Wiggle Warts catch bass, especially early in the season.
Bob Frye/Everybody Adventures
Don’t ask Brandon Palaniuk why Wiggle Warts are so effective.
The Hayden, Idaho, bass pro can’t say.
“It’s kind of one of the tried and true fishing phenomenon that’s not really explainable and goes against everything in the book,” he said.
But rest assured, he believes they’re a tremendous bass catcher.
He attributes that to their action. Wiggle Warts are a “thumping” bait that creates a “vortex” by moving lots of water. That, he said, often proves irresistible.
“It has a good hunting action,” he said, comparing its movements to a scurrying crawfish, darting this way and then that as it attempts to flee a predator. “it just has that slow, methodical way to it. It’s kind of a sweeping motion.”
Made by Storm, the lures are 2 inches long and dive 7 to 18 feet deep. They come in nearly 50 colors.
Palaniuk fishes them near rocky terrain and to a lesser extent grass, especially if the water there is a little warmer and perhaps windblown. He cranks the lure down until it hits bottom, then brings it back to the boat so that it bumps and bounces over structure the entire way.
That’s especially effective when fishing in shallow water, he added. Then, he fishes Wiggle Warts slowly, almost like a jig, while presenting a different look.
“It’s got a pretty erratic action on the bottom,” Palaniuk said.
And when he suddenly doesn’t feel the lure digging in anymore?
He knows there’s a steep angler change in the lake or river bottom. Wiggle Warts are great for highlighting changes in cover that way, signaling areas where fish might stage when moving between deeper and shallower water.
He rigs the lures on 12-pound fluorocarbon line and casts them at a 45-degree angle to the bank.
Crawfish-colored Wiggle Warts are his go-to favorite in spring and early summer, before the bass have fully spawned. He switches to ghost or phantom green craw patterns in clear water, and to opaque-colored ones when it’s stained.
All catch fish, he said.
“It’s just a good bait,” Palaniuk said.