A Neko rig is just a fancy name for a weighted stick bait or a nail weighted bait. It is a really simple technique. It is a head-weighted soft plastic with a hook in the body normally in the middle of the bait.
When fished it has the wiggle of a wacky rig that fish find irresistible. But, it will stand up on the bottom instead of lying flat. Another benefit of the Neko rig is its ability to be fished in deeper water.
The wacky rig can be a pain when fishing deeper than a few feet since the bait takes so long to sink. The Neko rig does not have this problem. You can adjust the weight depending on the depth you are targeting.
Setting up a Neko rig is very simple. Start by inserting a nail or screw-style weight into the fat end of soft plastic bait. Then place an o-ring on the bait an inch or two from the end with your weight.
Next, slip your hook under the o-ring with the point up away from your weight, and slightly out. Rigging your o-ring and hooking an inch or two up will help keep the hook up off the bottom.
The benefit of a Neko rig is that you get a different action than the wacky rig. With the weight in the head, your bait will stay down on the bottom sticking up with your hook being exposed, pointing up.
It is great when fishing rocks or breaks deeper than you would typically throw a wacky rig. Wacky rigs take a long time to sink so they aren’t ideal for fishing very deep. One of the benefits of the Neko is you can fish it deep and still get a similar action of a wacky rig.
During late fall bass start to school up and feed on baitfish. In doing so the bass sometimes get the balls of baitfish pinned way down deep. If you have a fish finder these schools will be easier to find.
When you find a school of bass on the bottom you want to cast out into the school and let your bait sink to the bottom. As it reaches the bottom drag and shake it like you would a drop shot. When you shake your rod tip it makes the worm’s tail dance. It makes your worm look like a baitfish rooting around in the mud.
In the school, the little bass will be aggressively going after the baitfish. What you want to do is target the bigger and larger bass that are below them. All you have to do is drag your rig in their face and wiggle it.
The great thing about finesse fishing like the Neko rig is that they can work all year round especially here in Southeast Georgia. It works well in clear and stained water. I like to fish the Neko rig when I am targeting deep bass and want a bigger profile bait than a drop shot.
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