Utah Smallmouth Bass Fishing Places

I learned about the neko rig from one of the employee’s at Sportsman’s Warehouse. He told me about it before I went to Powell for a spring trip. I’m glad I listened to him and figured out how to fish this thing. I found the neko rig to be super deadly, and produced some bigger bass for me. My best success on it has been out to Lake Powell, but I’m sure it would release the “Kraken” on bass anywhere when conditions get tough. It’s an awesome rig to throw when the bass seem to be on lock jaw mode.  Here is a run down of  how to get set up, and how to fish the Neko Rig to get you crushing bass!

 How the Neko Rig works:

I refer to the Neko Rig as a modified shaky head rig. It works like a shaky head rig, but produces some extra action that really gets bass stoked off their minds. The bait drops down pretty fast, nose first, to the depth you want to fish. It imitates a bait fish feeding along the bottom with the tail up and nose down. It looks very natural in the water. I’ve only fished this rig with a senko, but I’ve heard guys have had success with small finesse worms as well.

What you need for the Neko Rig

Neko Rig Bass
 Neko Rig Bass. This thing can produce a lot of solid fish.

You really only need 3 simple things to get yourself set up with a neko rig.

  1. Finesse Hook: I like to use a size 2 gamakatsu finesse wide gap hook. It will get the job done.
  2. Nail Weight: I like to use  a 1/8 oz  weight on the bigger senko’s, and if I fish a smaller bait I’ll drop down to the 1/16oz size. I’m sure you could also use a small nail and it would do the trick.
  3. Senko: My all time favorite colors are green pumpkin and natural shad. I prefer to use the 5″ size. It seems to call out a little bigger fish than the smaller sizes.

Setting up the Neko Rig

It’s really quite simple to put together. Here are the two steps you need to take to get this rig ready to roll.

  • Insert the nail weight into the nose of the senko. You want to make sure the senko stays straight after the weight is inserted.
  • Run your hook into the middle of the bait with the hook point facing up toward the tail of the bait. This is also referred to as wacky rigging the hook.

When & How to fish the Neko Rig:

The best time I’ve found for fishing the Neko Rig is all the time! It is a really good set up. Sometimes I get distracted with throwing other things, but this rig will produce fish. It is more effective when you are fishing in deeper water. I like to use the neko rig if I’m finding fish anywhere between 10 – 20 ft deep. It’s perfect for rock or gravel bottoms, but it can get hung up pretty easily if your trying to fish brush piles or timber.

The key to fishing it properly  is to make sure to keep it on the bottom. You want to have the nail weight touching the bottom and the tail of your bait sticking straight up in the water. I vary my retrieves to see what works best. A lot of times I will just pull it along keeping my line tight as it pumps along the bottom. The other effective way to fish it is to give it the ole twitch, twitch, pause. Almost as if you are hopping it up, twitching it once, and then letting it fall back down  to the bottom again. Keep your line tight, so as to keep the tail from just flopping on the bottom. Keeping the tail up is what I’ve found seems to trigger the bass to bite.

I prefer to use a spinning rod and reel set up when using a neko rig. It’s typically very light, and you can throw your bait a little farther on a spinning reel than you can on a baitcasting set up. Plus, You don’t need a ton of hook setting power which is another good reason to use a spinning rod.

Neko Rig Video

Here is a YouTube video I put together on the Neko Rig to help you visually see how to rig the bait, and what it looks like in the water.

Hope this helps put a few more bass in your hands. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below about fishing this rig, and I’ll make sure to answer them.

As Always,

Stay Stoked!


Gear Used

The links above and below in this post are affiliate links were you can pick up baits, rod’s, reels, line, and anything else I use to “Krak” some bass on the neko rig. Krakenbass receives a small percentage of the sales through these links. I only use links to baits, and gear I personally trust and know work. I put these links to make them helpful for you, and not for the small amount I make for the sale of the products. I hope these products can help you “krak” some bass! Thank you for your support.

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