After a recent day of fishing, I was left shaking my head. It left me needing to recap. In the bass fishing world there are many iconic lures and techniques. Many are the hot ticket for a year or two and then disappear to the bargain bins in the tackle shops, only to be used by a few devotees. There are a few that stick. Dropshotting is a style that has been around for a long time and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Ned Rig is not new but is recent popularity makes it seem new. It also seems to be here to stay for good reason. But when it comes to a something I feel is here to stay, I am talking about the Shaky Head worm.
In my home waters- the Ohio River system in Kentucky- the Shaky Head is a huge deal.
It’s one of the simplest combinations on the market, but it flat out catches fish. I think that’s what drew me to it in the first place. But like many techniques, many of us were on it hot and heavy for a while and then dropped it to learn the next big thing that came along. We fishermen often get on what’s popular and as soon as something newer or better looking comes along, we drop the tried and true for what’s new and cool. Seems I’ve been just as guilty as anyone else in this regard.
Recently I went out on a new lake with my boss from work, and I decided to tie on “old reliable”- an Xcite Baits Slim X finesse worm on a Shaky Head. After just a few short hours of running bluff walls I fell in love with this old technique all over again. The bite
was tough on other presentations, but once I picked up that little worm I started getting bit. After catching a few smallies and a couple of spots, I remembered just how special this little bait is.
The beauty of the Shaky Head is that it is much like a jig but less “in your face”. You can fish it at a variety of depths down to thirty feet, and its flexibility means you can throw it all year long. The one big difference for me is I wouldn’t fish it in super dirty water. Otherwise, you can use one weighing as little as 1/8 oz. with a 4” worm or you can tie on a ¾ oz. head and add a 10” worm. The combinations to meet a wide variety of conditions are truly endless.
I don’t have a dedicated shaky head rod but my setup has always worked very well and I plan to continuing using it for my shaky head fishing. The rod I go to is a 7’ Kistler Magnesium 2 medium fast action rod with a high speed reel spooled with 12 pound line.
The business end is a Bagley shaky head jigs- ideal for a variety of fishing applications. It has a flat bottomed head designed to position the bait perfectly and incorporating a long shank heavy duty hook. For most conditions, I choose the 3/16 oz. size paired with a green pumpkin Xcite Baits Slim X worm. On my most recent outing, I fished this combo from 2 to 25 feet and didn’t lose a fish. Furthermore, the Bagley head didn’t get hung up- something my wallet appreciates.
For me, fishing the Shaky Head Worm the other day was like fishing with a good friend. It now enjoys a return as a staple in my tackle bag- a combo I clearly had let go for too long. I’m glad I rediscovered it, because it is definitely here to stay. If you haven’t tried it I recommend it and if you’ve put it down, I’d suggest you pick it up again. As always keep your lines tight and Live the Passion!
Bret Dawson, iBass360 Pro Staff, is originally from Carrollton KY, and now lives in Tennessee. He cut his teeth fishing his home waters- the Ohio River system. When not tempting big bass with soft plastics, buzzbaits and crankbaits, Bret represents Kistler Rods, and Xcite Baits as part of their Pro Staff teams. Bret has fished various regional tournaments in the mid-South and is a regular contributor to the iBass360 blog for which we are very grateful.