Suppose you could take just one lure into the BWCAW. John would opt for a leech on a jig, Ned a worm on a hook. Campers might prefer a Rapala or a beetle spin. Well, Ned Yonkers comes closest to my recommendation.
After vigorous testing, this summer’s best lure goes to the weirdest of worms, the Wacky Worm. A variety of colored worms work, but watermelon blue turned out to be the Worm of the Year. While these hard-working artificial worms were responsible for Walker’s northern pike plaquer, they are ideal for pursuing the feisty smallmouth bass as well.
Just cast it out, let it sink to the bottom, then jig and reel the worm in slowly. Bam! Fish frequently hit within the first few seconds. The worm’s action resembles a magician’s wobbly pencil trick, bending like rubber. It makes you want to say, “doing, doing, doing.” Fisherman Jackson from Indiana explains, “On a trip, we found what looked like a good fishing spot, but couldn’t scare up a fish. Then we switched to Wacky Worms and couldn’t keep the fish off our hooks! We came back with a stringer full of smallmouth and walleye.”
Once the plastic phenom was discovered, Wacky Worms leaped off the camp store shelf and into campers’ tackle boxes. With so many fish biting the irresistible invertebrate, porch inventory struggled to keep pace with demand.
Then we discovered the “O-ring thing,” little rubber bands that allow fishermen to loop the hook without stabbing the worm, which can weaken worms, causing them to break.
Armed with Wacky Worms, a little patience and some well-placed casts, you too could find your name printed on a Mess Hall plaque for posterity!