The texas rig is one of the most effective ways there is to catch a bass. There has probably been more bass caught on a texas rig than any other lure over the years. Learning how to fish a texas rig is going to make you a better fisherman!
During the 90s, a texas rig was responsible for winning the majority of professional bass tournaments.
Today, it is just as effective as it has ever been, however it is now competing with a number of different lures and techniques that have come out since the early 90s.
Whether you are a seasoned professional or you are just getting started in bass fishing, a texas rig NEEDS to be a part of your daily arsenal. It simply works!
It will work in deep water and shallow water, for largemouth or smallmouth, a texas rig will catch bass day in, day out. No matter the season, no matter the mood of the bass.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the art and science behind the mighty texas rig!
How To Rig a Texas Rig
First let’s start with the basics. A texas rig consists of fishing line, a bullet weight, a hook and a plastic lure, such as a plastic worm!
To rig a texas rig you simply start by slipping a bullet weight up your line and then tying on a hook under the weight.
In heavy vegetation it is best to peg your weight so that your weight doesn’t slip up and down your line. This will keep your plastic lure with the weight and allow you to fish the plastic more effectively.
Moving on, from there you will put the point of the hook into the top of the plastic lure, push the hook into the plastic about a quarter of an inch and then pull the hook out the side of the plastic lure.
Then you will want to pull the entire shaft of the hook through the top quarter of the bait, then flip the hook 180 degrees and put the point of the hook back into the plastic lure making sure that the hook stays inside of the plastic.
If you are using an Extra Wide Gap (EWG) hook for this application, you can put the hook completely through the bait and skin hook it on the other side.
This allows the hook to stay completely weedless while fishing in wood, rocks or vegetation. When a bass strikes and you set the hook, the hook will slip through the plastic and into the fish’s mouth, hooking the fish securely.
This is a simple rig, but the weight and hook options are endless. You can use anything from a 1/16oz weight to 2oz. You can use any style hook, from an EWG (Extra Wide Gap) to a straight shank.
How To Fish A Texas Rig
A texas rig can be fished many different ways. You can swim a texas rig around cover, you can hop a t-rig off the bottom, you can pitch a texas rig into cover, you can simply drag a rig across the bottom, you can fish it during the day or you can Fish it at Night, etc.
You can fish it in open water and you can fish it in the heaviest cover that you can find. The options are endless and that is what makes a texas rig so effective and that is why so many professionals and amateurs always have a t-rig tied on and ready to go.
One of the most common ways that a texas rig is fished is pitching and flipping.
Pitching and flipping are techniques that are typically used to fish visible cover in shallow water. The cover options are endless and can include laydown trees, stumps, docks, rocks, reeds, lily pads, milfoil, hydrilla, etc.
Simply pitch or flip the rig into or near the cover and hop and bounce your rig off the cover.
Pitching and flipping a texas rig can work literally at any time of the year, but probably the most effective time of the year is when the bass are shallow in the spring. During the prespawn, bass will move shallow to seek cover that they will spawn on or near.
Pitching and flipping a t-rig allows you to target specific pieces of cover that the bass may be spawning on or waiting to spawn on.
One of the biggest tips to know when pitching and flipping a texas rig, is once the bass actually start spawning, you can’t fish slow enough. Fishing the t-rig slow, allows the plastic to stay in the bass’ nest for longer, which in turn will generate more bites.
Casting a Texas Rig
Another popular way to fish a texas rig is casting it. This allows you to cover a larger amount of water with each cast.
Casting is typically done when you don’t know exactly where the bass is. For instance you could be fishing a large grass flat where the bass could be holding anywhere. Since you don’t have specific targets to pitch/flip at, you can cast you texas rig out and pull and hop the rig all the way back to you.
This allows you to hit many different pieces of cover in one single cast.
Another great place to cast a t-rig is on deep offshore structure, such as a rock point.
Again, you may not know exactly where the bass is hiding on a large point. Casting a texas rig can allow you to cover the entire point until you find exactly where the bass are, then you can make repeated casts to the same place.
A technique that is under the radar is swimming a texas rig. Typically when you swim a t-rig you are going to be using a lighter weight because you want to keep the rig higher in the water column.
This is an extremely effective way to fish shallow vegetation, and it is a great way to cover water extremely fast!
