Stick baits are an essential soft plastic for bass anglers. Called by a variety of names, Senkos, Dingers, Ochos, Sink Baits, etc., they all work basically the same and produce great bass fishing results.
|Guide Jack Uxa hoists a hefty Lake of the Ozarks largemouth he caught on a Berkley PowerBait Heavy Weight Sinkworm.|
Plastic stick baits look like the perfect do-nothing bait. A cylindrical shaped piece of plastic, in a variety of lengths, and slightly tapered at both ends, stick baits shimmy at the ends on the fall. The simple action drives bass crazy.
Stick baits can be fished effectively using a variety of methods that are all well known to bass fishermen.
- Whacky — As crazy as it sounds, hooking a stick bait in the middle so that it takes on a rainbow shape as it falls though or is being pulled though the water, elicits strikes from bass.
- Leadhead — Rigging a stick bait on a jig head and swimming it in the same areas you would a grub works works like magic.
- Texas Rig — This rig has been around for decades and is a great way to rig a plastic stick bait to give it a different action.
- Double Trouble — Increase your odds of soliciting a trike by adding a small stick bait 2 feet up your line from a tube bait. Use a drop shot hook and hang on.
- Skipping — Due to their shape, stick baits will slither down through most cover. Skipping or bouncing them will place them up under over hanging branches, boat docks and tight places. Is a method that takes a little practice and yields big rewards.
- Drop Shot — Any pace you would use a regular drop shot worm, is a place you can utilize the beefier stick baits. Their unique action often triggers strikes on the fall.
- Weightless Jerkbait — Rigged on a strong hook, a stick bait fished as a jerkbait adds a whole new arsenal of action possibilities to the pencil looking bait.
- Dead Stick — Rig you stick bait of choice on a wide-gap hook and toss it in front of the pickiest bass around. Let your bait do the rest.
I stepped into guide Jack Uxa’s bass boat on Lake of the Ozarks. The deck straps held five rods in place all rigged with Berkley PowerBait Heavy Weight Sinkworm, in a different fashion. I rode along to see how Uxa worked those rigs.
"Bass are on the beds in the backs of the coves,” Uxa explained. “I especially like the coves that have a hook or sharp bend at the end of them. Bass really love ‘em.”
Minutes into the trip, Uxa eased his boat into the narrowing back of a cove, surrounded by beautiful lake homes. He skipped his stick bait up under shore line bushes and let it sit for 10 seconds. Next he twitched the bait slightly and prepared to set the hook on the first bass of the day.
Uxa duplicated the feat a dozen more times over the next hour, landing largemouths up to 4 pounds, using stick baits rigged several ways. He had boated a 6-pounder just the evening before. “I rely heavily on stick baits while guiding my customers,” Uxa explained. “They are easy to fish and bass love ‘em.”
Uxa fishes 300 days a year and may be reached at 573-434-2570 or by visiting www.fishinglakeoftheozarks.com.