Basically, a Texas rig is just a way to rig any soft plastic bait such as worms, crayfish, lizards, grubs, and creature baits in a way that neither the hook nor the plastic bait will catch on any brush or weeds. A bass can pick up the lure without the heavy weight going along with it.
The typical Texas rig consists of a bullet shaped sinker, an offset hook, and the plastic lure of your choice. The bullet shaped sinker has a hole drilled through it for the line to go through. You simply thread the line through the sinker and tie the hook to the end of the line, then thread the plastic bait onto the hook.
The sinker slides up and down the fishing line, but you can make it stay butted up to the lure or at any given distance from the lure. You can do this by inserting the end of a toothpick into the sinker alongside the fishing line and then breaking the remainder of the toothpick off. That's called “pegging” the sinker. Now there are sinkers that attach themselves to the soft plastic bait, and even rubber toothpick like things to replace the hard-wooden toothpicks. The two later devices help protect the fishing line from being damaged.
You will probably want to “peg” your sinker when fishing brush and heavy weed growth. It will come through that kind of cover much more readily pegged than when the sinker can slide and separate from the lure.
You can fish the Texas rig anywhere deep or shallow. I often fish it on the outside edge of the weeds just like I do the jig-worm, but it really shines in the kind of heavy cover where only a Texas rig or a jig could possibly penetrate. I pitch or cast it into brush, heavy weeds, lily pads, or under docks and just give it a few lifts and drops waiting for a bass to eat it. If I don’t get a bite, I simply lift it over the next branch or weed and let it drop again and continue the process all the way back to the boat or out of the cover.
I usually fish the Texas rig a little bit faster than I should due to a lack of patience on my part. In colder water and tougher cold front conditions, I really should be giving the fish more time to examine the bait before I move it to the next spot. Patience can be the key to success with the Texas rig.
I use a seven-foot medium heavy rod rigged with 15 to 20lb test fluorocarbon fishing line. You can use any size weight you need for the type of cover you are fishing, but most of the time I find myself using a 5/16 oz weight. I use an offset wide gap hook in the 3/0 to 4/0 size most of the time. You can use a bigger or smaller hook to match the size of the bait that you are using. I tie it on with a Trilene Knot.
Related articles: Counting Down.More Tips and How to articles