The Texas rig is arguably the most popular soft plastic rig used today. It can be used in freshwater as well as saltwater applications with many different kinds of soft plastics. I researched the inventor of the Texas Rig and finding a consensus is difficult. About the only thing we know for sure is that it was invented in Texas. Some say it was a guide down there that came up with the idea although his name was not saved for posterity. It’s too bad because that person would have definitely gone down in history as a fishing legend.
Being weedless, the Texas rig allows you to fish a soft plastic bait in and around weeds, brush and other types of cover while being able to stay virtually free of getting hung up. While it was first used primarily with worms it is now used with countless soft plastic baits in many different applications. You can fish a worm slowly along the bottom. You can pitch and flip a creature bait around cover, or burn a soft swimbait like a Gambler EZ through the Kissimmee grass in lakes in Florida. In saltwater, you can use the Texas Rig to fish a fluke or artificial shrimp. It is truly one of the most versatile rigs you can throw and even though it is decades old, there are still many anglers that don’t know how to rig it correctly. In this video, we show you how to properly Texas rig a worm but remember that you can use this same rig with different baits. Give it a try the next time you are hitting the lake or skinny waters of the Gulf of Mexico and let us know how it fares for you. If you’re interested in purchasing the Trapper Tackle hooks mentioned in this video, click here.
Live to Fish has teamed up with the Florida Wildlife Commission to recover and recycle monofilament fishing line. Monofilament line can last hundreds of years before breaking down. Improperly discarded monofilament line causes devastating problems for marine life and the environment in general. Marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, and birds can become injured from entanglements, and some marine life go as far as to ingest the line, often dying as a result. Human divers and swimmers are also at risk.
The Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program (MRRP) is a statewide effort that encourages monofilament recycling through a network of drop-off locations. This network of drop off locations is an efficient way to move large volumes of unwanted monofilament line, it’s free and available to the public at multiple locations including Live to Fish’s retail store in Hudson, Florida.
Please take the extra time to discard your monofilament line, it’s easy and it can make a huge difference in preserving our marine environments for generations to come. Live to Fish will gladly accept your unwanted fishing line and ensure that it gets disposed of properly. In the event that you are unable to find a drop-off location near you, feel free to mail your unwanted fishing line to us. Our store location, hours of operation, and mailing address are listed here.
Fishing reels have come a long way in the past 10 to 15 years but the basic engineering concepts remain the same. Progressive changes are seen in terms of the materials used and the construction methods employed with advanced materials. Engineering, design, and material improvements keep your reels working longer, harder, and more smoothly. With advancements regarding a fishing reel’s drag, bigger fish are capable of being safely landed with smaller reels. By, “safely landed,” I’m referring to fishing with equipment properly suited to the species you’re after. If you choose to chase down a large Tarpon with an unreasonably underweight light tackle spinning outfit, chances are you’ll lose that silver king. However, if you were to pursue that Tarpon on such light tackle while your buddy drives the boat chasing after it on an open flat, you’re creating conditions that will lead to a battle that could easily last for hours. An unnecessarily prolonged battle is what becomes unsafe. Fish mortality rates dramatically increase when the battle to bring them boat side is prolonged. If you know you’re going to be practicing catch and release, make sure you don’t cancel out the main purpose of releasing the fish by engaging in conduct that renders its likelihood of survival remote.
