This is going to be a 7 part series discussing 7 different ways to effectively fish the 5" Sick Stick. And to keep it simple, each technique can be performed with the same rod, reel and line. This way the only thing you have to worry about is swapping out the "business end". We've decided to break this series up into 7 individual articles because we want to keep it simple and we don't want to overload your brain with too much information all at once. Each of the 7 parts will be kept short and sweet to make sure everyone is taking full advantage of the versatility that the 5" Sick Stick has to offer, and of course catching the most bass on it as humanly possible. One of the coolest things about the Sick Stick is that it can catch bass regardless if the fish are aggressive, neutral or just shut off. If you know multiple ways to fish it, you can effectively catch bass during any 3 of the mentioned moods. Enough of the introduction, let's move on to the meat and potatoes of The Bass Never Get "Sick" of it: Part 1.
To start, let's go over the rod, reel and line for the 7 techniques. Everyone has their own personal preference for all 3 so I'm not going to preach to you on which brands you should use. I'll just tell you my personal set up for simplicity reasons, and from there, you can just apply your own favorite brands of rod reel and line. My personal set up for the 7 techniques is the following; Rod - 7'3" Medium action Omen by 13Fishing, Reel - Shimano Stradic CI4 3000, Line - 20 lb. Spiderwire Stealth, Leader line - 12 lb Yozuri H2O Fluorocarbon. The knot I use to attach Fluoro to Braid is called the Crazy Alberto knot.
to watch a video on the Crazy Alberto knot. I use it because it's one hell of a strong knot and it goes through rod guides with ease.
Now that we have the basic set up out of the way, the first technique I'm going to go over is finesse Texas rigging (I'll save the obvious Wacky rigging for the last of the 7 part series). Now most of the time when I'm fishing the Sick Stick I'm doing so because I want to give the bass a slow and simple presentation to drool over. Therefore, when I'm finesse Texas rigging, I keep my weight light (1/16 - 3/16 oz.) and my hook small (2/0 EWG) to get the slowest rate of fall I can get away with depending on the winds. I also use a bobber stop but I don't peg the weight to the top of the hook. Instead, I set the bobber stop about 5 inches above the hook so that the bait has a natural unrestricted fall, but yet the weight stays close enough to the hook if I happen to come through brushy cover.
Working the bait; Make a long cast and let the bait slowly free fall to bottom. Let it sit for 10 to 30 seconds, or even longer when the bass are really negative, before you begin to work it back to you. Working it back to you should consist of a mixture of slow short drags with pauses, little hops with pauses, and a couple sharp snaps of the rod tip (and yes, each snap is followed by pauses). Fishing the Sick Stick rigged like this is super easy, it's virtually snag proof which means you can fish it in various types of cover, and most importantly, it's extremely effective. As a matter of fact, when I'm teaching complete newbies how to fish, this is the rig I set them up with because you really can't mess it up (unless of course they work the bait too quickly). But it'll catch them fish and I don't have to spend time trying to get them unhung from snags…it's "win win" for both parties!
So that's it! The 1st part of the 7 part series is in the books. Soak it up, apply it, and go stick some bass with this easy technique. You never know, it might just become one of your favorite ways to fish the Sick Stick…It's definitely mine.