(Editor's note: BassFan Pro Fishing Tips, sponsored by Plano Tackle, occasionally appear as the top story of the day.)
Mississippi Bassmaster Elite Series pro Cliff Pace calls the Jackall Flick Shake the best finesse bait he's ever used. He advises BassFans not to fish it, though.
No, he's not saying that you shouldn't rig it up and cast it – just that you shouldn't try to give it any action. The worm takes care of that by itself.
"The way it sinks, the worst thing you can do is try to 'fish it,' he said. "Just cast it to your target or into your area and let it do its thing. Let it draw the fish to it.
"Once it hits the bottom, then I raise my rod tip 4 or 6 feet to move it and let it sink again. After that, I wind it in and make another cast. Probably 85% of my bites come on the initial fall and the other 15% on the second one."
It's All in the Design
The Flick Shake gained a measure of notoriety 2 years ago when famed Japanese lure designer Seiji Kato, who's employed by Jackall these days, used it en route to winning the co-angler division at the Amistad Bassmaster Elite Series. His fellow countryman, Elite Series pro Kota Kiriyama, had been using it for several years prior to that.
Pace said it's important to use the Flick Shake worm in tandem with the company's Wacky Jig Head, which was specifically designed for it. The worm has a built in curve that gives it a squirming action as it falls, and the jighead has a short shank that gives the bait even more action.
Also, the head is made of tungsten, which provides for a steadier sink rate than a lead head of the same size, and the 90-degree line tie allows better hooksets with fewer snags.
"The 'Flick Shaking' technique is basically a system – one goes with the other," he said. "For it to be most effective, you need the Jackall head and the Jackall worm. Mixing and matching with other heads and other worms isn't as effective – I know because I've tried it.
"I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what makes it work so well, and I can't say that I've done it. But it's incredible how effective it is."
Just Too Tempting
Pace thinks that curiosity accounts for a lot of the bites that the Flick Shake worm entices.
"Fish, of course, sense things differently than we do," he said. "If we're walking across a parking lot or somewhere and see something that looks interesting, we reach down and pick it up.
"Well, bass don't have any hands, so if they're curious about something, they have to bite it. And that little jighead has a fine-wire hook that's ultra-sharp. If it gets into his mouth, you've pretty much caught him."
He said it's best when fished over a small area or thrown to specific targets.
Keys to the Flick Shake's effectiveness included a built-in bend in the worm and the short-shank hook on the Wacky Jig Head.
"If I'm fishing docks, I'll throw it to the shallowest pole, and if I don't get a bite I'll reel it to the next pole and let it sink again. If you get it next to a pole that's got a fish on it, you'll get a bite.
"I'll do the same thing with a laydown – start shallow and then move it out to the deeper end. If a fish is there and he sees it, it's just too tempting for him."
He cautioned that it's not a bait you'll want to dead-stick.
"The whole concept is built around the way it sinks. When it's lying on the bottom, it loses its action. That's when it's time to bring it in and make another presentation."
Pace chooses his Flick Shake worm colors based on sky and water-clarity conditions, primarily opting for the pumpkin colors in clear water and sunburn melon if it's gin-clear. He's found the candy colors, watermelon/red-flake and junebug to be best in stained water.
"It's great on pressured bodies of water, in tournaments when you're fishing behind other anglers, or anytime you're trying to get a lot of bites," he said. "Under most situations, you won't get as many bites on any other bait as you will on the Flick Shake."
He fishes it on spinning gear with 8-pound High Seas fluorocarbon line. The jighead comes in 1/16-, 3/32- and 1/8-ounce versions.
"I always use the smallest size I can get away with, so I tell people to start out with the 1/16-ounce. The only time I'll go to a bigger head is if I need to get it really deep or if the wind's blowing. It needs to sink straight down and you don't want the wind dragging your line to the side.
"If you've got the patience to let it sink, you can use it to catch fish from 50 feet of water."
> Flick Shake worms come in three lengths – 4 3/4, 5 3/4 and 6 3/4 inches.
> To visit the Jackall website, click here.
Have you checked out Plano's new KVD Guide Elite Gear Bag? Click here to read BassFan's Review of this hot new bag.