Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm | What’s the Difference?

The Texas rig worm is one of the most basic and utilized tools in the bass fishing arsenal. The same can be said for the shaky head. But the two are not equal. Move up to the magnum versions of these two presentations and they differ that much more. 

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We sat down with ANGLR Expert Tyler Anderson to discuss his take on big Texas rigged worms and magnum shaky heads.

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Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: What’s the Difference?

Anything over 15-feet is when I’ll go with the shaky head. Less than that, I’ll usually go with the Texas rig. And when we’re talking about big worms, I rarely throw one any shallower than 5 or 7-feet. I might throw like an 8-inch worm shallower than that but not the 10 or 12-inchers. 

The deeper I am, the more I want the weight to stay together with the hook, that’s why a shaky head is so good. I hate pegging a Texas rig. I watched a Shaw Grigsby video once where he explained it. Most of the time, if you peg a big Texas rig weight, it will pop open their mouth when you set the hook.

 In Texas when I’m fishing offshore rock ledges, I’ve found that shaky heads are better. Because if I’m not going to peg the weight on a Texas rig, then the weight is going to separate from the bait either on the cast or while the bait is falling down. Then I miss some of the strike zone if my weight is 10-feet up my line and I pull the bait and can’t feel if it’s actually made contact yet. The shaky head just allows me to have more contact with the bottom in deeper water. 

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Then again a shaky head isn’t as weedless as a Texas rig. 

So if I’m fishing a brush pile, I’ll most often throw a Texas rig but maybe put the bobber stopper 3-inches up the line. 

Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: When do You Throw it?

When the fish first get out deep in the summer, they are the dumbest they’ll be all year, so I’ll usually throw a big worm. I like a 12-inch big thick trick worm. I know Xcite baits makes a good one and Strike King also makes a good one

As soon as the summer gets going good and the fish have seen more lures, I’ll start throwing skinnier worms or ones with a frilly tail at the end. I like to throw something like the Zoom Ol’ Monster around August and September because a lot of people will just throw the big trick worm all summer. 

Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: What do You do With a Worm That’s Different? 

If I do use dyes or scents it’s never the tail. If that thing is 12-inches long you don’t want the fish eating the tail. It does you no good. Sometimes I’ll use the markers to do some spirally marking to the head area. 

I’ve done that a few times and can’t say if it definitely increased my catching but it certainly made my lure look different.

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Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: How do You Fish it?

I almost always throw a crankbait or big swimbait first to pick off the easy ones and then just to clean up a spot, I’ll throw the big shaky head. When I’m fishing rock, I’ll use more of a football-style shaky head and when I’m fishing brush it’ll be more of a round ball head. 

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With a big worm, it’s mostly just a slow drag. 

With a smaller shaky head on a spinning reel, I think the bait stands up a lot. But with a bigger worm on a big shaky head, I highly doubt that the bait is standing up all that often unless you’re throwing a 12-inch floating worm or something like that. So for me, it’s just a slow drag to stir up as much of a mud trail as I can. That’s why I like the shaky head more because the big ball head stirs up more mud than the slender Texas rig weight. 

Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: What Gear do You Use?

The deeper you get, the harder it’s going to be for the fish to see your line so I don’t usually worry about throwing small line with a big shaky head or Texas rig, I’ll go with 17-pound fluorocarbon. If you’re fishing in 15-feet of water or more, you’re going to have some stretch. 

So, I throw it on a 7’6” medium-heavy in open water. If you get into the brush, maybe use a heavy action rod. Long casts are really key too, so I throw it on a Lew’s Hyper Mag which is the farthest casting reel they make in my opinion.

Rod: 7’6” Mark Rose Medium-Heavy

Reel: Lew’s Hyper Mag

Line: 17-pound Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon

Baits: Zoom Ol’ Monster, Strike King Bullworm, Xcite Baits MaXimus Worm

Summer Bass Fishing | Flukemaster’s 5 Favorite Summer Bass Fishing Baits

Now that the dog days of summer are bearing down on us, the bass fishing bite can get tough. If you’re looking to avoid those slow days on the water, preparing yourself for the summer bass fishing bite is key!

Gene Jensen (aka The Flukemaster) lays out his 5 favorite summer bass fishing baits.

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Summer Bass Fishing Bait: Topwater

Early in the morning, it’s going to be some sort of topwater bait. First thing in the morning right when the sun starts to break out all the way up until the light starts hitting the water, I’ll be throwing some type of topwater.

Bait examples: Whopper Plopper, SPRO Poppin’ Shad

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Summer Bass Fishing Bait: Squarebill 

The next one I can probably say is one of my bread and butters just for covering water. When you’re not fishing a lot of grass and you’ve got a lot of cover like wood or even if you don’t have any wood, I’m going to throw a squarebill. It’s going to be a small one. The baitfish are typically fairly small this time of year so I’m going to throw something like a 1.5 or 1.0 squarebill. 

