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4 min to read

Fishing A Finesse Grub

Category : BACK DECK

By Alex Kolody Presented by Lunkerbite TV

They can be rigged weedless or with an exposed hook, depending on the situation.
They can be rigged weedless or with an exposed hook, depending on the situation.

You may think a finesse grub only works in certain areas of the lake- more of an open water and weed-line type technique? You are only partially correct. You can throw a finesse grub just about anywhere you want in the country, and in about any situation. All you have to do is adjust your tackle to the situation-light equipment for open water and heavier equipment for up-close, heavy cover locations.

A finesse grub is a technique that will catch any bass in the area, whether they are hungry and on the prowl or lock jawed and not interested in much. Whether you want to put a quick limit in the boat, or go for numerous bites all day, this technique can really catch them. Just because it’s called finesse doesn’t mean it only catches little bass as many people think. Some of my biggest bass have come from small finesse-style grubs.

Bait Selection:

As far as bait selection goes, there are numerous grubs/worms that I like. I especially like the 4” Zoom finesse trick worm and Slider finesse worm. I also use some of the Keitech lineup of baits. I have been dabbling with some prototype baits from Hawgline this past year that will be released in a few months. Till then, it is still my secret!

Jig Selection:

Two of Kolody's favorite jighead choices
Two of Kolody’s favorite jighead choices

Head selection is very important for such baits. You do not want to “over-hook” your bait. By that I mean that you want to size your hook to the bait appropriately. I see it all too often when someone ties a shaky head on. They try matching a shaky head with a big hook with a small worm (ex. 4/o hook and 4″ finesse worm). The only problem is it will be a head that has a 4/0 size hook meant for a 7 inch worm, and hook diameter meant for a powerful backbone rod. To use a small finesse worm and get the proper action and performance from your bait, you need to pair them accordingly. I suggest a head with a 2/0 hook or smaller for small 3-5 inch worms, and a 4/0 hook with a 6-7+ inch worm. What this does is, 1) allows the worm to actually move more when in the water creating a more lifelike action, and 2) allows the fish to hold on longer because there is less hook. I like spot remover heads for shaky style fishing, and a round ball head with a good hook for exposed style.

Equipment Selection:

I generally use 6’6”-7’ Rapsody rods for this style technique. Depending on location, my line varies from 6lb test all the way to 15lb test line, on medium light to medium heavy rods. You can use spinning or bait casting. For the lighter heads and open water, I suggest throwing a smaller sized spinning setup. If there is more cover present, I would suggest a casting setup with heavier line. I use fluorocarbon on either setup.

How To Fish It:

There are a few ways you can fish a finesse worm. The most common way is to drag in short strokes, pause, and repeat. When dragging the bait, start with your rod at about a 9 o’clock position and drag to about the 10 o’clock position. This allows for a solid hookset at the end of the drag, and still provides a 2-3 foot long movement of the bait.

The next way to fish a finesse worm is with an aggressive hop and pause. This works well for fish that may be suspended a foot or so off the bottom, and also in clear water because the aggressive hop can draw fish in from several feet away.

Then there is the retrieve that made the name shaky head! It is very simple. You shake it in place then let it sit, drag it a few inches, shake again. These retrieves all work well. But, you can vary the retrieve anyway you wish! You can blend them all together or just use one of them. You need to experiment until the fish tell you what they want. I see too many people trying to make the fish eat the bait the way they want to fish it. This is the biggest mistake you can make. Always pay attention to what your doing. Even an unintentional retrieve could trigger a strike! I have caught several fish over the years doing some strange things with baits.

As a non-boater, this is a super important technique to master! It will not only catch you fish, it will probably help you out-fish your boater.


Circuits Fished: ESPN Weekend Series, FLW Bass Fishing League, Rochester Bassmasters

Sponsors: Daiichi, Stanley Jigs, Aqua-Vu, Rapsody Rods, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Hawgline, TFO Industries, Tuf-Line, Haber Sunglasses, Frogg Toggs, Round Valley Tungsten, RentRochester.com, Interstate Batteries

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