There's been a "whole lotta shakin' goin' on" lately when the fishing becomes difficult in Elite Series events. One Elite Series pro who does a lot of "shakin'" when the bite gets tough is Terry Scroggins who knows this finesse tactic will still trigger strikes when other techniques fail. "It generates a lot of action with finesse-style worms," he says.
"The worm actually stands up when the jig is resting on the bottom. You can also leave it in the strike zone for a long time. It's one of my go-to baits." Fall can be a great time to throw power baits, but there are still plenty of situations where you need light-line tactics and the shaky head excels.
"You're going to get more bites with the shaky head than you do with a worm on heavy line since light line will give your bait more action," says Scroggins. When bass forage on shad in the backs of creeks, Scroggins skips a shaky head worm to stumps and underneath docks to the pilings in shallow water. He favors a 1/8-ounce shaky jighead for his finesse worm because it skips well and is more compact than a Texas rigged worm Shaky jigheads come in a variety of styles, but Scroggins sticks with an old reliable. "I prefer the old-school ball head, but I like the flat eye style of hook that's real close to the lead," he says. "It seems like it doesn't hang up nearly as much.
I also want a jighead with a light wire hook that's fairly strong, since in most cases I'm using 6- to 8-pound test. The most important thing I'm looking for is penetration with light line, and that type of hook penetrates real easy." When using a shaky head with light line, Scroggins sets the hook by quickly reeling up the slack and leaning back on the rod once he tightens the line. The depth he's fishing usually dictates the size of the shaky head Scroggins uses.
When fishing the shallows around cypress trees he sometimes scales down to a 1/16-ounce head. "You want a shaky head just heavy enough to get down to the bottom. If you're fishing in 6 or 7 feet of water, you don't want a 1/4-ounce shaky head. You want a 1/16- or 1/8-ounce head."
His favorite finesse bait for shaking is a 4 3/4–inch Yum Houdini Worm in three basic colors. "If the water is clear, I like green pumpkin, and if it is stained to dirty I go with black or junebug," he says. Rigging the shaky head is similar to a Texas rigged worm. "I like to put the worm on as straight as possible," says Scroggins. "I put the hook into the head of the worm about 1/4 inch and turn the hook over and slide it down.
I then run the hook all the way through the plastic and then pull it back to where the hook point sits right underneath the skin of the plastic." Of course, the "shake" is the whole key to this presentation. "I cast it out and let it fall on slack line and shake the line when it's slack," says Scroggins.
"So I'm shaking the worm a bunch, but it isn't moving that much through the water." When shaking his line, Scroggins moves his rod tip only about 3 to 4 inches to keep it close to his target. "I want to keep it in that strike zone as long as possible.
If the fish are real aggressive, I can move it right along but if I am fishing in a heavily pressured situation or a cold front has moved through and they are not biting so well, I will sometimes leave the worm in that strike zone for 45 seconds to a minute."
The Florida pro skips and shakes his finesse worm with a 6 1/2-foot Duckett Fishing Micro Magic medium-heavy spinning rod and Shimano Stella 4000 spinning reel filled with 8-pound HI-SEAS 100 Percent Fluorocarbon.
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