Using EWG Hooks With Soft Plastic Baits to Catch More Bass

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EWG Hooks with Soft Stick Baits and Soft Plastic Baits offer great opportunities to increase the odds of catching bass. Learn the fundamentals of EWG hooks and how to correctly rig them for success.

Gamakatsu’s EWG hook is their most sought-after and versatile model, providing superior performance in wide-gap hook designs. Ideal for Texas rigging, Carolina rigging and other soft bait fishing techniques alike, the EWG offers unparalleled value.

What is an EWG Hook?

EWG stands for extra wide gap and refers to a style of hook with an extended gap compared to your standard round bend offset style. This extra room allows soft plastic baits to deflect downward during hookset, increasing your chances of hooking up on bass.

Anglers love them because they can be used with a variety of baits, such as tube jigs, creature baits and even worms. Not only are these hooks great for rigging these lures but they are also the ideal tool to rig soft plastic bait technology like flukes, Senkos, ribbon tail worms and straight tail worms.

The great thing about these hooks is their durability and long life. In fact, they have become so popular that you can now find them in bulk packs at your local tackle shop!

Gamakatsu offers an expansive selection of EWG Worm Hooks in all shapes and sizes. Their Offset Shank EWG Worm Hook is one of their most sought-after models; this high performance wide gap hook works great when fishing Texas rigged creature baits, worms or any time more gape is desired.

We’ve all seen the power of EWG worm hooks paired with a weightless soft jerkbait when fishing for bass. These baits have become the go-to choice of many bass anglers in search of that big one! Rigged on an EWG 4/0 worm hook, these baits will dance and dart around water mimicking senko or brush hog, to your fish’s delight. The key here lies in knowing when and how to utilize this handy hook, so it becomes the star of your next catch!

What Hooks to Use with Soft Plastics?

With their subtle scent and wide range of shapes and sizes, soft plastic baits are an invaluable resource for saltwater anglers inshore or offshore. From tuna on the continental shelf to snook and tarpon in an inlet, redfish or trout on flats, or big game fish on wrecks or reefs – when rigged correctly, these lures can put you right on top of them!

You can use a few different hooks when fishing with soft plastic baits. Some of the most popular are straight shank, offset shank and extra wide gap (EWG) hooks.

Straight shank hooks feature a “J” shape with an acute bend below the eye. These hooks can be used for rigging long plastic baits like worms and sticks.

Offset shank hooks feature a slight double ninety-degree bend below the eye, helping hold your plastic bait securely while increasing hooking percentages. These hooks can be used for flipping or pitching various soft plastic baits into heavy cover.

These hooks make an excellent choice for fishing the Texas Rig. This method involves threading a worm onto the hook and tightening it onto the hook.

The worm is held onto the hook with a bait stop, a small but durable piece of rubber. This securely attaches the worm and prevents it from sliding down the line after each cast.

EWG hooks are the go-to choice for rigging soft plastic baits. These hooks come in various sizes and can be used with virtually all types of soft plastic baits.

Rigging Soft Stickbaits with EWG-style Hooks

A big EWG-style hook is ideal for rigging soft stickbaits and plastic baits. Its round bend with wide gap allows more material to collect during hookset, helping you get your bait into bass, bluegill, or panfish mouths.

EWG hooks are ideal for rigging soft swimbaits, tubes and other baits with lots of plastic in the gap. This wider gap helps keep the bait from balling up inside the hook during hookset and also deflecting downward when hooked.

Another advantage of an EWG hook when rigging a soft swimbait or tube is that the plastic won’t tear through the swivel and line tie as easily as with standard worm hooks. This results in better bite/hook up ratios and reduced chances of breaking off your catch while setting the hook.

Make sure the EWG hook is sharpened before setting sail for your catch, as this can significantly improve the likelihood of getting a successful hookset and landing the fish. This is especially crucial for larger species such as bass, smallmouth bass, pike, musky, striper/rockfish or any other gamefish you may be targeting.

Many bass anglers are now rigging soft stickbaits and other plastic baits with offset worm hooks to get more action out of their baits. This technique works great when fishing for bass in open shallow water where cover may be abundant.

Texas Rig

The Texas Rig is a widely used method for presenting soft plastic baits. It’s versatile and effective enough to target various species of fish while being ideal for anglers with light tackle.

The most basic rig consists of a bullet-shaped weight threaded onto the main fishing line and tied to an offset hook. You may also add a glass or plastic bead for extra noise-making properties.

Bass anglers have relied on the Texas rig for decades to get their lures through thick cover where bass hide. It has proven highly effective, working well year-round.

When the water is murky or cloudy, this rig can be beneficial as it helps weedless soft plastics stand out from their surroundings. Add a small bullet weight to the main line to make it even more versatile before attaching the hook.

Selecting the correct hook is essential when Texas rigging. A quality worm hook is often preferred, but EWG and flipping hooks can also be utilized.

EWG and flipping hooks feature a large gap between the eye and hook point, making them ideal for Texas rigging. This extra space enables a wider-body soft plastic to rest below and on top of the eye, improving its effectiveness.

The Texas rig is one of the most versatile fishing tools, capable of adapting to almost any environment. You can use lighter weights for casting in weeds or around docks and heavier ones for cutting through dense vegetation.

Wacky Rig

The wacky rig is an effective soft plastic bait rigging technique that works year-round. However, it’s particularly productive during spawn and post-spawn when bass move shallow to search for food in the water. Ideal locations to utilize this tactic include outside grass lines, pockets in reeds, docks, rock walls – wherever fish have spawned or moved to in a post-spawn situation – as well as pockets around grasslines themselves.

The primary reason for its effectiveness lies in using weightless baits to imitate a natural bottom-feeding creature. A worm-rigged wacky style is often ideal for these occasions since it can slowly slide through the bottom while casting or retrieving.

Another advantage of a wacky rig is its ease of recasting and flexibility in how you fish depending on your target and environment. A standard cast works best when there’s no overhead cover, such as trees or marina shades, while sidearm casting can be employed when targeting specific areas with overhanging structures.

If you are fishing a worm with an unusual shape and want it to go deep, add a short tungsten nail weight to its nose. This will allow you to cast the bait deeper than usual due to its unique shape.

Select colors that mimic Bass forage species if you use a wacky rig with soft stick bait. Popular choices include green pumpkin, black with blue flake, Junebug, and watermelon.

Choosing Hooks for Soft Plastic Baits
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