Though the wacky rig can be extremely effective for targeting suspended, mid-depth fish, it is most often fished by bass anglers on or near the bottom.
Next time you’re looking for a subtle, finesse approach for catching fish, give the wacky rig a try!
Suggested Seasonal Use: Year-round, open water and ice fishing.
Species: All species -- Though commonly used by bass anglers, a wacky-rig can be an effective setup for targeting an assortment of fish from walleye and pike to trout and salmon.
How to Rig: While many traditional lure and bait rigs feature a hook that is rigged on the top or bottom end of a bait, the wacky rig features an open hook that is rigged into the mid-section of the bait – often a soft plastic worm or live night crawler. Simply thread your hook completely through the middle section of your bait of choice, exposing the hook point.
How to Use: The wacky rig, which can be fished with or without weight, often displays a slow-falling and subtle fish-tempting action that can be made to appear life-like with a simple upward twitch or two of fishing rod tip. Like many setups, the wacky rig’s hook and bait style and size can be tailored by the angler to fit the species they are targeting.
The rig is generally fished on lighter-weight fishing line and can be fished successfully around nearly all types of cover or habitat. While it typically shines in water less than 10 feet deep, the wacky rig can be weighted to be fished effectively in deeper water.
One key to the wacky rig is not “over-fishing” the setup. In other words, during the retrieve, feel free to inject small twitches into your rod tip to give the bait subtle action, but let the natural current or wave action of the water you’re fishing provide most of the movement in the bait. This subtle action creates an ultra-life-like presentation in the water that is hard for fish to resist.