TREY EARNS AN ATTABOY
Last updated 8/27/2019 at Noon
Regardless of how old anything is, it is new the day you find out about it.In fishing it can be anything from a new way to tie a more efficient knot to the best technique for fooling fish following a cold front.At least for now, any new information regarding fishing the day after a cold front is little more than wishful thinking!
Not that long ago, I was talking with one of our better local bass fishermen, Trey Smith, when he casually asked if I had done any good fishing a Ned Rig.It turned out that I was one of the few that had never even heard of the lure or the technique or whatever a Ned Rig might be, but by the end of our chat I realized I had fished a slightly modified version for years.
He said that he had given it a try a few days earlier and that it worked much better than he anticipated.Inland saltwater fishermen have benefitted from both freshwater techniques to bass lures for years, but in this case, it is just the opposite.Every saltwater angler that has ever threaded a plastic tail on a jig head has fished a version of the Ned Rig.
Finesse fishing has become very popular with tournament fishermen and in this instance, either a converted trout fisherman decided to chunk a trout lure at the bass or a desperate bass fisherman just decided to thread a four inch piece of a straight tail worm on a lead head and give it a try.
I don’t have to tell even the most novice trout fisherman how to rig or fish a jig head and grub, but to render it more bass-worthy, the Ned Rig requires a slight modification.They actually offer a slightly off-set jig head which, in my opinion, helps keep the worm straight when rigged weedless.
According to Ned, or whomever named the technique, using a worm that will float upright when the lead head is on the bottom is the key.The fact that you are keeping it in contact with the bottom most of the time makes that minor alteration a little more appealing.
They do, in fact, offer an off-set hook with a flatter head that makes rigging it much easier.So……..here is what I have discovered after giving it a shot both in the bayous and on Toledo Bend.It works well enough to keep one tied on one of your rods and I would suggest fishing it on a seven foot medium spinning rod with a reel filled with 8 to 10 pound fluorocarbon or 12 pound braid.
When I use braid for this technique I also add a couple of feet of mono leader.The lure performs better because you can tie a loop knot and the mono is a little more invisible.The head that is made exclusively for the rig generally weighs an eighth of an ounce and is much flatter than its saltwater counterpart.
Because I initially decided to give the technique a try following Trey’s recommendation, I used what I had available and it worked just fine.I filed the head a little flatter on a couple of conventional jig heads and later even bent the shank of the hook to make it easier to rig weedless.I don’t think bending the hook is a good idea, however, as it will break under the strain of an irate redfish.
I didn’t have a single plastic worm in the boat the day I elected to try a Ned Rig so I bit about four inches off of an Assassin Lil Tapper.I don’t know if it floated upright or not as everything immediately disappears in the dirty water we are fishing right now, but if it didn’t, the fish didn’t seem to care.
The only day that I have fished it in the bayous, I caught two nice flounder, several undersized reds and a kajillion small bass.The bite really picked up when I switched to a watermelon Lil’ John.
The one day I fished it on Toledo Bend it was pouring down rain and we never got too far from the camp.The water wasn’t as low as it is right now and I caught eleven bass between two and four pounds while my partner struck out on everything from a Wacky worm to a jerk bait.The bass would hit it just about the time it cleared the outside edge of the moss.
Aside from the fact that Trey’s Ned Rig catches fish, the best news of all is that there is no need to throw away all of your used worms that are no longer suitable for Texas rigging.Save the last four inches and try the Ned Rig!