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Pro Neko rigging tactics

Arizonan Clifford Pirch is without question one of the most accomplished finesse fishermen on the Bassmaster Elite Series. At nearly every Elite event, Pirch has several spinning outfits on his deck rigged with a drop shot, a shaky head, a Neko rig and other finesse baits. He often shows the bass a variety of finesse presentations to find which they prefer on any given day.

Pirch also varies the size of his finesse baits. He has found that finesse doesn’t always mean tiny. This is especially evident with Pirch’s Neko baits, which range in size from 4 to 8 inches. The largest of these consists of an 8-inch Finesse Worm from Big Bite Baits, an O-ring around the egg sack, a 1/0 Hayabusa Power Wacky weedless hook and a 1/32- to 3/32-ounce Neko weight inserted into the worm’s head.

Although the 8-inch worm dwarfs the typical Neko rig, it performs with the same tantalizing action. That includes the worm’s vertical posture as it sinks and stands on the bottom and the sideways, whiplash motion when twitched. The long, limber 8-inch worm has a more pronounced whiplash than the shorter stickbaits normally used for Neko rigging.