A trick worm is a straight plastic worm six or seven inches long. They come in very bright colors like bubblegum, yellow, white, methiolate and chartreuse. They also come in more natural colors. The worm is rigged with no weight and fished almost like a topwater lure. When you twitch them, they jump back and forth like a Zara Spook. They can be fished in many ways but the most effective seems to be to twitch them just under the surface and then pause and let the worm sink.
Sometimes the fish come up and hit the worm on top and you can see them. Other times, the worm just disappears when the fish sucks it in. That is why colors are bright, so you can see when the fish hits. Often, if you let the worm sink out of sight, the only indication you have a hit is when your line jumps or starts to move off. If you feel the fish, usually he feels you too, and is gone before you can set the hook.
You can tie a hook directly to the line or put a small swivel about six inches above the hook to keep your line from twisting. A 2/0 hook is about right. It needs to be extremely sharp and a offset hook keeps the worm from slipping down the shank. With a straight hook, you should use a toothpick through the hook eye to keep it up on the hook.
Some fishermen like a highly visible line, others prefer something the fish can't see, even if it makes strikes harder to detect. Ten to 17 pound test line works but lighter is better in clearer water. Heavier line helps set the hook. The rig can be fished on spinning or casting equipment. Spinning rods and reels allow you to skip the bait better if fishing under docks or overhanging trees and brush.
I used a rig back in the early 70's that we called a swivel worm. The worm was tied 18 inches from a swivel and the hook put in the worm so it twisted as you swam it back just under the surface. It worked real well at Clark's Hill. It was similar to the way a trick worm is fished. Although I caught a lot of fish on that rig, I had not fished a trick worm much and had not caught many fish on it.
Before a Top Six Tournament at Hartwell several years ago, I went to Jackson try to learn to fish a floating worm and gain some confidence in it. The two fish I caught convinced me I should fish it more. I think bass will hit a worm fished this way when they refuse other baits. I had one rigged when I went to Hartwell and caught a couple of bass each day of practice on it.
The first day of the Top Six that year, my partner fished a methiolate worm and caught a couple of nice bass early. I missed two and got no more strikes. The second day of the tournament, I started throwing a blue glimmer trick worm. The fish would hit it when it dropped out of sight in the water. They were so aggressive they would hold on to the worm even after I felt them when I pulled to move the worm. I did not miss a single fish, landed nine and weighed in the best seven. My limit weighed 14.76 pounds.
Trick worms are working well right now. They will catch fish in ponds and lakes. After the bass come off the beds and out of their post spawn doldrums in your area, they will be even more aggressive and hit trick worms better. Give this outfit a try. It works.