Setting Your Reel Drag Properly
Now we’ll move on with discussing your fishing reel drag setting. Whether you’re fishing with a spinning or baitcasting reel, the reel has what is called a drag. When you hook a fish, they’re going to make a run for it. When they do, your drag works to provide resistance. You can compare a fishing reel’s drag to the brakes in your car. Both work with friction to either decrease the speed of your car or slow the run of a hooked fish. The study of friction is a complex science called tribology. Without a drag to provide the proper degree of resistance, you’d hook that fish, they’d make a run for it, and you’d likely lose it. If you set your drag too tight, you’re likely to lose the fish due to your line snapping or a knot failing. Set your drag too lose and, depending on the species, you could either get, “spooled,” meaning, the fish swims off with all your new and expensive fishing line; or the fish swims for cover. If the fish makes it to cover, which consists of things like mangroves, dock pilings, weeds, tree trunks, etc., then your line is likely to snap as it’s pulled hard against one of these objects. There’s an exception to the above general rules for bass fisherman. Bass fisherman have the option of hooking their bass, cranking down the drag on 20lb test line, and pulling the bass out of whatever cover they hooked him in. That technique doesn’t work for people after cobia, snook, redfish, sharks, and other pelagic species. What’s the correct amount of drag pressure to have? Technically, you’re supposed to set your drag to 25% of the breaking strength of your line. If you’re using 20 lb. test line, 20 divided by 4 = 5 lbs. The only way to accurately determine if you’ve set your drag to 5 lbs. is to use a scale. Though a scale will give you accurate feedback, I’ve never seen anyone actually go through the process of measuring their drag setting with a scale; nor do I even know anyone with such a scale. The most direct and simple way to determine if you’ve set your drag properly is to gauge how difficult it is to pull the line off your reel with your hand against the drag. By, “against the drag,” I mean with your bail closed. You want it to be hard to pull the line, but not too hard to where pulling it causes the line to cut into your fingers, or is otherwise uncomfortable. If you can pull the line off with complete ease, it’s way too loose. Remember, you can always adjust your drag settings during the fight with the fish.
How Reel Drag Systems Work
Some of you may wonder how a fishing reel’s drag tension is created? Most fishing reel drag systems work in the same manner as far as the fact that friction is used as the method to produce resistance. A fishing reel’s drag usually consists of two or more discs, also called drag washers, working face to face. These discs are made of material that will provide resistance when they’re moving against each other. One of the oldest materials used for a fishing reel’s drag is cork. Some companies still use cork today. In principle, the tighter the two discs are pushed together (through the drag adjustment), the more resistance you create, thereby requiring more pull to cause the line to slip from the spool. Reels vary in the different washer systems used and in the material the drag washers are made from. When you tighten your drag down, you’re increasing the pressure between the drag washers. Loosen your drag, and you’ll loosen the pressure between the drag washers.
Questions on Setting Your Reel Drag?
If you’re unsure of what type of reel and drag to use, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or comment below with questions. We’re happy to help make any recommendations you need.
Here at Live to Fish, we know that it’s always a good idea to be prepared with a first aid kit and other items that could potentially save you from disasters. In this entry, we’ll be discussing a couple of tips and tricks to help you become better prepared when you’re fishing on a boat.
Hook Removal from Skin
Got a hook stuck in your skin? No worries, just stay calm and prepare to remove it. First, you’ll want to clean the area, then decide which method you want to use to remove the hook. There are three common methods for removing fishing hooks from skin. Although every hook is different, these are the methods that have been reported to work best for people:
Push the fish hook through and cut the barb off or crush it with plier cutters. Then gently slide it out.
Grab it and pull it out as quickly as possible (this method may not always work and could potentially hurt more).
Use fishing line to loop through the bend of the stuck hook. Push down on the opposite hook end with a partner and yank the string back (works best for small circle hooks). You can also do this more easily with the emergency hook remover tool by South bend.
Tips for Overcoming Nausea & Sea-Sickness
Motion Sickness is caused by mixed signals in the brain from your inner ears and eyes. Your inner ear has a lot to do with your sense of motion and balance, so being on/in anything that is moving may cause you to feel ill or nauseous. Many people suffer from motion sickness, it’s quite common for people traveling by car, train, plane, and boat. Although you could always take Dramamine and other drugs to help fight motion-sickness, there’s a bundle of ways that you can stop nausea on your own.
Many people don’t understand that much of sea-sickness is mental. The more you focus on your nausea, the more power you’re giving it to take over. Don’t do that! Stop. Breathe. And follow these helpful tips to take control. But just remember, if you get sick –don’t sweat it! Many people deal with sea-sickness on a regular basis. Sometimes it just happens and you have to let it run its course. Plus, in many cases you’ll feel a bit better after you toss your cookies. Here’s a few tips to help you fight sea-sickness:
Look up and out towards the horizon. This will help you be able to mentally focus on something that isn’t moving –which in many cases, the horizon may be the only point you can focus on that isn’t moving.
