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Neko Rig Fishing 101

A Neko rig is just a fancy name for a weighted stick bait or a nail weighted bait. It is a really simple technique similar to the wacky rig. It is a head weighted soft plastic with a hook in the body normally in the bottom 1/3 or 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 since you can adjust the weight depending on the depth you are targeting.

Neko rig setup

How to Rig a Neko Rig

Setting up a neko rig is very simple.

  1. Start by inserting a nail or screw style weight into the fat end of a neko soft plastic bait.
  2. Then place an o-ring on the bait an inch or two from the end with your weight.
  3. Next slip your hook under the o-rings with the point up away from your weight and slightly out.

Rigging your o-ring and hook an inch or two up will help keep the hook up off the bottom and still leaves about 3/4 of your bait without anything ridged in it.

So the top 3/4 will to produce a lot of movement and action. The benefit of an neko rig is 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 is exposed, pointing up.

Make your life easier by picking up an wacky rigging tool.

When to Fish the Neko Rig

The neko rig 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 in 20, 30, or 40+ feet deep and still get a similar action of a wacky rig.

During late fall bass start to school up and and feed on bait fish. In doing so the bass sometimes get the balls of bait fish pinned way down deep in 30 or 40 feet of water. If you have a fish finder these schools will be easier to find. When you find a school on the bottom you want to cast out into the school and let your bait sink to the bottom. When it reaches the bottom slowly drag and shake it like you would a drop shot. When you shake your rod tip it makes the worm’s tail dance which produces a lot of motion. It makes your worm look like a bait fish rooting around in the rocks and mud. This action drives bass wild.

The great thing about finesse fishing styles like the neko rig is that they can work all year round. It works well in clear and stained water but when it comes to super muddy water there are better options. I like to fish the neko rig when I am targeting deep bass and want a bigger profile bait than a drop shot.

Gear Up for Neko Rig Fishing