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Fishing the Bottom-Catch Bass on the Bottom

Updated on November 1, 2016

Fishing the Bottom

When fishing for bass, fishing the bottom is a great place to start. Bass often like to hide on or near the bottom in some sort of cover. Be it grass, weeds, or tree stumps, that's where they're hiding. Several years ago, I went fishing with a couple of guys from the city that wanted to sit out in the middle of the lake and cast rubber worms. I thought they were crazy. I think they were because we didn't catch anything. However, I won't say that you won't catch fish in the middle of the lake, but you have to know what you're doing. When we were out there we only had the one lure and no fishfinder or anything. Don't let this be you. Always have more than one lure for fishing deep just in case you get stuck out in the middle of the lake with a couple guys that won't listen to you.There are several different lures and techniques you can use for fishing the bottom that can result in catching that lunker bass. I hope to go over some of the different lures and and techniques that can help you improve your results when fishing the tournament or just having fun on a weekend. Right, we're fisherman, who needs to wait for the weekend?

Before we begin, I would like to point out a method for determining if you should fish the bottom or not. If you or someone in  your party catches a bass, take a look at the mouth. If there are fresh looking wounds on the bottom lip, this indicates bottom feeding. The odds are in your favor that if this one has been doing a lot of bottom feeding, the other bass in the area probably are too.

The Rubber Worm

Probably one of the most popular fishing lures in history is the rubber worm. Why? You ask. Well, probably because it is one of the most successful lures in history. The rubber worm is a versatile lure that you can use in almost any situation. It may not always work, but if I could only have one lure it would be the rubber worm. Just let me be in charge of the boat and not the two guys that I mentioned earlier.

There are several different methods of fishing the rubber worm and as many methods to rig it. My personal choice of how to rig a rubber worm is to place a bullet weight on the line, then tie a prettly large worm hook on. Then, I place the hook through the "head" of the worm and curve it around so it comes out the side. Pull it until the head of the worm is up almost around the eye on the hook. Then twist the hook until you can push the sharp end of the hook back into the worm. I like to push it in far enough that the hook is barely starting to come out of the other side.I will attach a short video I found showing how to rig a worm.

My prefered method of fishing the rubber worm is to cast and let it sink. Be ready, because this is when a strike could catch you off guard. I don't know how many times I've had a bass slam my worm almost as soon as it has hit the water. If you don't hook one right away, then let it sink some before you slowly start to real it in. Take your time. I don't think worms are the fastest swimmers. As you SLOWLY reel it in, jerk your pole a little bit so that you might give it an appearance of twitching. This will help it to look more lifelike and may provoke the bass to strike a little sooner. If you feel a good jerk, you need to lift the tip of the pole quickly and hard. This is how you set the hook. You need to get a good set, so that it doesn't get away. If however, the worm comes flying at you, it may have just been a blue gill or crappie sucking on the end. After you've experienced a real bass strike, you probably won't make that mistake again.

There are several other ways you can rig your worm. You can rig the way I explained above but leave the weight off so the worm suspends itself in the water a little more. You can also hook the worm right through the middle. There are several other methods out there and you can experiment with your own. However, if you are fishing the bottom, then you will need to get some weight on your line to get it down there.

Shop for worms here.

How to Rig Rubber Worm

The Jig

Another very popular lure to use when fishing the bottom, is the jig. There are endless versions of this lure, but the same concept is pretty well always the same. It is a hook with a weight at the head and you place a small rubber bug looking thing over the hook. The rubber jig can have a straight tail, curly tail, two tails, etc.. Some are made to look more like a frog while others are made to look like crawfish. I say get a few different types and try them. If you don't have much luck, then try some different styles. Some people have completely different preferences to the type and style of jig they use.

The set up is pretty easy as you tie the hook to the eye located on the weight and then place the hook through the jig similar to how you rigged the rubber worm. With the jig however, you cannot turn the hook back into your lure. The hook will remain protruding from the side.

The technique is pretty close to that of the worm as well. You want to get it on the bottom and slowly bring it back in. Once again, making the small irratic jerks to give the twitching appearance. The difficult part of fishing with a jig is the weeds. Since the hook is hanging out waiting to hook something, you can also reel in a lot of grass or weeds. There are some weedless models on the market so that may be worth investing in. Below is a video of want you want the jig to look like while bouncing on the bottom.


The Crawfish/Crawdad

This lure is kind of a variation of the jig. The crawfish or crawdad, depending on what part of the country you are from, is a very good bottom lure particularly in the springtime when crawfish are coming out of hiding. Color is an important factor. There is a wide variety of colors to choose from and I recommend asking someone at your local bait shop what seems to be working. The colors that work best can change throughout the seasons.

The set up is pretty simple. You put your hook in through the tail instead of the head. Pull the tail up close and tight to the jig head. There may be some crawfish out there that you can actually pull the crawfish over the head to hide it a little better from the fish.

When fishing the crawfish, you want to cast and let it sink. Once again, be prepared. A falling crawafish could really draw the attention of a lurking bass. If your crawfish makes it to the bottom with no strike, begin to retrieve slowly. You want to kind of wiggle the tip of your rod to create a wiggling motion on the bottom. I don't think any lure truly mimics a real crawfish, but this will create enough of an illusion for the bass to strike anyway. Once again, when you feel a good strike be sure to give a good hard pull to set the hook. Bass like these little babies about as much as we like potato chips.

Shop for Crawfish here.

The Crawfish


I hope that I have helped give you a couple ideas that can help you when fishing the bottom for those huge bass. You can always experiment with other lures that may prove more productive in your area. Good luck and remember that a bad of fishing is better than a good day at work.


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    • Wayne Orvisburg profile image

      Kenneth Wayne 7 years ago from Alabama

      Thanks Michael!

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Well said partner! I have caught most of my monster bass fishing a deep running crankbait in 10 to 20 foot of water while everybody else is throwing more shallow crankbaits bringing in 2 pound peckerheads & I am bringing in 3 to 6 pounders....LOL! Great hub!

    • Wayne Orvisburg profile image

      Kenneth Wayne 7 years ago from Alabama

      I know! I can't wait for all this snow and ice to get out of here so I can hit the water! Thanks for reading!

    • Uzdawi profile image

      Uzdawi 7 years ago

      Waiting for summer.. Great article btw.Very much useful information here.Thank you!:)