Change your direction. Try aiming your head in the same direction that your vessel is moving.
Chew gum. Sometimes this chewing motion can help keep away nausea.
Avoid alcohol. We know that drinking and fishing can go hand in hand, but if you’re prone to getting sea-sick, this may be something you’ll want to avoid.
Avoid harsh smells. Try to seek out fresh air to help you open your lungs and calm your gag reflexes. If you can, lightly spray aromatherapy smells in your surrounding area such as lavender and mint to help calm you down.
Pinch your wrist. Your wrists contain pressure points that help relieve nausea symptoms. If you find that this works great for you, pick up a Queaz-Away Wristband. This simple wristband contains a piece that gently pushes into your wrist’s pressure point when wearing it correctly. This option is also great because there’s no drugs involved.
Avoid concentrating on screens & reading. The more stress you put on your eyes to focus when you’re moving, the dizzier you’ll become.
Avoid direct sunlight and stay hydrated. The less hydrated you are, the more likely you’ll feel light-headed and more prone to nausea. If you’ve already gotten ill, get out of the sun and try to sip on water.
Sip on a soda. Many people report that sipping on some type of carbonated beverage helps settle their stomach. Everyone is different, so try for yourself and see if this works!
Stay towards the middle of the boat. By avoiding the ends of the boat (which have the most pronounced rocking motions) you’ll be able to keep better balance.
Be the captain. If you can, get behind the wheel and steer the boat. This will help keep your mind busy and your eyes on the horizon.
Keep your ears clean. If you don’t, the build-up of wax can make you more prone to sea-sickness. This is because your inner ears control your center of gravity.
Be rested. Make sure that you’re well-rested and get a good night’s sleep the night before you’re on the water. Good sleep helps your sense of balance and overall state of well-being.
Try using MotionEaze. This drug-free, doctor recommended motion sickness relief is safe for children and contains natural oils that fight dizziness & nausea. Simply place a drop behind each ear and feel relief within minutes.
Avoiding Bug Bites
Bug bites are at the top of the list of annoyances for many people trying to fish. Bug spray is a popular method to keep away bugs, but what if you have a skin allergy or just don’t like the idea of putting chemicals on your skin? Lucky for you, there’s a few alternatives to classic bug sprays. Now you can avoid itchy, annoying bug bites with an insect repellent wristband by Bugband or a Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Appliance. Bugbands repel mosquitoes, flies, & gnats, and they’re safe for children to wear. Each Bugband works for up to 120 hours. The Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Appliance repels mosquitoes, black flies, & other biting insects in a 15’ x 15’ area with the help of flame-less, odorless butane cartridges. This appliance is easy & safe to carry, and the best part is —it fits in your pocket! Any of the above methods will help keep you free of bites & bug-carrying diseases.
Emergency Water Filtration
In the case of an extreme emergency, it’s always good to have an emergency water filter. A single Emergency Water Filter by LifePack can make up to 3 liters of water a day for 3 days. Keeping a water filter handy on your boat is a great idea because you never know what could happen.
Once again, we at Live to Fish want to remind you to always be prepared when you’re heading out on a fishing trip —big or small. Some of these tools & tips might just come in handy someday!
Have questions about the information or products we discussed? We’re ready to answer any product questions that you may have. Just give us a call at 1-844-9FISHIN or drop us a line on our contact page.
Unfortunately, getting out on the water for a fishing trip happens less likely than most of us would want. A fishing trip involving a newcomer or young children can be even less likely. Having a newcomer to the sport of fishing, child or adult, is a valuable opportunity to pass on your passion for fishing. Additionally, it’s an ideal occasion to teach the less experienced fisherman about ethical fishing and boating practices. This article will help ensure trips with people not accustomed to fishing proceed as smoothly as possible. If you think back to where your passion for fishing first developed, you’re likely to recall going out with a fishing enthusiast. That ambassador to the sport of fishing likely contributed to your experience in ensuring it was favorable and unforgettable. Meaningful positive memories are ensured when helping someone with less experience end up with a fish on the line. The newcomer doesn’t necessarily have to be related to you, nor do they have to be a child. Witnessing the pure excitement exhibited by someone who hasn’t fought a fish before results in a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Follow the tips below to ensure that any fishing experience is one in which the chances of everyone enjoying the opportunity are increased.
