VERO BEACH, FL -
In a bass competition near this Florida
coast town, a veteran fishing guide used an
imitation lure and humbled another veteran
guide who used live bait. Both guides fished
from the same boat. The imitation lure
caught three times more bass than the live
bait. The winner now relies on the lure to
insure his clients catch fish. To prove its
effectiveness, he challenged the President
of a large Bass Masters Club in Florida to a
goal of 100 bass in one fishing day, using
the lure exclusively. They caught the 100 by
The lure is great
news for anyone who loves fresh-water
fishing, but because bass tournaments are
getting richer and richer, a new issue
arises. Should such a lure be allowed in
competition where prizes can reach several
thousand dollars? Most tournaments already
prohibit live bait, and this lure out-fished
live bait three to one.
I asked a spokesman
for the company who makes the lure why it
was so effective, and how it might fare if
it were banned from tournaments.
John Fox, Ten Time National and World Bass
Fishing Champ, holds a 19½
and 15lb bass he caught with the Walking
He relies on the lure to catch fish.
"Well, we would sure miss
a lot of free publicity if it were banned. We have
heard of some incidents, but so far it hasn't
happened on a large scale. Let me explain how it
"First, fish love worms
more than any other food. (The lure is a plastic
worm.) Worms are scale-less and easier to digest
than other live bait. But it must be a live worm,
and that means it must constantly move. If it
stops moving for a moment, as regular plastic
worms do, fish smell a rat.
"They know it’s either
dead or a fake. Even if the prey resumes moving
when a fisherman reels it in, it’s too late. Their
mind's made up.
"Ichthyologists - a fancy
word for fish experts - say that constant movement
excites a predatory response in a fish. Constant
movement is so overwhelming a temptation it
triggers larger, less aggressive fish to strike,
even fish that have just fed. They can't help it.
Nature programmes them to eat live things. The
Walking Worm’s® genius
(the lure's name) is a patented, multi-flex
construction that traps air between several tail
segments, causing the lure to constantly curl, as
if it were strolling across the bottom, or through
middle or top water. To a bass or other predatory
fish, this constant curling is ice cream. They go
"I was down in Alabama
where I saw three imitation lures - a crank bait,
a plastic worm and the Walking Worm®
- dropped in a huge fish tank with bass in
it. They swam right by the other two, then darted
for the Walking Worm®.
"Well the crank bait was
moving, but it wasn’t a worm. The other plastic
worm looked tasty but it stopped moving for a
while when it hit bottom and apparently convinced
the fish it was dead. The Walking Worm®
was a juicy, live worm, and the bass went for it
hook, line and sinker, literally.
"Yes, I suppose the
Walking Worm® could
cause some regulation. The money is big now. A
young man we know who is just starting as a pro,
used it in a 2005 Classic, his first large
competition, and caught his limit in 15 minutes.
But he better move fast. Anyone fishing for
dollars would be foolish not to use it."
The Walking Worm®
can be Texas or Carolina rigged.