Sunday, July 18, 2010

Berkley 7" Powerworm Review

There is one lure that every beginning bass fisherman should become familiar with: the plastic worm.  The plastic worm is a very forgiving lure, one that is very hard to "mess up" or use incorrectly.  As long as you're casting it out and bringing it back along the bottom, you're doing it right.

That said, not all worms are created equal.  The plastic worm is my fallback or confidence lure.  I may try something else when I start out but 9 times out of time I end up with a plastic worm on my baitcaster when I leave the lake.  Because I use worms so often, I've bought and tried several different types of worms.  My preference is the Berkley 7" Powerworm.  The reason is simple:  It catches fish.  Even when nothing else will.  

Seven inches may seem really long and you may question if fish will be scared off by the worm or if smaller fish will even be able to get the whole worm in their mouth.  Let me assure you, the seven inch model of Powerworm is the perfect size.  The tail is curved and twisted to "swim" and create action when you move it through the water.  Most of the body of the worm is ribbed.  I believe this creates vibration when the worm is pulled/jerked through the water.  

I've only really use the Powerworm in two colors: Blue Fleck and Tequila Sunrise.  The bass around my area absolutely love the Blue Fleck, especially in the spring.  I don't know why but when I first started bass fishing this year I didn't have much more than a pack of Blue Fleck Powerworms, hooks and bullet sinkers.  The first couple times out I would honestly be getting hits on almost every cast dragged past a bed of weeds.  

As far as durability, I've had a day where I caught seven fish on one worm!  Five bass and two huge sunfish.  (Told you its not too big)  All on the one worm.  I haven't caught enough fish in one session with any other worm to compare but I've heard horror stories of some soft plastics breaking down after two or three decent fish.

Powerworms are part of a line called Powerbait which all share the Powerbait scent.  You'll know when you open a bag of Powerbait.  I don't know if the scent is the secret to it's success or if it is the action or what.  I just know that they work.  I can honestly say that I don't think there has been a time that I've fished a Powerworm and not had at least one knock or nibble on my line.

And before you think I'm just kissing Berkley's big-name butt or that they gave me the worms for free to talk up, let me add that I paid for every single pack of Powerworms I've used.  Just like I've paid for the several other brands that I've tried.  I may have originally bought them because I saw them on Hank Parker, but I continue to buy them because they catch me fish.  I highly recommend them to anyone either just starting out, wanting to change up their tactics, or get someone new into the sport.  They run about $4 for a pack of 10 and you can get them just about anywhere tackle is sold.

As far as fishing plastic worms, a majority of the time my worm is texas-rigged.  (For anyone who doesn't know how to texas-rig a worm, here you go.  If any of my blogger buddies have a post on it that explains it in a different way, feel free to link it in a comment, might help people put it in a different light.)   I'd say 95% of the bass I've caught on Powerworms have been texas-rigged with a loose weight.  The loose weight makes the worm sink fast enough to showcase it's action, but lets it go at it's own speed so it doesn't zoom past the fish.  The other 5% (one, maybe two fish) has been texas-rigged without a weight.  

Once you have it all rigged up, toss it out near some cover (weeds/fallen trees/lily pads) and let it sink.  Try to keep the line taut but don't move the bait for at least 20-30 seconds.  This is when I get most of my hits, after the initial fall.  After waiting a bit, start to bring in the worm by slightly jerking your rod, just a couple inches.  Reel up the slack, wait about 20 secs, repeat.  Eventually you'll feel a tick on your line and usually the line will start moving.  Drop your rod tip a bit, reel up the slack and yank straight up to set the hook.  You've got yourself a fish. :)

To sum it up, let me reiterate:  Powerworms catch fish.  They are one of the easiest lures out there if you're a beginner or just introducing someone to the sport.  They are well worth the $4 you'll spend on them.

Hope that helps a few beginners out.  If you guys have any questions on the Powerworm, feel free to ask.  I may not know the answer but I'll do my best to find it out for you.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Berkley in any way and received nothing in way of compensation or equipment for this review.  I spent my own hard earned cash on these Powerworms and will continue to do so as long as they catch me fish.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Went out fishing with my buddy Matt this morning, trying to bring in some catfish to fry up for dinner.

Anticipation was in the air as we walked down the levee, rods in hand.  You could almost hear it buzzing.

Oh wait... That was the thousands of flies, feeding on the damp muck left behind after the lake dried up enough to let the levee emerge.  It was kind of unnerving, like the background noise in a horror flick, getting slowly louder as time passes and we get closer.

