Jake Ormond of Sterlington, a rookie this year on the FLW Pro Tour, readily shares a story that helps explain his reliance on a large, ribbontail worm in the summer, night and day, particularly in July.
Ormond and his father, Jimmy Ormond, targeted bass three straight nights late in the summer of 2010 at Lake Fork in Texas. The first two nights, using strictly plastic worms, the Ormonds caught between 20 and 30 bass up to 5 pounds.
After finishing the second night of fishing, the Ormonds got into a breakfast conversation with a fishing guide; they asked about other places to try. The guide told them about a long point in deep water that held bass he had been unable to catch.
The Ormonds arrived at that spot about an hour before the next sunset. They saw “great big fish on the graph” in 16- to 20-foot depths. Jimmy Ormond boated a 6-pounder on his first cast and followed up with another 6, then two 5s back-to-back.
“I haven’t had a bite yet,” Jake Ormond said. “We were both using worms…. He’s kicking my butt so bad.”
Then, he missed a fish and threw back to the same spot. About 15 minutes before dark, a 10-pound, 2-ounce bass bit and didn’t get away.
“He ran the same way the last one did. I turned his head. When he jumped, he could barely could get out of the water,” he said.
That fish was Jake Ormond’s personal best on a plastic worm, an artificial lure he’s used ever since the father and son started fishing when he was a boy. It also was one of 15 bass they caught that night from between two stumps 12 to 15 feet apart. Their biggest five went around 36 pounds.
“I fished a lot at night growing up,” said Jake Ormond, who honed his game fishing worms. “The worm was the No. 1 thing in the dark.”
Now 32, Ormond has been fishing big tournaments for several years and guiding across northeast Louisiana. His penchant for plastic worm fishing starts after the spawn each year.
“It’s hard to beat any soft plastics nowadays,” he said. “The worm is mostly a summer deal for me. Once they get off their beds, I throw a big, ribbontail worm.”
Ormond opts for an 8-inch, Grande Fishing Megatail worm as his go-to soft plastic or, if he needs an even-bigger worm, it’s V&M’s 101/2-inch Wild Thang. His favorite color is blue fleck, followed by watermelon candy.
The most-important part of fishing plastic worms is determining the difference between an underwater stick or blade of grass and a bite. Fishing over the years has enhanced Ormond’s feel.
“I can tell you if it’s a piece of grass. You get a feel,” said Ormond, who fishes 8-inch worms on a 3/0 or 4/0 O’Shaughnessy offset worm hook and 10-inch worms on a 4/0 or 5/0 hook, usually under a 3/16- or ¼-ounce Tungsten worm weight on 20-pound KastKing fluorocarbon. He uses a KastKing Cliff Crochet Spirale Series casting rod and a Bassinator Elite reel with an 8:1 gear ratio.