Stick Worm: The Most Underappreciated Lure in Bass Fishing

Pro-staff Contributor: Michaela Anderson

One of the first baits I learned to use when I started bass fishing was a stick or cigar style worm. At first glance the bait doesn’t look like much, or like anything I had ever witnessed fish eating before–but it catches fish. For a stick style bait, I prefer the Trigger X Flutter worm. This bait can be fished using a variety of methods and in all types of cover.

Rigging your Stick Bait

One of the easiest ways to fish a stick worm, and often the most effective, is weightless. I’ll usually Texas rig the bait on a VMC Wide Gap worm hook or wacky rig it on a VMC Wacky Hook. If you’re not familiar with these rigging styles, we’ve got you covered.  We explained how to Texas rig in Rich’s blog earlier this year. Or, if you want to wacky rig the bait, all you have to do is put the hook through the middle of the bait.

Flutter Worm Blog

Wacky rigged flutter worm.

I like to skip docks and work shallow vegetation, like reeds and lily pads, with a weightless Flutter worm.  This bait is normally overlooked by other fisherman who would rather throw something heavier like a jig.

A weightless Flutter worm can also be deadly on weed lines. You can throw the bait out, let it slowly sink to the bottom, and let it sit a minute or two before moving it.  We call this “soaking.” If you have to let it sit still for a long time we call it “soaking the dye off.” This takes a lot of patience but it works well. Also, it’s great for kids because they can catch fish by simply throwing the bait out and leaving it be.

Pairing Stick Baits with Jig Heads

Another way to use a stick-style bait is on a jig head. There are many jig head options and many sizes to choose from. When selecting a weight it is important to keep in mind the speed at which your bait is falling. You do not want your bait to fall too quickly because many times fish will eat the bait when it is falling.

Jig heads work extremely well when fishing cover on the bottom like rocks, weed lines or brush. With a jig head you have more contact with the bottom and are able to feel the structure better. You want to choose a heavier weight in windy days or in areas with fast currents because it will make it easier to keep contact with the bottom. A VMC Stand Up Shaky Head Jig is great to use in almost all situations—around docks, bridge pilings, rocks, weeds or laydowns. This jig allows you to rig the flutter worm weedless works really well when you’re fishing in cover. Or if you are fishing rocks or shell beds, the VMC Rugby Jig allows you to drag a worm across the bottom without getting stuck as much as other style jig heads.

Flutter Worm Blog

Picking your Stick Bait

Personally, I use a 5-inch Flutter worm in most situations. I will us the smaller 4-inch worm on a drop shot rig or shaky head if I am getting bites but the fish are not taking the bait all the way.

The color you should use will vary depending on the lake, but one of my favorite colors is green red flake. I tend to use more natural colors like pumpkin or green pumpkin in clear water. Then adding colored flake, like red or purple, will help in stained water. For really muddy or dirty water, I like a black with blue flake or something with chartreuse to catch the fish’s eye.  If you’d like to learn more about color selection, you can check out Rich’s take on the topic here.

This is a bait that all bass anglers should have in the arsenal. I have one tied on at all times because, when fishing gets tough, my go-to tactic is to “soak” a Flutter worm. Make sure you try some of these techniques next time you’re on the water!

Michaela Anderson is a college angler fishing the FLW, B.A.S.S. College Circuits and select FLW Walmart Tour events representing, Trigger X and the University of St. Thomas. You can follow her on Twitter (@MichaelaFishing) and like her on Facebook (

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