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Bass pros love to talk about teaching, and how they want to help everyone catch more fish. That’s true to an extent. A bass pro makes his living by catching more and bigger fish than everyone else, so it’s no surprise that the best pros keep a few secrets buried deep beneath their boat decks. Here are three bass rigs that you might not know about but should. Two are more evolutionary, one is definitely revolutionary, and all three bass rigs can help you put more bucketmouths in the boat.
It was almost two decades ago that the football head originally came east from California. It's hard to pin credit on the first person to carry a football head across the Rocky Mountains, but certainly FLW Tour Pro Jim Moynagh was one of the first bass pros to reap huge payouts with it.
Since that mid- to late-'90s timeframe, football-head jigs have expanded from deep applications and are now offered in finesse flipping versions and even as a shakey-head. But always, the preferred accompaniment is a soft-plastic craw, Beaver-style creature or some form or twintail.
One closely guarded Tennessee River secret, however, is to use a 12-inch or larger worm on a football head. That secret was exposed in the summer of 2011 when Chad Grigsby used such a rig to win the Kentucky Lake FLW Tour. Ironically, Kentucky Lake stud Kevin Snider gave Grigsby the technique tip and the worm, and Snider placed second.
According to both pros, the setup offers a different look for summer ledge-fish that have been thrashed with spoons, cranks and regular, slithery Texas-rigged big worms. Also according to both pros, a lot of pros threw the rig this year, but often referred to it simply as a "big worm."
The key to the rig is that the football-head catches as it drags and thus rocks back and forth, which pitches the long plastic worm up in the air in a snakelike fashion.
Any football head from 1/2- to 3/4-ounce will do best, and traditionally popular big worms, like the 12-inch Berkley Power Worm and Zoom Ole Monster (either in plum, junebug or green-pumpkin), are killer. A good match is a 7-foot, 3-inch or 7-foot, 4-inch medium-heavy Carolina-rig-style rod with a high-speed reel to help take up slack and catch up to fish that run.
Throw the rig to classic deep-ledge structure, especially along channel swings, and drag it back to the boat.