Don’t Focus on Targeting a Specific Species
At first, the goal is simply to catch fish in general. This tip is especially true when fishing with children. When kids are along, remember that those under 10 years of age have a very short attention span. If they aren’t catching fish, boredom will soon follow. If boredom sets in and isn’t relieved with a fish on the line, it will be all that much harder to convince them to go along with you in the future. For the first few trips, focus on going after whatever species is easiest to catch during that time of year. For the inexperienced fisherman, it’s not about the size of the fish, or the species. Gamefish or not, the newcomer will be happy that a fish goes from swimming freely to being caught. Go through the necessary preparations that you would normally follow before heading out. Such preparations include checking the tidal conditions for your area, among other things. If you don’t know what’s biting, ask a local bait shop employee or contact us.
Don’t Try to Fish in Rough or Extreme Conditions
Though you may cast concerns over wind and waves aside when heading out, someone new to the sport has not yet come to understand the fun and enjoyment that fishing brings. Your motivation to fish through uncomfortable conditions comes about as a result of the fond fishing memories you already have. Regardless of whether fishing from shore or from a boat, keep in mind that the experience is entirely new for your guest. They don’t yet share the same level of commitment and enthusiasm that you share for the sport. Exposing them to rough wind and waves may result in the person being skeptical to try the next time. After a few successful trips, you can better gauge their endurance and willingness to deal with adverse conditions.
Shorten the Duration of Your Trips
Long trips require a similar type of endurance and enthusiasm as is required for fishing through adverse conditions. Save the full day adventure for another time. Preferably after the novice shares your interest in the sport. How long should you plan the fishing trip duration? Three to four hours is plenty of time to take someone out, put them on fish, and bring them back. Before you head out to catch whatever swims, make a note to pack plenty of snacks and drinks as well. You want to focus on maximizing comfort during the first trips. We sell a number of accessories to help make your trip as fun and enjoyable as possible.
Cater Your Tackle to Beginners
If you have children along, work to avoid use of treble hooks. Getting a hook in your hand or elsewhere has probably occurred to you at some point (no pun intended). Safe removal of the hook is difficult and even harder to do in a completely pain free manner. You want the hooks you remove with newcomers to be those stuck in the mouths of fish, not your guest. Fortunately, we offer a wide variety of single barb hooks. You can easily exchange treble hooks with single barb hooks without fear of losing the opportunity to hook up. Also remember that some manufacturers also make their lures with single barb hooks, so these types of lures are a good addition to any tackle box. Since we’re on the topic of lures, here’s another important point to consider – unless you’re simply trolling, lures require specialized knowledge involving how to work the rod and the rate at which to reel in. Each artificial bait is fished differently in order to attract strikes. When fishing with someone new to the sport, their concerns are likely to exist on a much lower level on the totem pole of fishing expertise. More likely than not, they’ll just want to make sure they nail learning how to cast. In this case, use of lures is not advisable and you should try live bait instead.
Focus on Your Guests
If you’ve ever hired a guide to take you out for a day of fishing, recall how much attention that guide provided to you. No, you don’t have to suddenly become as attentive as a professional fishing guide. The idea behind recommending that you keep your focus on your guests is to help them feel more comfortable doing something new. If you happen to hook one, hand the rod off and let them fight the fish. Valuable lessons are learned in how to properly handle a fighting fish, so it’s worth taking the time to pass on any knowledge you might have. Allow your guests the opportunity to take a close look before releasing the fish. An exception to giving you guests the chance to take a closer look would be if you happen to catch a large shark or saltwater catfish. In such instances, the risks likely outweigh the rewards. If you are going to release the fish, follow proper catch and release methods to ensure a safe release of the fish.