We went out to Anderson Lake, which is by Manito, IL.  We started out with Matt's homemade stink bait.  It sure stunk.  The problem was it was the first time he made it so it wasn't thick enough to stick well to the catfish worms.  We fished it for awhile with just a few disinterested bites.  While watching my pole, I rigged up the Firebird with a jighead and 3" Ripple Shad and tossed it around to no avail.

The whole time we were there, a group (pod?) of about 15-20 carp were cruising about 3 feet from shore.  I tied on a big bushy fly on my flyrod and tried to put it out a few feet in front of them.  I had one come up and "sniff" it but he turned around and booked it away.  I think I would like to get some weighted flies that would sink to the bottom and go out there again, I'm confident that with the correct bait, you could  clean up on carp on that levee.  Matt also gave me some advice on flycasting, so I don't look quite so developmentally disabled.

After about two hours with no fish, I rigged up my baitcaster with a hook and sinker and threaded a nightcrawler on.  A couple casts later, I finally had a hit and set the hook into my first fish in about a month.  Little did I know it'd be this little monster:

Yea, he had a bad day.  My first Bullhead ever.

All in all, he had is back fin missing, his front fin was messed up (Finding Nemo style), he was missing a whisker, that scarring on his side, and had deep gashes on the top of his head.  Matt reckons he had a run-in with a flathead.

I wasn't about to eat him in that condition so we let him go.  Sadly we saw him float up to the top about ten feet away a little bit later.  Luckily, something came up and snatched him so he didn't go to waste.

A little bit later, I got another bite and reeled in this:

I believe they're technically White Perch.  My dad always called them Sheephead.  Matt calls them bait.  He caught two more and kept all three to use for cutbait when he goes back tonight.

Matt also had a piece of nightcrawler under a bobber.  Something dragged it under super sloooowly.  Matt set the hook and the drag on his ultra-light went apesh*t.  I  moved his other rod out of way and watched him fight a fish up towards the bank.  It ended up being a 2 1/2 to 3 foot gar that snapped off the line right at shore.  Wish we could have landed it so I could get a pic for you guys.

All in all, not the day I hoped for but I still had a good time.  Matt swears the fishing is a hundred times better at night so I'll have to go out with him some night soon and hopefully pull in one of the 10-15 pound cats he raves about.  :)

I have a couple more pics of the shoreline to share with you, its a really beautiful lake.

Well thats it for now.  I have a Peoria Chiefs (Cubbies farm team) game to go to tonight and I need a nap beforehand. :)

I've been waiting on my FOID card for a month now.  Whenever the state police get it to me, I'll be following up with my experiences on getting licensed to own a firearm in IL and purchasing my first rifle and handgun.  I know this has nothing to do with fishing but I know alot of fisherman are also into hunting/shooting so I figure someone may enjoy reading it.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Still Alive...

Just haven't caught anything at all since my last post.  I've been out fishing three times over the past couple weeks with no success.

I attribute this to a couple things:

  1. I haven't gotten in a "full" fishing session in that time.  By "full" I mean 4ish hours of dedicated fishing time to explore an area and really find the fish.  I've been limited to between one and two hours each time.
  2. The bass forum I belong to ( has an awesome contest going on right now called a Bait Bash.  Minda Lures sent out a package of their Craws to 100 anglers (myself included) to try out and the angler who catches the most and biggest bass wins a prize package.  It's an absolutely awesome promotion and a great way to spread the word about the craws.  That said, I really have no idea how to fish a plastic crawdad.  I've been texas-rigging them and bouncing them off the bottom but haven't had a hit.  I attribute this to my inexperience as the craws seem to have pretty awesome action.  However, I've been using them almost exclusively and haven't had time to really fall back on the stuff I know.
When you add in the holiday and family events, it just hasn't been conducive to catching fish.  

Luckily, this weekend we have absolutely nothing planned so I called up my buddy Matt.  I met Matt in Speech class and we got to talking about fishing and traded numbers so we could go out and tear 'em up sometime.  Since I've been skunked lately on my own, I figure it'll be good to head out with someone who grew up in the area, knows some honeyholes and has been catching fish.  

I have no idea where we're going but he said they've been getting good amounts of channel cats and bass so hopefully I'll have some pics of some delicious ugly cats and some big beautiful bass.

Sorry for the lack of action, hope you all are having more luck than I have lately.