Wacky Money

Anglers have all heard of the “Wacky Rig” of which there are several versions. The one that will be discussed here is “T-Wacky” with some money attached—Money Maker that is.

The Money Maker is a Berkley Havoc worm. It is a little different than other worms that many use for wacky rigging, but it doesn’t have a head or tail, as both ends are the same. Kind of difficult to explain, but both ends have a little bulb that helps balance it out, and gives it the waving action that teases fish into striking.

As for the T-Wacky, it is a jig head that has a weed guard and no keeper barbs—only the straight shank hook. The one I use, as with some of the others, have the line tie eye directly forward of the lead head, and not on top as most regular jig heads. I use the Stanley Jigs version with a wire loop-style weed guard that snaps back behind the barb, which releases easily when the fish strike. The sizes I prefer are 1/8- and 1/16-ounce, with 2/0 hooks.

I’ve also used the T-Wacky as a normal finesse head for fishing a 4-inch worm, and threading it like any other jig body. However, at the moment we are talking about rigging the Money Maker as a wacky, since that is the purpose of the worm’s odd design.

Finger jigging a T-Wacky rigged over some submerged weeds.
Finger jigging a T-Wacky rigged over some submerged weeds.

In rigging the Money Maker, I will use it with or without some sort of supporting device, such as a piece of surgical or silicone tubing. It has always worked fairly well without the tubing, but at times heavy weeds will start taking a toll on the body, as will large bluegills grabbing the ends and pulling. If this is happening, the tubing, that is just large enough in diameter to fit the worm, will be cut in about half-inch pieces and slid to the center of the worm. This is where the hook will be inserted.

Another trick, if not using ultra clear tubing, is to use a permanent marker in a color as close to the worm color as possible (e.g., black marker for black worm, purple marker for June Bug worm). Another suggestion for coloring that can sometimes add that “something special,” is to use a contrasting color. You can also enhance the worm’s secondary color, such as a red marker with a black/red flake worm.

The actual hooking of the worm is extremely simple. Hook it directly in the middle so that the two little knobs on the end are like a balanced dumbbell. This will provide the most action as the ends flex up and down as the worm is jigged along.

Next are the rod/reel/line combinations to be used. It is fairly much up to the angler, but I use both spinning and casting.

For spinning I use 7-foot Shakespeare Agility rods in medium and ultralight actions. The same sort of reel, Pflueger Supreme ultralight, spooled with 8- or 10-pound test green Nanofil line is used on both. I will use these rigs for finger jigging the T-Wacky, which provides a completely different action than the normal method of fishing when using it on a steady retrieve.

Again, my selection for casting is in the Shakespeare Agility line with a 7-foot, ultralight model. It is difficult to find an ultralight casting model, but this rod, teamed with a Garcia Revo reel, and spooled with 10- to 12-pound test Trilene XL line is perfect for fishing the T-Wacky rigged Money Maker.

To try something different, Dan Galusha rigged a Money Maker worm on a Blitz Spyder Finesse jig, and jigged it off the deeper edges of submerged shallower weed islands.
Dan Galusha rigged a Money Maker worm on a Blitz Spyder Finesse jig, and jigged it off deeper edges of submerged, shallow weed islands.

With either rig, the most popular way to fish is to allow the worm to drop to or near the bottom, and then start a lift-and-drop retrieve. I will also give it a couple of quick hops as the worm is pulled upward, which many times produces a strike, or just as it starts to drop back down. As mentioned before, a different action can be produced when using the finger jigging technique with the spinning outfit. This will give the worm a constant pulsing of the two ends as the rig is pulled along with the steady retrieve.

Another way of using the Money Maker with similar retrieves to the T-Wacky jig is to use a regular finesse jig, such as the Blitz Spyder with the new flexing skirts. As with the T-Wacky head, hook the worm in the middle, and fish it like described. This is another one of those “off the wall” type rigs that won’t work all the time, but can add a variation when fish might start slowing down from the regular rig, or on a day when you know they will hit the Money Maker, but need something different to start producing strikes.

As for areas to fish the “Wacky Money” rig, I’ve found it best in clearer water. Shallow weed lines, submerged weed islands, and rock, especially along a riprap area, such as a dam, can be perfect areas. Weeds are the first choice, and popping the rig loose from a weed, can very often produce a strike as it falls. Also swimming the rig near the top of submerged weeds, making sure to tick the tops at times, is another good method, and when the “finger jigging” can come into play, as well as in an open water area near weeds. Rocky areas with crawdads are perfect to hop the rig along the bottom, and are spots where I prefer using the casting outfit.

Finesse fishing has come a long way in popularity for good reasons—it catches fish. Try the Wacky Money finesse technique, and you should see it pay off in some great fishing results.

 If you have any further questions about this or any other fishing subject, drop me a line through the Dan’s Fish ‘N’ Tales® website at dansfishntales.com, or Facebook page at facebook.com/dansfishntales.