By Dave Mordini
What could bass fishing and Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery possibly have in common? Answer: Mojo. In the case of Austin Powers, his mojo, of course, was his magic charm. In bass fishing, the Mojo Rig in the right conditions can work its own bit of magic. It’s a presentation every serious bass fisherman needs to have in his bag of tricks.
The name “Mojo” comes from the cylindrical-shaped weight that is attached to your line called, you guessed it, a Mojo weight. It was a closely guarded secret out West among touring bass pros for a long time. The secret was eventually exposed in 1999 when Bassmaster magazine featured an article detailing this finesse technique.
A Mojo Rig is basically a scaled-down version of a Carolina Rig. While the Carolina Rig is normally fished in open water, drop-offs and deeper water, the Mojo Rig shines in shallower water with good visibility snaking its way through grass and fairly heavy weeds, usually in 10 feet of water or less. A split shot is not used simply because it can damage light line when tightly crimped down, causing a weak spot in the line between you and the fish of a lifetime.
Let’s take a closer look at how to assemble and fish the Mojo Rig. You can purchase both components for the rig at Bass Pro Shops for less than $10. Their version of the Mojo Rig is called the “XPS Finesse Weight,” same thing as the Mojo weight. A 16 pack of 1/8-ounce weights will set you back a whopping $4.79. You will also need a pack of “Bullet Weight T-Stops” at a cost of $3.99. To assemble, slide your line through the weight approximately 18 inches. Slide the T-stop through the center of the weight, and pull it snug. Proceed to trim the exposed overhanging T-stop from both ends of the weight. What you are left with is a weight that stays in place, yet still slides along the line, allowing you to easily change the distance from the weight to the hook without damaging the line.
I position the weight between 10 inches and 18 inches from the hook, opting for the longer distance in clear water. Tie on a No. 1 or 1/0 offset worm hook. I like to Texas Rig a 4-inch Zoom Fish Doctor as my choice of plastic baits in watermelonseed or green pumpkin colors. Cast it out, and allow the weight to reach bottom. Move/drag the rig with your rod, not your reel. When you feel a fish pick it up, reel up the slack and set the hook in a sideways sweeping motion. Do not set the hook in an up-and-down motion when your presentation has your weight positioned some distance up the line from your bait. This simple rig and its $10 investment can pay big dividends on the water and help you “get your Mojo back”!
I am currently booking six-hour guided bass trips for one to two people in June in northwest Illinois near the Illinois/Wisconsin border. All tackle is furnished, as well as snacks and drinks. All I ask for you to bring is a positive attitude. Call early to secure prime dates so you can treat yourself or someone special to a relaxing day on the water. More importantly, always make time to take a kid fishing.
This week’s favorite fishing quote comes from comedian Jeff Foxworthy: “Look where Jesus went to pick people. He didn’t go to colleges: He got guys from the fishing docks.”
Dave Mordini is an outdoor writer and a licensed Illinois fishing guide. His Get the Net Bass Fishing Guide Service is offered less than an hour west of Rockford in Jo Daviess County. He can be reached at (815) 790-4538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the June 4-10, 2014, issue