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
Reels Shimano Stradic 3000 spinning reel for light finesse
Daiwa Lexa 300 casting reel for heavier jig heads and vertical jigging
Line 20-pound PowerPro braid. Moss green color matches San Diego eel grass beds
Leader 20-pound Seaguar Premiere fluorocarbon
- 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
- Use a drop of glue to secure the plastic to the head
- 2.75-inch TRD BugZ, hot craw color
- 4-inch glow/chartreuse TroutTrick Jerk ShrimpZ
- 5-inch TroutTrick in redbone color
- 5-inch FattyZ green pumpkin orange
- 5.75-inch Bang StickZ “The Deal”
- 6-inch Giant TRD “The Deal”
When do 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 its 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.
Describe your Ned technique
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.
Offer a tackle tip
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. | Photo: Captain Wade Harness