Ned, Ned, Ned; sometimes it seems everyone is fishing the Ned rig. When bass turn finnicky, they can’t turn down the tiny soft plastic lure undulating seductively on the bottom. But what about saltwater fish? Pro fishing guide Captain Wade Harness takes Ned to Southern California and introduces him to briny bass.
Rods: 8-foot, medium-heavy Shimano Teramar SE Inshore
Line: 20-pound PowerPro braid. Moss green color matches San Diego eel grass beds.
Leader: 20-pound Seaguar Premier fluorocarbon
When Should You Use a Ned Rig in Saltwater?
Some people use the Ned rig when the bite gets tough, but I use it all the time. It is productive with heavily pressured fish. The lure looks defenseless, enticing the weariest pigs to drop their guard and break bread like it’s business as usual.
The Ned rig imitates a wide variety of baitfish, but I think its similarity to a razor clam attracts spotted bay bass. When I catch a spotty, it often chokes up three or four clams. The short, wiggly jig looks like a clam coming out of its shell.
Saltwater Ned Rig Fishing Techniques
There are six basic retrieves: The drag and shake, dead stick, swim and glide, straight swim, the stroll, and the hop and bounce, which was developed by NASCAR driver Terry Bivins.
The hop and bounce is my most productive Midwest finesse retrieve. Between hops, let the mushroom-shaped jig head rest on the bottom with the buoyant tail sticking up in the current.
Lead Heads to Use
- 1/6-ounce Finesse ShroomZ in red
- 1/5-ounce NedlockZ, in chartreuse
- 1/5-ounce Power Finesse ShroomZ in green pumpkin
- 3/8-ounce Mag ShroomZ in green pumpkin
Tip: Use a drop of glue to secure the plastic to the head.
Jigs to Use
Saltwater Tackle Tips for Ned Rigs
Braided line is key. The light head and small jig make it difficult to feel a bite. Keep the line tight and set the hook at the slightest tick.
A spotted bay bass can spit the hook as quickly as it eats. On a windy day, keep the bow into the wind and current to control the retrieve and keep the line taught.
Don’t tell this spotted bay bass it was fooled by a largemouth lure. | Feature photo: Captain Wade Harness