Jan 2010 02

by Spencer Clark

The Gear:

When it comes to fishing a wiggle wart it pays to have the right set up. One of the most important parts of your equipment is your rod. Make sure you have a seven foot medium action rod with a soft tip. A medium action rod will also help with hooking up with cold water bass. The AiRRUS Copperhead cranking stick has been a great rod for tossing these smaller cranks. When deciding on what reel to use make sure you use one with a slower retrieve. One of the easiest things to do when the water is cold is to over work your crankbaits and a slower reel will help you to slow down your retrieve. The best line is 10lb to 12lb GAMMA Edge fluorocarbon for feel, easy casting, and getting your wiggle wart deeper. The best colors in my opinion are the browns and greens because they mimic craw fish. I’ve had luck on fire tiger and some of the other wild colors but I have had my best luck on a phantom green wiggle wart in the ozarks. One last tip is to put a suspend dot right under the bill of the crankbait. The wart will run a little deeper and it will have a slower rise.

The Technique:

The best places to throw a wiggle wart are chunk rock banks and around rip rap. I typically try and look for 45 degree transisition banks that lead back to spawning flats. If the bank has some old laydowns on it all the better. A lot of times the last channel swing bank can be dynamite. The backs of the creeks will always warm quicker after a couple of sunny days so don’t be afraid to check them out. For the retrieve usually a steady slow retrieve works the best. Mix in a couple of pauses here and there but don’t fish your warts with an erractic action like you might in the summer. Just stop and start reeling your bait smoothly without any jerky movements. Make sure the wart is ticking the bottom and rooting in the rocks like a craw fish. Line your boat up with the bank and make parallel casts to figure out what depth the fish are using the most. When fishing a wart a lot of times it is best to make a milk run and just cover a lot of water. You are looking for 5 keeper bites.

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