I'm the first to admit that offshore fishing isn't generally my bag.
Sure, I believe that a vast majority of the fish in any given lake live offshore, but I grew up a shallow water angler and I love plying the shallow visible cover for bass.
That being said, there are certain techniques that I turn to if I need to fish offshore in a tournament or on a guide trip.
Of all the offshore tactics, a simple ribbon tail worm is my favorite, and here's why:
Ribbontail worms, like the Zman Saw Tail WormZ, are a very old, and simple, design which incorporates a curly tail onto a worm body, providing a waving action as it moves though the water. The traditional way to rig this bait is Texas-rigged with a sliding bullet weight.
Though there are many ways to fish an action-tail worm, I prefer to reach for this bait when bass are holding tight to deep offshore structure, like humps, points, ledges, creek channels or even grass lines. The retrieve is pretty basic. I let the worm fall all the way to the bottom, and then I commence to either dragging, or hopping, the worm off the bottom all the way until I feel I'm out of the strike zone.
The reason this bait is so effective is because it has a lot of action- yet it is subtle action- and if properly weighted, it can maintain bottom contact, which is essential when you are plying deeper water structure. It is also an excellent choice for both active and inactive fish.
Anytime from post-spawn, through the dog days of summer, a ribbon tail worm is always tied on one of my rods.
I consider a ribbon tail worm a mix between a finesse technique and a power fishing technique.
Most often, I am using these action-tailed worms with 12-17lb Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon, which I spool on a high speed casting reel, and a 7'MH casting rods.
As far as the hooks I use, I like to use offset shank worm hooks in 4/0-5/0 sizes.
One of the most important factors when it comes to tackle selection for ribbon tail worms is the weight, and to best illustrate how to choose the right weight, check out this video on how I make this selection:
Seek the bite!!