The Virtues of the Kinky Worm and Other Cock-eyed Finesse Presentations


Most bass fishermen are nitpickers when it comes to affixing a soft-plastic bait to a hook, jig or spinnerbait. They want it to be perfectly straight.

Even the thought of using a plastic worm that has a kink it, which occurs at times when the worms are packaged crookedly, causes these perfectionists to be a tad queasy.   Some go to significant extents to not be confronted with a kinky worm.  For instance, prior to every bass tournament, one legendary professional bass angler back in the 1980s and 1990s used to dip one plastic worm at a time into a pot of boiling water for a second or two, then he dipped it into a pot of ice cold water to cool, and then he placed it perfectly straight on a towel to dry. Once they were straight and dry, he would package them so they would be perfectly straight when he had to affix to his hook during the tournament. At times, he would also place them on the deck of his boat to have the sun's heat to remove a minor kink or two.


Once upon a time an editor asked for a photograph of the soft-plastic finesse baits that we use day in and day out in northeastern Kansas waterways for catching bass. When he received the photograph, he said that there was no way that he could use it because the soft-plastic baits weren't affixed perfectly strait on the jig.  Moreover, one of the worms was kinky, and another bait wasn't situated snugly onto the jig's collar.


We explained that it is not necessary to have a kinkless worm and have it affixed perfectly to the jig and glued tightly on the collar of the jig. In fact, we have found that there are many spells throughout the year that we can catch more bass when we use a kinky worm, or when one of our baits such as a 2.5" ZinkerZ isn't affixed snugly to the collar of the jig.  For instance, we have found that using a Z-Man's four-inch Finesse WormZ that is graced with a kink or two on a one-thirty-second-ounce Gopher Mushroom Jig Head is an ideal combo to use around big patches of bushy pondweed or coontail in the summer and early fall. The best retrieve to employ with such a combo is usually a swimming, gliding and shaking one.

In some ways, our use of a kinky worm or a cock-eyed rigging of a ZinkerZ is similar to the walleye anglers' slow death motif;  see http://www.thenextbite.com/node for details about the slow death presentation.

We create these kinky worms by placing them in their package crookedly.  Then we wrap a rubber band around the package and place it in the hot sun until the worms develop some kinks.

Across the past five years, we have learned that one of the virtues of the ElaZtech soft-plastic finesse baits that Z-Man manufactures is that the older, kinkier and tattered that they get the more alluring they often become.  Some anglers have caught more than 150 bass on the same ElaZtech bait, and one angler who fishes in Ontario, Canada, reported that he caught 140 smallmouth on the same ElaZtech bait, and that same bait also endured a significant pummeling by some northern pike and walleye.

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