Enter Arnold Average into the local tackle shop, gazing at $25 swimming plugs followed by pieces of packaged plastic now over $1 apiece. Those prices set Arnie back as they do a lot of us, all looking for something productive but not needing as much money to throw at our beloved striped bass.
Plastic worms are not near as popular as many of the plastic stars; they just haven’t caught on like others, but they work and maybe should be given a second look as other lures rise and rise. One can buy worms in small packages or bundled 100 at a clip for the person who knows what he wants.
Berkley and Culprit make 10-inch black worms that fool dozens of striped bass after dark when rigged on a leadhead of your choice. One of the first times I used a Berkley worm on a long point of land near my home, fishing in the lee of a stiff southeaster, a lean fish between 34 to 38 pounds grabbed the worm within spitting range of shore, took off, whittling down the 12-pound mono on a Daiwa 2600 reel putting quite a bend in a 7-foot spinner. It all ended happily, a conversion to worms accomplished.
You can rig worms on leadheads of 1/4 to 1 ounce or more, fishing them in rivers in the spring or the Galilee Breachway late some summer night when all the noisy tourons are back in their motels. Just make sure you have a sturdy enough hook for the bigger fish.
Another friend of mine makes his own leadheads and buys white, 4-inch worms in bulk, saving lots of money. Last season he landed 950-plus stripers on his creations, catching 400-plus bass that season in May alone. During some daytime blitzes in October, I watched him beach over 30 bass and blues feeding on small bay anchovies on the lure that cost him pennies apiece. If a bluefish bites through his 50-pound mono leader, it’s not time to take out a loan to cover the cost of his lost lure.