Fall Finesse Patterns & Tricks By Scott M. Petersenerns & Tricks , Page 3

Fall Finesse Patterns & Tricks 
By Scott M. Petersenerns & Tricks	, Page 3


Fall 2021

Now braided line is available and anglers can fish 14- to 16-pound braid that is the same diameter as 6- to 8-pound-test and tell when there is a bite. It also provides more sensitivity and twice the landing power.

But what probably has changed the most through the years is all of the bait companies jumping in with both feet to bring a boat load of new drop shot bait options to the market.

Rods, new hook configurations and baits have brought this fishing category to the forefront of bass fishing.

When it comes to baits one of my go-to’s for the fall is a Big Bite Smallie Smasher. Another is a fluke bait that is nose hooked. With the new hatches of shad and bluegills in the water, a small 3- to 4-inch fluke is the right size to trigger bites from hungry bass though out the fall season.

Another bait that can not be forgotten is a simple 4- to 6-inch worm. A worm can be presented in two ways - either nose hooked, or wacky-rigged. Either rigging has proven successful.


The last finesse option that I would like to cover has been making an impact in the bass market over the last few years. It is the Neko rig.

The Neko rig presents the worm with either an exposed weight or a nail weight inside the nose of the worm. Here is my take on when to use an exposed weight or a nail weight.

If I am fishing in weeds, I will opt to use a nail weight that in pushed all the way into the nose of the worm. If I am fishing a hard spot or rocks, I will opt to fish the Neko rig with an exposed weight to get better feel. An exposed weight will transmit more feel than a nail weight buried in the nose of the worm.

The Neko rig adds an O-ring, or some are opting to use the new VMC collar. The collar enhances the action of the worm and will also extend its life. With an O-ring I have caught maybe three to four bass on one worm; but with a collar I can get six or eight bass out of one.

I fish my Neko rig on a 7’ Denali Attax AS702M spinning setup teamed with a spinning reel that is spooled with Sunline Xplasma Asegai in 16-pound-test with an 8- to 10-pound fluorocarbon leader.

One more piece of equipment to cover is the hook. I use a Gamakatsu B10S. This is a fly hook that works perfect for Neko rig fishing.

There is a little confusion as to how you should rig your hook when it comes to Neko fishing. Some fishermen rig the hook point down and some rig it hook up.

The proper way is hook up. When I say hook up, I am talking about the hook point on the tail side of the worm. If the hook point is down towards the head, it will pull the hook point into the cover fouling the hook on almost every cast.

When the hook point is towards the tail of the bait, the longer shaft of the hook will act as a weed guard; so, the bait can be worked through the cover without getting fouled. The hook shaft will push the cover away from the hook point, making the offering almost weedless.

When it comes to baits, open up the plastics box and experiment. I have fished worms, craws and sticks. I would say the best option to fish other than worms would be a craw. Rig the bait just like to would a worm with the craws up and the weight in the tail and you will be set to walk your craw across the bottom. This will look natural to the bass as it will be in a defensive position.

Don’t be so quick to put all your finesse equipment away when the seasons start to change. Bass will still bite a finesse presentation through the fall. Keep in mind, you may have to keep adjusting the presentation to match the conditions as they change. When you can get by with power fishing, do it! But when bites get tough, do not be shy and think that you can’t turn towards finesse fishing in the fall. You can! •