Zoneloc On Tour: Alton Jones, warm-weather worming
Dave Landahl Published May 11, 2017
Do you have big worms? No, not the type that cause you to be malnourished. Big plastic worms. Ya know, bass fishing bait. By big think 10-inchers, not those teeny little cousins you usually toss.
Why big worms, well Zoneloc pro Alton Jones feels this is the perfect offering to start tossing about now through June wherever bass live.
Alton Jones (Joel Shangle/BassFIRST)
"Big worms are a terrific bait to use during the latter part of spring into early summer," said Alton Jones. "When bass start to set up in deeper water pre-summer, I believe that a big worm is better. That big worm, like the 10-inch Yum ribbontail variety I use will usually draw strikes from the larger bass and that is what I am looking for when I am fishing."
"The standard Texas rig is really ideal for fishing a big worm," said Jones. "I'll use a Zoneloc O'Shaughnessy Offset Shank Worm hook and the standard bullet weight ranging from ¼-to ½-ounce depending on the depth I'm fishing. I rarely go heavier with the weights on a Texas rig."
"I use the same hooks with the Carolina rigged worm," said Jones. "I will use a 1-ounce weight with this set up.
"I use the heavy weight for a few reasons. First, I can fish it fast along the bottom either shallow or deep. Second, I like the way the heavier weight stirs up the bottom getting the bass' attention, and then they see that floating meal behind it. Third, I can throw the Carolina rig to the other side of the state with that heavy weight. I can cover a lot of water quickly and efficiently."
For both the Texas and Carolina rig, Jones uses 30-pound braid as his main line and a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader.
"When you are fishing this lure, you don't need to downsize," said Jones. "Don't scale down unless the fish tell you to. That big worm with the Zoneloc hook will attract and hook the biggest bass in the school.
"When they are schooled up, bass are not line shy, so I use the strongest line I can. We are usually fishing water that isn't super clear."
Jones suggests getting the textbooks out and learning about some typical locations to find bass now.
"This time of the year, you will usually find bass in the most predictable locations," said Jones. "The community holes, summer spots, etc., are where a lot of fish are. The textbook spots.
"Ideally locate several of these locations. Fish one rig for a while, once the fishing slows try the other set up. Then move to the next spot and do the same thing. This time of the year, you usually know within 10 or 15 minutes if the spot is going to produce."