By Jonathan LePera
Special to BassFan
When the Jackall Flick Shake worm first came out, FLW Tour angler Alex Davis was conflicted.
“My first impression was that it was kind of weird and awkward and not the way I like to fish because it’s slow,” said Davis, a native of Albertville, Ala. “You have to have light line and spinning rods, which is everything that I’m against in life.”
Quickly, he realized that it might have a place in his tool box, especially when it’s sunny, slick calm and hot. It’s a tactic he’s employed in tournament situations and on guide trips at Lake Guntersville and Smith Lake.
Where, Where, How
Davis, who spends most of his non-tournament days guiding at Guntersville, realized that the spotted and largemouth bass that he targets probably hadn’t seen much of this rig before – it was that unique. He identifies the spawn, post-spawn and when targeting pressured fish as key situations where this rig excels.
“Any time you are on spotted bass, it’s a good way to catch them,” he said. “I’ll throw the 5.8-inch size for them. When I got the Flick Shake worm, I incorporated what I’d learned about a weightless worm before, from my dad.”
During the pre-spawn at Guntersville or Smith, if he can catch them on power-fishing techniques, he’ll favor crankbaits and jerkbaits first, but the moment he recognizes those fish aren’t “on,” the Flick Shake gets the nod.
Go Big In Grass
At Guntersville, he wacky-rigs the bigger 6.8-inch version because when he targets emerging weed growth and where they start bedding. He’s found other brands’ similar worms fall too quickly, making them difficult to wacky rig.
Rigging the Flick Shake is simple – Davis opts for either a light wacky-style jig head or a weedless wacky hook.
“The Flick Shake falls slower and comes through the grass perfect,” he said. “In clear water like Smith Lake, I’ll twitch it once or twice just to pop it off the bottom to give it some action.
“In grass, I pop it as many times as need to free it out of milfoil or hydrilla and then I’ll pop it a whole lot harder just to clear itself off a little bit.”
His color choices are simple. Watermelon gets the nod in clear water and green pumpkin when there is some stain to it. When in Florida, Junebug is all that’s needed.
Depending on water depth, he’ll alternate between the 1/32-, 3/32-, and 1/16-ounce Jackall Weedless Wacky Jig Head. He’ll hook the worm through the egg sack in the middle of the worm.
When fishing the rig weightless, he’ll rig up a No. 1 Gamakatsu wacky rig hook and slip it beneath an o-ring he slides onto the worm as he finds that set up allows baits skip much better under docks and last longer.
The Flick Shake excels when targeting suspended fish, a typical scenario at Smith Lake.
“On a recent trip there, I was in 30 feet of water and some fish were on the brush pile,” he said. “I rolled up on top of it and some were suspended on it and some off the drop so I put that bigger 3/32-ounce head on. It takes forever to get to the bottom, but they’d bite it when they wouldn’t even touch a shaky head.”
He hit another place where fish were suspended over deeper water, used the 1/32-ounce head, and it took 10 seconds before his line jumped because they came up and got it.
Davis doesn't always get to fish his home lakes and when he’s on the FLW Tour, he’s always trying to fish his strengths. On lakes like Lake Chickamauga or Lake Norman where many would skip a jig, Davis reaches for a 1/32-ounce head that he’ll use to offer the fish something they haven’t seen before.
The best way to choose head weight?
“I want a slow fall to make them look at it and want to bite it,” he added.
The bite on the Flick Shake can be anything from a line twitch or jumping to a full-on jig thump.
Be mindful the hooks are small and bend out if you try to muscle the fish. Sometimes they’ll be barely hooked in the roof or side of the mouth, so once Davis hooks up, he’ll back off the drag and them tire them out.
Here are Davis’ tackle choices for rigging a Flick Shake worm:
> 6.8 version: 7’ medium-action Shimano Zodias spinning rod, same reel, same line.