Author: (Lowhybred09) Jason Stutts
As many of you may already know, the Texas or Florida Rigs are an important component of most bass fisherman’s tackle box. Texas rigs are usually just a wide gap hook and bullet sinker. Sometimes, we need the weight to stay close to the worm, such as in vegetation or rocky cover. Instead of pegging your sinker which is the Florida Rig, I have found that the Shaky Head Jigs are a great alternative. Of course this is no secret, but to those who haven’t tried it, I say, “Shame on you.” The Shaky Head is basically a weighted jig head and hook, with an attachment for the worm. They come in all shapes and sizes, and have many different ways to connect the worm to the jighead. Some use a screw, spring or just a notch on the jighead itself.
My favorites are the Spot Remover Pro Models in 1/8oz and 3/160z. Those sizes usually cover most conditions you find in river fishing. They come with a light wire hook which is important because the lighter lure is usually fished on spinning gear with light line. I use the lighter one when the fish are finicky and looking for something slow and methodical. Most of the time though, I throw the 3/16oz version. It gets down deeper faster and isn’t too heavy. I get them painted black and green pumpkin. I will throw the black Shaky Head with a dark worm like Junebug or Redshad in muddy conditions and the green pumpkin with lighter worms in clearer water.
The main benefit that comes from using the shakyhead is less foul hooked fish and more hookups. I have found that with a Texas or Florida rig, the fish sometimes swallow the worm and get hooked deep inside there throat. This results in having to cut the line and hoping the fish survives. With the Shaky Head, the hook is usually right where it should be, in the top of their mouth. One should be careful not to horse a big fish on this rig, because of the light wire hook. If your careful though, the Shaky Head can catch as big of bass as you would like.
The setup I prefer for this lure is a 7Ft medium action spinning rod with a medium sized open faced reel that can hold 8 to 12lb test line. I use braid in muddier water and if the conditions are clearer I will tie a leader of fluorocarbon or monofilament line to the end of my braid so the fish aren’t spooked. The worm I most often use, is a 6″ Zoom U-Tail or finesse worm. The way the jig is designed, it allows the tail of the worm to float upwards, and this drives the fish crazy.
The one mistake many fisherman make when using this setup is over working you lure. You don’t want it hoping all over the place. I fish the Shaky Head with my rod high and a slight bow in the line. This allows me to gently shake the lure in place. One downside to this setup is that the bite isn’t always a “thump thump” like on the Texas Rig. It will just be a mushy feeling sort of like having grass on your lure. Set the hook by tightening the line and give it a slight jerk. You don’t want to slam the hook home like with a heavy Texas Rig because of the light wire hook. It will penetrate the fish’s jaw with much less effort.
If you try adding this setup to your rotation I promise you’ll catch more bass. Not to say there isn’t a time and place for those time honored setups like the Texas or Florida Rig, they are always going to catch fish. The Shaky Head is just another way to add weight to your stringer, especially when fishing out of the back of a boat. I can say I have one tied on everytime I go fishing and it has served me very well.