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Playing the Purple Worm!

This month of June is usually a tough one for me.  It is the first of two months in Nebraska that has no open hunting season.  Now, ordinarily this would seem perilous but the fishing has been so good this June that I think I will make it to the squirrel season opener!  You need to get out there too!

My favorite tactic is fishing for large-mouth bass with a 6″ purple worm.  The dark purple seems to work best for me.   Actually, it was my wife who taught me how to fish this particular apparatus.  She and her dad fished a lot in her youth.  I on the other hand had fished a lot too but mainly for bluegill using a hook and corn.  The purple worm…now that was unique.  I like to toss that puppy under shade such as an overhanging branch or boat dock and let is sink a bit.  Then, with the gentle touch of a newborn, ever so slightly, with hope in my heart, I give the line a tug.   Not even a tug actually but more of a thought of a tug.  I can only imagine that worm tail several inches under the surface flickering in front of a big bass.  Now usually this is where I get my first strike….from that initial twitter (see what trend setters anglers are….we twittered before anyone).  If that didn’t work, I begin to slowly reel in.  This action almost always entices a nearby fish.  Still no bite?  Okay now is where I use my turkey hunting tactics and play it cool.  I just let that worm begin to sink again.  Then, ever so slowly, I twitter or reel in slowly until….strike!

I would say at the strike is where most people lose their fish.  For me, the strike has resulted in dropped reels, lost pliers, and the occasional cigar going over board.  Its an exciting moment to say the least.  The key here is to remain calm.   I have developed coping methods to help with the strike.   I say things like….”take it, take it” or “almost there” or on some occasions I whistle (not sure why).  Then, with the hammer of Thor, I set the hook.  I have come tho the conclusion there is more show here than actual talent but in either case, the more sound and body twisting you can provide the better the chances of other anglers seeing that you have just hooked a fish.  Now, the trick to this show is use a light rod.  A crappie rig works great here.   The incredible bend a two pound bass gives on this rod combined with your teeth clenched grunts will convince every angler on the lake you have landed “catfish hunter.”

I realize there are other lures that offer much greater appeal than the purple worm but there is a lot of family nostalgia for me with this lure.  Their  cheap, they look cool, easy to handle and they simply work.  Grab a pack and give em a try.  Don’t forget the crappie rig!

See You Out There


Just a lot of fun!
Working on my "Bauer" pose......

About jeff rawlinson

Jeff is the Education Manager in the Communications Division with Game and Parks where he has worked for the last 15 years. He oversees the Hunter Education, Boater Education, Hunter Outreach and Shooting Range Development for the Commission and is a devout hunter, angler, wildlife viewer, naturalist, father and husband. He holds a BS and MS from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has been a Hunter Education Instructor for over 20 years, NRA firearms instructor and range officer, National Archery in the Schools Program Archery Instructor Specialist and member of the National NASP Board, sits on the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Hunter Recruitment and Retention Committee and Education Committee. Jeff is an avid handgun hunter, loves to chase turkeys in the spring, squirrel hunting enthusiast and philosopher of the outdoors. He is an avid shooter and loves to spend outdoor time with family and friends. He has a passion for exciting others about the outdoors. A history buff, Jeff is a strong supporter of our North American Model of Conservation and tries to spread the message of its importance and relevance every chance he gets.

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