Be Patient & Encouraging
If they do something wrong or the fish shakes the hook, be sure to offer quick positive words of support and encouragement. If you follow these tips, the chances of passing on your love of the sport increase. Comment below or contact us if you have any other questions or for any further tips or suggestions.
When you’re on the lookout for soft plastic worms for bass fishing, you may notice that one brand consistently comes to the top of the list. The name is Zoom Baits, and this legendary brand has been a driving force in the soft plastics industry since the late 1970’s. One of the main advantages of using products from Zoom is that all of their baits feature a proprietary salt impregnated plastic formula. This special plastic provides a tasty burst of salt when the fish strikes, encouraging them to hold on longer and give you more time to reel in your catch.
Zoom’s extensive catalogue of soft worms are available in multiple kinds and feature over 370 color variations. With this much of a selection, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. That’s why we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll go over the special features of Zoom’s most popular worms and give details on how each one is best used to catch fish. Read on for some helpful information that might come in handy next time you’re on the market for soft plastic worms.
The Centipede is the soft bait of choice for sluggish bass in cold weather conditions. It’s also great for times when bass are finicky and less inclined to bite. At just 4″ long and armed with multiple rows of water moving ridges, the Centipede is a cold water bait that darts and glides with the slightest movement of your rod. While the Centipede is ideal for Carolina rigs, its short length and sturdy plastic construction means it can be dropshot, splitshot, or even used on a shakey head. Check out our selection of Zoom Centipedes for color options and more information.
Zoom Dead Ringer
The Zoom Dead Ringer is a mainstay in any serious bass angler’s soft bait arsenal, and for good reason. The Dead Ringer’s specially designed body-rings move more water than a traditional smooth worm, which helps it create predatory-response acoustics that hungry bass just can’t resist. The oversized curly tail flutters on the fall or with the slightest twitch of your rod, providing a lifelike action that can bring in bass from near or far. Our selection of Dead Ringer Worms includes multiple sizes and colors.
Zoom Trick Worm
The Trick Worm is a perfect straight-tailed option when fishing weightless for shallow-water bass. It’s also super effective on a Shaky, Carolina, or Wacky rigs for deeper dwelling fish. The tapered body and natural-looking segments give it a slithering motion that allows it to navigate through difficult environments like grass beds and log jams. Try the Trick Worm in a variety of colors to see which one works best for you.
Zoom Finesse Worm
At 4.5″ in length, Zoom’s Original Finesse Worm is a smaller version of the popular trick worm. This little worm is responsible for catching more bass in the U.S. than any other finesse bait. The Finesse Worm’s lifelike body segments and gradually tapered shape make it extremely capable for a variety of fishing techniques. It can be rigged wacky style, on a darter head, or splitshot, but as the name would suggest, it’s perfect on a finesse jig head. We offer Finesse Worms in a plethora of colors, so make sure you check ’em out.
Zoom Fluke Stick
The Zoom Fluke Stick combines the lifelike worm shape and rigging versatility of the Finesse Worm with the gliding and darting action of a Super Fluke tail. The result is a unique, fluked soft-plastic stickbait that is useful for a variety of techniques. The fluked tail provides a smooth gliding motion on the fall, allowing access to previously unreachable areas like the underside of docks or beneath heavy weed cover. You can fish the Fluke Stick weightless, on a dropshot, or Texas rigged, and it will exhibit an erratic darting motion on the retrieve that bass can’t resist. Check out our selection of Fluke Sticks at LivetoFish.com.
Zoom G-Tail Worm
The Zoom G-Tail is the perfect weapon when going after big bass. The thick, square-shaped body and wide, fluttering G-shaped tail create a larger presentation that will naturally gain the attention of bigger bass. Use it with a Texas or Carolina rig, or fish it weightless for some topwater, tail-buzzing action that’ll drive big bass into a frenzy. If you’re on the market for a big bass-catching, soft plastic worm, then check out our selection of G-Tail Worms.
