provided by John Phillips
Mossy Oak Fishing Pro Brandon Cobb of Greenwood, South Carolina, fished for five years on the FLW circuit and 2019 on the Bassmaster Elite Series. The 30-year-old began fishing solo when he was 12 years old, and his dad always has been his mentor. At Clemson University, Cobb was a member of the fishing team. In 2019, Cobb won two Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments at Lake Hartwell and Lake Fork and took home $100,000 for each win. You can keep up with Brandon Cobb on his Facebook page.
My number-one bass lure for May will be a wacky-rigged Zoom Fluke Stick that glides and can be fished around docks and overhanging trees. I always have the Fluke Stick tied onto my line and laying on my casting deck in May. I’ll choose this worm because there are still a lot of bass holding in shallow water during the first of May - either late bass spawning or bass moving to feed on bluegills or spawning shad. I believe that the wacky-rigged worm is one of the best lures to catch shallow bass, especially in clear water.
I also like fishing with a wacky worm on 10-pound-test braided line with about a 6-feet fluorocarbon leader tied to it, until I’ve cut and retied that leader until it’s only about 1-1/2 feet long. After that, I’ll cut that leader off and retie another fluorocarbon leader. I then use a 6’ 10” medium action spinning rod with an Abu Garcia Revo X casting reel. I like to fish a wacky worm because I don’t really fish it; the wacky-rigged worm has a very natural fall. So, when I cast it out at a target, I’ll let it fall to the bottom of the lake. If I don’t get a bite, I quickly reel it back in and aim again. Most of the time the bass will hit the bait as it falls. If I’m fishing the wacky rig around floating docks, on rocks or any type of structure where I don’t think I’ll get hung, I’ll fish an open hook. If I’m fishing around grass, submerged trees, bushes or any other structures where I may get hung, I’ll fish with a very light weed guard to keep from inhibiting the fall of the worm.
Many bass fishermen don’t like to fish a wacky worm because they consider it “slow fishing” - a task similar to watching paint dry. However, I don’t fish the wacky worm slowly. I’ll cast it out to the target and let it sink. More than likely, the target may not be in more than 3 feet of water, so the worm usually will reach the bottom within a second or two. When it hits the bottom, I reel it in and cast it to another target. I’m probably fishing the wacky worm faster than anglers fish with a crankbait, a spinner bait, a buzzbait or a Texas-rigged worm, since the fall of the lure is the only action that I’m dependent on to make the bass bite.
During the month of May, I’ll mainly be fishing the Fluke Stick in 3 feet of water or less. I may see the bass before I cast out to it. I always cast to the front of my boat. Then by the time my boat almost reaches the place where the wacky worm has landed, I’m reeling that lure in and making another cast. My favorite color is green pumpkin, a color I fish 90 percent of the time. If I think the bass are feeding on shad, I’ll fish a smoked shad color.
Another reason I like fishing the wacky worm is because I won the Lake Hartwell tournament in 2019 using the wacky worm and took home $100,000. I did catch some bass on some other lures, but 90 percent of the bass I caught were on wacky worm in the green-pumpkin color. I caught some of those bass skipping the wacky worm under docks and others in the shade spots along the bank. Lots of other anglers were fishing wacky worms too. Since the contestants on the Bassmaster Elite Series are all really good anglers, very rarely will one fisherman get into one pattern that no one else is using. But to win a tournament like that, you have to fish much cleaner by not losing many bass and putting every bass that tries to take the wacky worm in the boat. Naturally, you’re going to lose some bass - not due to your making a mistake, but because the bass was able to get off of your line. I always try to identify spots where everyone else isn’t fishing. Fishing clean is being focused on every cast, so that if you do get a bite, you can do what’s necessary to catch that bass.