Sometimes you can swim a texas-rigged worm just below the water surface and you will visibly see bass blow up on your rig!
Benefits of Texas Rigging
We all know that bass love cover, they love to hang out near rocks and brush and they love to get inside vegetation. Using a t-rig allows you to put a soft plastic lure exactly where the bass live, no matter where they live.
The rig will remain completely weedless no matter if you are placing it in heavy vegetation, a lay down tree, or underneath the dock.
Another benefit to using a texas rig is you tend to hook up with nearly 100% of the fish that bite your rig. This is not true for all lures on the market and that is what makes it so special.
For instance, sometimes when fishing a lure such as a frog, you may only hook 50% of the fish that bite. So if you can catch those same fish using a texas rig, you will catch a lot more fish!
Another thing that is extremely beneficial about a texas rig is you are using a single hook you, and a single hook bait will typically land more fish.
So not only are you placing this rig where other lures can’t go, but you are hooking and landing those fish which is important whether you are fishing a tournament or just fun fishing at your local pond.
Another huge benefit to a texas rig is that bass, no matter what mood they are in, will always eat it.
Many lures on the market are extremely conditional. Sometimes you have to have the right conditions in order to fish lures like a topwater, crankbait or spinnerbait. However, a texas rig really works in any condition. However, you may need to fish the t-rig a little differently in order to remain getting bites.
Some days you can swim a texas rig while other days you are hoping a texas rig across the bottom. The point is that no matter the conditions are, bass will eat a texas rig!
What does a Bite feel like on a T-Rig
A lot of people ask, “what does a bite feel like on a texas rig?” My answer to them is always the same, “when you get a bite, you will know!”
My point is, that more than likely you will notice something is different when you get a bite on a t-rig.
Sometimes you will feel a tap on the end of your rod, sometimes that tap will be a more aggressive thump. Which is literally the best feeling in the world.
Other times you will not feel a tap or thump but you will notice that your line is swimming away. These are all good indicators that it is time to set the hook!
One of the worst bites on a texas rig is when the bass picks up your plastic lure and starts swimming directly towards you! The reason I say that this is the “worst” is because more times than not, you don’t really feel anything at all.
Typically what this bite feels like, is if someone suddenly cut your t-rig off. You will just feel slack line all of the sudden. The extremely important thing to remember is that before you set the hook, you must reel in your slack or there is a chance that you can set the hook and you won’t even more the hook in the fish’s mouth.
So reel until you feel the weight of the fish and then set the hook!
Setting The Hook
Setting the hook on a texas rig is probably one of the most fun parts about the whole experience! However, if you are not properly setting the hook, you can miss and lose a lot of bass and that is definitely NOT FUN.
The fact of the matter is, bass will hold on to a plastic lure for a very long time.
During my tournament practice, a lot of times I will “shake off” a bass. This means that I will purposely not set the hook and I will wait for the bass to spit the lure out, in hopes that I might be able to catch that exact same bass during competition.
With that being said, do not rush the hook set. The bass is going to hang on to that bait for a long time.
It is extremely important that you feel the weight of the bass on the end of your rod, and then set the hook hard.
It is important to set the hook hard because you have to get that hook through your soft plastic and into the fish’s mouth.
Texas Rig Tackle
Let’s talk about what you need in order to fish a texas rig!
Rod: 7’-7’6” M/H to H action
When it comes to a texas rig, my favorite set up is a 7’3” MH-H. I like a rod that has a stiff back bone, but also has a softer tip. You need to be able to drive a hook into a bass’ mouth on a long cast, but you also do not want to use a pool cue.
Reel: 7.3:1 or higher
You are going to want to use a fast reel when it comes to fishing a texas rig. You need to be able to pick up line fast when a bass bites your lure. Using a faster reel also allows you to fish more efficiently
Line: 15-20lb Fluorocarbon | 50-65lb braid
I primarily use fluorocarbon when I am casting a t-rig and when I am pitching and flipping a t-rig around any cover except heavy vegetation. When using a texas rig in heavy vegetation you are going to want to step up your line to 50-65lb braid.
Wrapping Things Up
The texas rig is one of the best rigs out there to catch bass. You should literally always have a texas rig handy whether you are fishing a pond, river or lake.
Nothing beats the feeling of feeling that fish bite and setting the hook into a monster bass.
The next time you go fishing, try a texas rig!