can be a challenge. Right now I’m concentrating on bass, so my choice would be easy: a stick worm. A stick worm can be fished so many different ways and in different situations.

Currently the bass are either on the spawn beds or are just moving off, so they are shallow. The best presentation this time of year is “wacky” style: a 4″ or 6″ stick worm hooked in the middle and allowed to sink weightless. This waving motion of the worm sinking slowly drives bass crazy. Cast up and under docks and watch for your line to move or feel for weight on the line, then set the hook. You can use the same approach to weedlines. Let the worm drop along the weed edge; the bass find the “wacky worm” irresistible. Later in the year as the fish move to deeper water, you need the worm to drop quicker to get to the strike zone. You can pinch a small split shot above the worm to increase the drop rate, or push a small nail into the end of the worm. I have also had some success fishing this stick worm on a dropshot rig for smallmouth when they move to their deeper summer haunts. Give it try next time you’re out looking for bass.

Fishing has really picked up around the area. Nice jumbo perch were reportedly caught in the Chicago harbors. Montrose was hot this past weekend as well. There were a few reports of smallmouth being caught off the Shedd Aquarium using small crankbaits. They weren’t huge but they are a lot of fun to catch. Lake Geneva is doing its usual spring thing; everyone is catching rock bass. Time to get out there and catch a few.

Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.