An unusal but effective technique when the bass are inactive is fishing soft stick baits (e.g. Yamamoto Senkos) wacky style. Instead of Texas rigging the soft stick bait through the nose, the soft stick bait is hooked through the centre. These are various wacky worm hooks you can use to fish your soft stick baits wacky style. Most anglers I know seem to prefer to use a spinning rod and reel to cast a wacky soft stick bait, but don't let that stop you from using this set up on a baitcasting rod and reel. The wacky soft stick bait on a spinning rod is effective for skipping under docks and under overhanging tree branches.
For gin clear lakes like Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, add about a 2 feet flurocarbon leader to your main line if your main line is braided line. The weighted lip-stick worm hook, manufactured by Northland Fishing Tackle, has a red 3/0 hook and a 3/32 oz weight. This hook is suitable for use in lakes that have open water without extremely heavy weeds. The soft stick bait shown is a Yum Dinger in Smoke Pearl Laminate, which is protected from ripping prematurely by adding a protective sleeve consisting of a 1 cm section of bubble tea straw. The straw is slid over the soft stick bait. The hook is pierces through one side of the straw, then the soft stick bait, then the other side of the straw. If you prefer, you can use a rubber O ring instead of the piece of straw. The O ring goes over the soft stick bait and the hook. I prefer that the hook to go through the soft stick bait at 90 degrees rather than parallel to the soft stick bait. Click on this link for a photo of a soft stick bait with an O ring (www.wackytool.com). The soft stick bait should be casted dead stick style i.e. cast and do nothing. Let the soft stick bait do all the work for you. The 2 ends of the soft stick bait should quiver (shake) as it is dropping down. You should keep your hand on the rod blank to feel for extremely light nibbles and watch your line in case it moves. Inactive bass will slowly eat the soft stick bait. You must wait patiently to set the hook until you can feel the weight of the fish on your rod. Lower your rod and reel down before setting the hook. The Northland hook is available from Le Baron (www.lebaron.ca). Bass Pro Shops (www.basspro.com) sells a similar hook called BPS XPS Vertical Hook featuring a red 3/0 hook with a 3/32 weight. The soft stick bait is available from Le Baron and Bass Pro Shops. The O rings are availalble from Fishing World in Hamilton, ON (www.fishingworld.ca) or Bass Pro Shops.
This is a Northland Fishing Tackle Lip-Stick Worm Hook made with a red 3/0 weedless wacky worm hook and a 3/32 oz weight. This hook is suitable for use in extremely weedy lakes e.g. Rice Lake. The weed guard should keep most weeds off the hook. A rubber O ring is slid over the hook and a 5" Phenix Cinko Worm in Pearl with Silver Fleck. The hook is available from Le Baron. The Phenix Cinko Worm is available at Lucky Fishing Tackle (4221 Sheppard Ave E, Scarborough. SE corner of Sheppard and Midland. 416-609-8838)
This is a Gamakatsu finesse 6/0 weedless wacky hook with no lead weight. The flexible weed guard keeps weeds off the hook barb. The hook is shown with a 1 cm section of 1/2" diameter bubble tea straw and a 6" Yamamoto Senko in Pearl with Silver Fleck. The 6/0 hook and other sized hooks are available from Bass Pro Shops.
If your wacky soft stick bait hook has no weight or you need to increase the weight on your hook, you can add a round 1/8 oz drop shot weight to the hook before you hook on the soft stick bait. The round drop shot weight is available from Bass Pro Shops.
The 4.8" Jackall Flick Shake Worm is shown with the matching Jackall Wacky hook designed for this wacky rig. The tackle may be available from Fishing World in Hamilton ON or JB's Fishing Depot. You can buy the tackle from www.tacklewarehouse.com based in California, USA.