Ike: The power shaky head

You wanted to know more about the power shaky head. So, here goes…

For openers I’ll tell you that the power shaky head isn’t much different than the finesse shaky head except that everything is bigger and heavier, and I fish it under slightly different conditions. But, it’s every bit as effective.

To give you an idea of what I mean by that I’ll relate a tournament story. Back in 2008 we fished the Lone Star Shootout on Falcon Lake. Paul Elias won that one with 132.8 pounds. I finished 11th with 112.6 pounds. Every fish I brought to the scales was caught on a power shaky head rig.

I fished mostly submerged timber but caught a few from a flooded roadbed with an old foundation on it. Falcon Lake is exactly the kind of place where this rig shines. That’s because it’s at its best when the bite is active and the fish are feeding, or where there’s really big bass around, or where there’s nasty cover.

Another place it shines is on the Tennessee River Chain. The hefty bass that hang on those ledges have seen a thousand Texas rigged worms being dragged along the bottom and even more crankbaits racing past them.

What they haven’t seen is something standing nose down with its tail wagging. If you want to imagine what that looks like to a bass think about a kid in a classroom trying to get the teacher’s attention when he knows the answer to her question — jumping up and down with his hand waving back and forth.

Like I said before, though, the power shaky head is much bigger and heavier. Typically I throw a VMC Rugby Head that weighs anywhere between 5/16 and 3/4 of an ounce. The hooks on those weights are heavier than they are on the lighter versions so there’s no problem hooking or hanging onto a big bass.

My baits are the same, except much bigger. I want a flat side to my worm — that’s critical — and I want a straight tail on it. Mostly I fish my power shaky head rigs with nothing smaller than 8 inches and I’ll go as big a 12 inches on occasion.

Obviously, you fish this rig with casting tackle. My rod is between 7 and 7 feet, 6 inches in length with a medium heavy action. I use a high speed reel, nothing slower than 7:1, and I spool it with Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line. Depending upon the conditions, I want line between 15 and 20-pound-test.

Your bite will happen just like a finesse bite. About half of them will come on the fall as the worm slides and glides towards the bottom. (Remember to rig the worm so that the flat side is down.) The other half will come as you shake and hop it in place.

The power shaky head is really pretty simple. Just think big and heavy. You’ll be good to go.

Hey guys, one other thing: I love to get questions and comments about techniques and how-to stuff. Don’t be shy about asking for what you want me to talk about.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website, mikeiaconelli.com.

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