Strike King Tips Series: Combs is Bullish on This Worm for Big Bass

Sunday, February 2, 2020

It’s no secret that Strike King pro Keith Combs makes a large percentage of his living with a cranking stick in his hands. It’s less well-known, however, that the Texas pro handsomely supplements his livewell and his wallet with the power of a Carolina Rig. It’s a summertime staple, useful for mopping up the last vestiges of a spooked school, but it’s also deadly during the prespawn, when bass are hungry but may be a little skittish due to increased angling pressure.

Like most serious bass anglers, he’s spent plenty of time with a lizard at the end of his rig, and in recent years the Strike King Game Hawg has edged itself into the home run hitter’s lineup, but increasingly he finds himself adding a worm to the mix. An action-tail worm like the Rage Anaconda can be a good choice, as can the Thumper or the Cut R, but when times are tough the 8-inch Bull Worm often gets the call.

“It has a subtle movement that produces fish when they don’t want a lot of action,” he said. “I’ll typically have that and another worm on the deck, and there are clearly periods where this outfishes all of the others.”

Throughout most of the country, including close to home, he relies heavily on Plum, Red Bug and Green Pumpkin Bull Worms, but on a handful of lakes with darker water – like Conroe, Livingston and the upper end of his home waters of Sam Rayburn – he’s more likely to go with Black or Junebug.

“In that dark water the darker colors really shine,” he said.

That’s his primary application for this big worm and its bigger 10-inch brother, both of which include a bubble tail to add some heft to the straight design. However, it’s not the only place where this worm shines.  In Florida and other places where cold fronts wreak havoc on early season bass, you can put it behind a small slip sinker and fish it in and around vegetation for big spawners and pre-spawners. Later in the summer, rigged on a standup jighead, it excels on ledges and in the midst of offshore brush piles. With few negative cues emanating from its simple but deadly design, bass won’t know what hit them.

Combs rigs the Bull Worm on a 5/0 Owner Offset Wide Gap worm hook.