Angler Education

Fishing The Heavy Weight SinkWorm

When deciding what this month's feature should be about, I decided to look to the future a little bit and see what one of the hot baits on the BASS Elite Series Tour might be next year. Berkley ® has been red hot the last few years with its winter bait introductions designed specifically for all of us pro staff guys to use during the Bassmaster Classic. The year I won, I did it on a PowerBait ® Chigger Craw; last year, the HollowBelly Swimbait was and still is the hottest bait in the country. And while there will be some fantastic new baits launched again this year in time for the Classic (and even more in the summer), one bait I think we will hear a lot about this year is the PowerBait Heavy Weights SinkWorm.

Some of first few tour stops this year are in big-fish territory. Where I am looking for this bait to make its biggest splash is at Lake Amistad. This bait caught a lot of fish last year after it was introduced, but with much of the attention on the Hollow Belly and the time that pros need to figure out what a bait can and can't do, it was really an unsung hero. But make no mistake: this is one of the most effective PowerBaits for catching big fish in reservoirs all over the country.

The Heavy Weights SinkWorm comes in three sizes and two variations. There is a 4-, 5- and 7-inch version and it is available in both the regular SinkWorm style and Fat SinkWorm style. The secret to the SinkWorm aside from being made of PowerBait is its rate and style of fall. Though it falls slightly faster than the widely used brands of soft stickbaits, it still has a very deliberate falling action that gives fish a chance to strike on the fall. Its fall style has what can only be described as a shimmy, with each end moving independently of the other while the middle stays horizontal. Unlike the other conventional soft stickbaits, the SinkWorm has a smaller girth, which means more positive hookups and you don't have to wacky rig the bait to get the fall you want.

I've talked to lots of pros getting their impressions of the SinkWorm and finding out how they are using it. Many are Carolina rigging with it and do have some success, though I feel this presentation doesn't play to the bait's strengths. I've used the 4- and 5-inch versions on a dropshot and had a lot of success, too, but the best applications for the SinkWorm have got to be Skippin' docks and casting to shoreline or submerged cover.

When casting to shoreline or submerged cover, using the bait is very simple. With 17- or 20-pound Trilene ® 100% Fluorocarbon line spooled on an Abu Garcia ® Revo ® STX reel that is mounted on a 7-foot
medium-action rod, I Texas-rig the green pumpkin/ watermelon-colored SinkWorm with a 5/0 wide-gap hook. I actually weight the bait in this presentation, pegging a 1/16- to 3/16-ounce weight above the 7-inch Heavy Weights SinkWorm. Casting toward laydowns on the shoreline or into underwater brush piles, I let the worm sink. The weight helps the bait fall somewhat straight down. If the bait hits bottom without a strike, I firmly jerk the bait back up in the water column, trying to let it settle about 12-15 feet from the original spot. I will work as much of structure as I can with one cast before reeling in and recasting. Even with the weight, this bait sinks slow enough plus the added allure of PowerBait scent and flavor and the shimmy action that bass have a lot of time to decide if they are going to eat it or not.

But as good as the Heavy Weights SinkWorm is for casting, it's tailor-made for Skippin' boat docks. I like to Texas rig the 5-inch green pumpkin Heavy Weights SinkWorm version (not the Fat SinkWorm
version) on a 3/0 wide-gap hook. Tied to 8-pound Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line spooled on an Abu Garcia Sor�n STX spinning reel that�s mounted on a 6-foot, 6-inch medium-action spinning rod, I try to work this bait into places under the boat docks where the jig fisherman can�t � or won�t � go.

You can hammer fish all day long on the edges of the docks with jigs or any other kind of bait, but the jig falls so fast, it's pretty much a reaction strike. The SinkWorm not only gets back where the jig can't, but it also lures the fish to feed for better hooksets. Whether it's a floating dock or a fixed dock, I look for spaces on the shade side of the structure, near the interior middle. I pick out an opening usually they are very small and fire the bait as hard and accurately as I can toward that opening, casting the bait as parallel to the water's surface as I can. If I cast it hard enough, the big body of the bait will skip back into an area where big fish go. They go there because they don't get any pressure back there. It takes a lot of practice and you have to be prepared for errant casts, but believe me: the fish you can catch back in these pockets especially on a PowerBait Heavy Weights SinkWorm will make your time worthwhile.

The Heavy Weights SinkWorm is going to be a fixture on tour this year especially in the early months. Plenty of big fish will be caught shallow under docks and in deep cover, places it can be hard to get to with a swimbait. And when the tournament results start coming in, anglers will see the difference between the Heavy Weights SinkWorm and the old styles of soft stickbaits.