The Texas rig was born out of necessity to fish a snag-less lure in the thick cover of newly impounded lakes of Texas in the late 60s and early ’70s. Most lakes were full of submerged brush piles, standing timber providing a rich habitat for largemouth bass. Plastic worms back then were rigged with an internal harness and hooks molded in the worm. Effective but snaggy.
It is not clear who invented the rig but Texas bass anglers started using longer straight shank worm hooks and making the rig snag-less by impaling the point of the hook in the soft plastic lure. The rig is complete with a free sliding bullet weight to slither its way through heavy cover.
Here in Europe, we do not share this history or predominance of bass over other game fish. And yet the Texas rig has proved efficient to probe our waters and seduce our fish. Let’s find out how these Texas anglers from 60 years ago can help us catch fish here.
This very European fish likes to hide in thick cover as much as American bass. During the day zander will do anything to stay hidden from sunlight like vampires, with whom they share the canine teeth! That means they’ll hide in deep brush piles, under docks, and other obstructions. Some are sparse enough to allow for an exposed jig head rig, but it can prove costly and keep anglers from going deep enough in the snags.
A Texas rig is the solution to present a paddle tail swimbait right to the fish. The key is to find the right lure. To be rigged on an offset hook it will need a slender body and a slit on the back. It’s also a good idea to peg the bullet weight to the bait. I also tend to use a light wire hook for an easier hook set with a lighter fishing line. Furthermore, you can use a texas rig for fishing muddy water flooded banks.
Catching pike by dragging a traditional Texas rig on the bottom is not a rare occurrence, but it’s more common to swim a lure over the bottom or cover. To achieve that you can either use a light bullet weight or a weighted hook, or both! For deep water fishing just use a heavier weight to get the bait deeper.
My default rig for perch is a jig head or a drop shot. However much like other game fish, the zebra queen often hangs around snags and covers like boat docks and other man-made structures. I use straight tail worms and diminutive swimbaits. It’s important to use light wire hooks and the smallest sinkers you can get away with. Watch your line while the lure sinks to the bottom as perch are notorious to hit on the way down.
More than just bass fishing, the Texas rig is the way to go any time you’re around potential snags because that’s where the fish are and so that’s where your bait needs to be.