KEN COOK ON BASS FISHING
NOTE: Ken Cook of Meers, Oklahoma, a professional
bass fisherman since 1983, and before that a fisheries biologist, won
the BASS Masters Classic in 1991, as well as other B.A.S.S. events.
Question: Ken, tell me about the swimming worm. When,
where and how do you fish it, and why is the rod you've developed best
for that lure?
Answer: I use floating-worm, swimming-worm or wacky-worm techniques often,
especially in the springtime, because the bass in shallow water won't
necessarily be in a very aggressive mode. The floating, slightly- sinking
worm tactics work well when fish aren't particularly aggressive. Since
this lure is natural-looking and sinks slowly, bass will be attracted
to it, even when they're spawning.
rod I've designed for fishing the swimming worm is a 7-foot, medium-action
graphite rod. It features a parabolic bend, makes long casts and holds
the line up off the water. I usually fish it with FireLine, a swivel and
about 1 foot of fluorocarbon line as a leader. I fish with a weightless,
offset shank hook and a floating worm, a Power Bait Carolina Slug or something
similar that I can twitch and sink slowly in the grass, around cover or
wherever I think I'll locate bass.
Question: Using this technique, walk me down the line.
What's your main line?
Answer: I usually use 14- to 20-pound test FireLine as the main line off
my center-drag reel. FireLine works great with this method of fishing
for several reasons. FireLine casts easily off a spinning reel, and it
features no-stretch, which gives you a faster, harder hook set. I use
a ball-bearing swivel, but I don't use a snap. I usually fish with about
1 foot of fluorocarbon line as a leader. Then I tie it directly to an
offset shank worm hook and usually Texas-rig the worm. I also use the
Carolina Slug a lot, which is a bait with a shape similar to a shad that
bass in most areas haven't seen very much.
What rod will you use?
Answer: I'm casting it on my spinning rod.
Question: What kind of action will you give the bait?
Answer: I use a twitch-and-stop action where I twitch the lure a few times
and let it sink into a hole in the grass or near a stump or whatever cover
you're fishing -- kind of a soft-jerk-type retrieve. You jerk it, let
it settle and then sink.
TOMORROW: KEN COOK'S SPINNER BAIT TACTIC