Bait examples: 6th Sense Squarebill 

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Summer Bass Fishing Bait: Bladed Jig

There are two chatterbait colors I throw: green pumpkin and black and blue. ½ ounce or 3/8 ounce are typically what I throw the most. This is another one of those moving baits I rely  on heavily. When you have a lot of grass, this is probably the best moving bait you can fish in the grass.

Bait examples: Picasso Tungsten Knocker

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Summer Bass Fishing Bait: Spinnerbait 

Notice a lot of these are search baits. Bass tend to scatter early in the morning and work along the banks so a search bait is typically really good. A spinnerbait looks like a small school of baitfish going by. And it’s an all-terrain vehicle. It’ll go through a lot of different types of cover. 

Bait Examples: Strike King Spinnerbait

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Summer Bass Fishing Bait: Texas Rig

My bread and butter for bottom bouncing. When the bass get deep they get on that offshore cover, those points and humps. A Texas rig worm is awesome for that offshore cover. My favorite color is tequila sunrise for the summertime. My go-to around grass and flipping cover is going to be a Rage Bug. They go on the same Texas rig. No matter what I’m doing. If I’m flipping cover, if I’m Texas rigging off-shore, or if I’m hopping the bottom that Rage Bug is just absolutely incredible. 

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Bait examples: Zoom Worm, Strike King Rage Bug 

For more on Summer bass fishing check out Flukemaster’s video below:

Spring Fishing Got You in a Slump? Here’s How to Bust Out

I should have known my Spring fishing was doomed the moment I answered this question at the end of a recent fishing presentation.

“You pretty much always catch something, right? Do you ever get skunked?”

My answer was honest. It does happen on occasion, I said, though I couldn’t recall the most recent skunking off the top of my head.

On my very next trip, the fishing gods served up a helping of humble pie as I returned home empty handed. It was a somber reminder that even diehard anglers get whooped from time to time.

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What Causes the Spring Fishing Slump?

Now that I think about it, most of my skunkings have happened in the Spring. Here in Idaho, like many places, sSpring is marked by unpredictable weather. Rain, wind, fluctuating water temperatures and river levels can make it hard to plan and execute your tried-and-true fishing strategies.

I followed up my goose egg trip with one that got canceled by storms and another that only produced tiny panfish. It was official… this was a slump. But slumps are made to be broken, and I was determined not to let this one last. With a free Saturday on the horizon, I dialed up my go-to fishing partner, Caleb.

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It was time to go Spring fishing slump-busting on Brownlee, a Snake River reservoir on the Idaho-Oregon border.

I loaded my boat with bass, crappie, and catfish gear. No matter what was biting, I was going to be ready. That’s one of the keys to summer fishing, bring a variety of gear so you can adapt to changing conditions and give yourself the best chance of putting some fish in the boat.

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Breaking the Spring Fishing Slump

It was a crisp, clear morning as we arrived at Brownlee. In a welcome sign, Caleb landed two monster crappies right off the boat launch while I was parking the truck.

“We’re not getting skunked today, boys!” he announced.

I took a few casts and reeled up a hilariously small crappie. The skunk was off, but my slump was still intact. We motored off in search of Brownlee’s famous flathead catfish. My hard luck continued as Caleb reeled in one 19-pound monster, and then another.

“Next one’s yours,” he said. “I can feel it.”

Like a baseball player mired in a hitting slump, the key to turning things around is patience and a positive outlook. I stayed loose by taking in the sights and sounds and enjoying Caleb’s run of success.

And then, like a hanging curveball in the heart of the plate, my opportunity arrived. A fish bumped my lure once, twice and then BOOM! My rod doubled over as it ran for deeper water.

Big flatheads play the slow game, hugging the bottom while you gradually work to regain your line. Caleb seemed even more giddy than I was, nervously scanning the water for a glimpse of this big cat.

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Photo Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation

Finally, the flathead surfaced. A huge, mottled green head and gaping, whiskered mouth never looked so pretty! At 13 pounds, he wasn’t our biggest catch of the day. But Caleb and I agreed, the slump was history.

We closed the day with some more big crappie for the frying pan, and I also wrangled a big channel catfish on my ultralight rod. The bite was never red-hot, but we worked hard enough to make it a successful day. Which, ultimately, was the important lesson this whole experience refreshed in my mind. 

Sooner or later, every angler hits a slow patch. When your slump comes, use persistence and a positive attitude to send your slump packing.

3 Tips to Bust Your Spring Fishing Slump

  1. Bring a variety of gear so you can adapt to changing conditions!
  2. Keep working hard and try new techniques if the bite is slow!
  3. Stay positive and be ready for anything, a big fish might come when you least expect it