Zoom Magnum II Worm
The Magnum II (Mag II for short) is a soft plastic worm that is ideal for going after big bass when the water heats up. At a total length of 9″, this worm features an extremely long, curled tail. The sheer size and weight of the Mag II means it can be easily flipped or pitched into heavy cover areas. You can even add a weight to your line and crawl it along the bottom —its long tail will sway with the current and entice curious bass from all directions. Our selection of Mag II Worms includes multiple colors so you can tailor your presentation to a variety of weather conditions.
The Meathead’s thick, fleshy head takes up over 1/4 of its total body length, which makes it an ideal bait for split shotting. The body quickly tapers off into a flat paddle tail, which provides an extra bit of motion on the fall that can get bass biting on a slow day. Try out this 4″ worm when the fish aren’t biting and experience the difference it can make. The Meathead can also work really well when dropshot or placed on a Carolina rig.
Zoom Ol’ Monster
At up to 12″ in length, the Ol’ Monster is the largest worm in Zoom’s lineup. The shear size and profile of the Ol’ Monster make it best suited for going after really big bass. The slender body and long fluttering tail work great on both Texas & Carolina rigs, but are also adaptable to magnum shakey head rigs and much more. Live to Fish offers the Ol’ Monster in two sizes and multiple colors. See the Ol’ Monster in Action:
Zoom Shakey Head
As the name would imply, Zoom’s Shakey Head Worm was designed to work perfectly with a shakey head jig. The Shakey head is perfectly balanced for finesse presentations, and the flat head transitions into a segmented, tapered body that allows you to manipulate this worm with the slightest twitch of the rod. What’s more, if you pair up the Shakey Head Worm with a jig that shares its namesake, the tail will stand up straight in water columns and twitch enticingly. Use this technique when fishing in high-pressured waters when bass aren’t biting.
See the Shakey Head in Action:
Zoom Original Speed Worm
Zoom’s Original Speed Worm features a soft segmented body and a thick paddle tail. The body segments help move more water and attract bigger fish, while the paddle tail adds a gliding motion on the fall. This shape helps allow access to small openings under thick matting and brush piles. Fish it as a weightless swimbait or attach a bullet weight to simulate the pulsing movement of a spinnerbait. No matter how you use it, the Original Speed Worm is a versatile, durable, and capable bait that provides results.
Zoom UV Speed Worm
The UV Speed Worm takes the segmented body design of the Original Speed Worm and replaces the flat paddle tail with Zoom’s patented Ultra Vibe Tail. The Ultra Vibe Tail is designed to maximize water disturbance and vibration as you retrieve the bait. This creates a sound that hungry bass just can’t resist. Fish the UV Speed Worm as a Texas or Carolina rig to go after deep dwellers, or try it weightless and watch the Ultra Vibe Tail buzz across the water’s surface.
See the UV Speed Worm in Action:
Zoom Swamp Crawler
The Swamp Crawler is a finesse style worm with a thin, straight-tailed design and natural worm-like body segments. This worm is ideal for Texas and Carolina rigs, but also works great on a jig head or as a weightless lure. The straight tail and segmented body give this worm a natural, wavelike action that helps attract even the most finicky of bass.
Zoom U-Tale Worm
The Zoom U-Tale is a medium-sized worm that is arguably well suited to any fishing situation that you may encounter. For this reason, the U-Tale is a must-have for any angler’s soft plastic arsenal. Its medium size makes it adaptable for both large and small bass, and the U-shaped tail flutters naturally on both the fall and the retrieve. The U-Tale Worm is available in a plethora of colors, which means you can experiment and find the best option for every situation.
Zoom Z-Drop Worm
If there ever was a worm designed to be perfect for dropshotting, then Zoom has come as close as possible with the Z-Drop Worm. This worm features a big, segmented head and a flat underbelly with a crosstail design. The head adds extra weight and resistance on the fall, while the belly helps create a gentle gliding presentation and swaying motion as it descends into the depths.
We’re Here to Help
Do you have any particular preference of worms from Zoom Baits? Have you had success with a Zoom worm or a fishing technique not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments section or get in touch. If you’re on the market for some new soft plastic baits from Zoom, be sure to visit us at livetofish.com and check out the Zoom Baits selection for a huge variety of colors and sizes on all the worms mentioned in this article.