There are a number of different fishing techniques utilized by successful anglers and, if the situation and conditions are right, they will ALL put fish in your live well.
One of my favorite techniques is “skipping” a TD624 Touchdown® Worm to places that are non-accessible to most anglers. Bear in mind, skipping lures is NOT something you will learn to do in a short time BUT… IF you are willing to dedicate the time to properly learn this technique, I GUARANTEE you will catch MORE bass that other anglers will unknowingly actually “pass up” because they cannot present their lures to the fish.
Everyone realizes a bass is “structure oriented” and a predator that likes to ambush an unsuspecting morsel for an easy meal. They also like to hide in shady places for not only protection from the sun, but to have a secure hiding place.
I like to search the fishing area for piers, pontoons, boat houses, moored boats, low hanging tree limbs, any type of structure that allows a bass a hiding place.
Piers, especially the ones with deeper water close by, are my FAVORITE locations. If the sun is shining, the bass will most likely be staged up under the piers in the shallow water in shady spots and facing out towards the deeper water. IF an angler passes the area, many of them will make presentations around the pier or along the sides of the pier trying to entice a bass into striking their lures. More often than not, the bass will simply watch their lures pass.
IF this same angler was to present a TD624 Touchdown® Worm, that looks natural to the bass, directly in front of the bass, over 90% of the time, the bass will instinctively hit the lure with amazing ferocity.
Now, you ask, “How do I present that worm under the pier?” Well my friends, I am going to explain in detail how I skip Touchdown® Worms and remember, the MORE you practice, the MORE proficient you become.
For “skipping,” I prefer to use spinning tackle. I use a 6’-2” Med/Heavy GRANDT ALL-AMERICAN series graphite spinning rod with an Okuma Epixor 10-ball bearing spinning reel. I back this up with 8 lb. CXX X-TRA Strong P-Line. (Bait casting tackle would be difficult to use for skipping.)
The TD624 Touchdown® Worm has been my favorite soft plastic worm for approximately twenty years. I have used this little worm to catch bass from lower Canada all through the Midwest and through Florida and it has NEVER failed me. I have NEVER found a body of water that the TD624 TOUCHDOWN® WORM WOULD NOT or COULD NOT catch quality fish for me. It is truly my “CONFIDENCE BAIT.”
I also rig the TD624 Touchdown® Worm differently than most anglers. (See photo) I use the small swivel included in the package to eliminate line twist and I also add a “crimp-on” sinker manufactured by TOUCHDOWN® LURES right against the nose of the worm. This ‘weight-forward” allows the worm to be “skipped” across the water. Remember as a child when you used to throw rocks across the water to watch them “skip?” This is the VERY SAME principle.
When you remove the TD624 Touchdown® Worm from the package, you will immediately notice the lure is a “pre-rigged” worm with a monofilament leader of 14 lb. Trilene and the worm also has two “snelled’ hooks with tiny plastic finger weed guards. When you cover the hooks with these weed guards, it becomes very snag proof and weedless. These hooks appear small and dainty but DO NOT despair. I have caught bass in Florida over 10 lbs. with these tiny hooks.
Once you have selected your rod and reel combination, you are ready to head for your favorite lake. I will explain my personal technique for “skipping” and you can deviate from there. I will describe the technique for right-handed anglers. If you are left-handed, you simply reverse the procedure.
You will also notice the monofilament leader is wrapped around the body of the worm and when you unwrap the leader, there is a “bend” in the body of the worm. DO NOT try to straighten the bend out of the body. This bend will create FANTASTIC action in the lure.
Boat control is essential for accurate “skipping” so try to position your boat for easy “skipping” access to your target.
As I approach my target area, I am looking for ANY shady spots around the pier or any place that looks like an angler could NOT present a lure to. I have the fishing rod in my right hand and as I position my boat, I open the bail of the reel and I hold the rod tip down low to the water. I concentrate on my “target” and I make a quick, harsh, underhand forward “throwing motion” allowing the rod to load up” the lure and propel it across the surface of the water. It will “skip” across the surface of the water much like the rocks did when you were a kid.
Once the TD624 Touchdown® Worm is skipped under the pier, I leave the rod tip pointed down and I allow the worm to slowly sink to the bottom. (Sometimes the strike will be immediate so be ready) When the lure “hits the bottom,” the line will go slack. I start a S-L-O-W retrieve with the rod tip down and I retrieve the lure back to the boat. As the worm is retrieved, the “bend” in the body of the worm will make the worm “roll, twist and gyrate” in the water and this action will INFURIATE ALL BASS in the area creating vicious strikes.
Allow me to relate a true situation to you. I was competing in a bass tournament on a natural lake in Northern Indiana. I had NEVER fished this body of water. The sun was shining and the lake was surrounded with piers. I had been catching numbers of small bass by Texas-Rigging plastic worms on the weedy breaks. I decided to move in to the piers and finish the last hour of the tournament.
I knew there had been numerous anglers fishing the fronts of the piers with spinnerbaits and crankbaits. I moved in shallow and started looking for shaded areas especially where I noticed cobwebs present, This indicated no one had presented a lure.
I had a Black/Grape TD624 rigged up and I made a “skip”between the first post of the pier and the seawall right in the shade. The TD 624 had no more than settled to the bottom where I noticed the line “swimming off” to my right. I quickly reeled in the slack line and set the hook. The FIGHT WAS ON!! In short time, I landed a largemouth bass that went just over 3 lbs.
I worked the pier out to the end and by the time I fished the pier completely around the front, I had caught four QUALITY largemouth bass and you should have seen the expressions on the angler’s face as they watched me boating the fish they never realized were there!!! YES.. I won that tournament…AND MANY MORE!!!
As I mentioned earlier, once you practice the “skipping” technique, you will be amazed when other anglers “pass up” bass because they CANNOT present a lure to places that YOU CAN by “skipping” the lure under the low hanging tree limb close to the bank, or skipping under a pier, or skipping under pontoons. Once you learn how to “skip” those TD624 TOUCHDOWN® WORMS to those unsuspecting bass, you will be unlocking a new dimension in your fishing arsenal.
Bud Fields, Touchdown Lures Pro-Staff