Photo by Nathaniel Samsel.My 8-year-old son Asher discovered a new favorite bass rig this spring. Actually his big brother Nathaniel found it for him. The rig consists of a 4- or 5-inch YUM Dinger nose hooked on a 2/O Daiichi Bleeding Bait "Catch & Release for Plastics Circle Hook, fished on braided line spooled medium sized spinning gear.
The technique? Asher essentially casts around cover and catches fish. Sounds too simple, I know. It works, though, and that's why Asher likes it so much. The Dinger, which is a salted stick worm, is easy to cast with the braid and spinning gear, so Asher can place it accurately. The bait's greatest appeal is on the fall, so many fish hit without Asher doing anything more than casting it and pausing. If they don't hit it then, he lifts the rod tip a few times to make it dart and then just swims it back slowly, and a lot of fish hit it on the retrieve.
Because of the circle hook and the open rigging, no hook sets are needed. Asher just reels quickly when fish hit, and the fish get hooked. The fish tend to target the business end, with the flash of red from the Bleeding Bait hook, and with minimal stretch in the line, he normally connects with the bass almost immediately when they hit.
Naturally, the bass have to be relatively shallow for the "Asher rig" to work, and they can't be in weeds or brush that's too thick for an open hook. Given the right setting, it's an outstanding rig for a young angler or for anyone who is just developing bass fishing skills because the rig itself does so much of the work.