Home Blog

Essentials For Fishing The Neko Rig

1

The Neko Rig fishing technique has been around the professional Bass circuits for a while, but filtered into the spotlight for weekend anglers over the last few years. 

The neko rig is especially handy during times of the year when the bite is tough. When you need a little more action to catch the attention of stubborn Bass, many anglers transition to finesse techniques like the wacky rig (a standard plastic stickbait with a simple wacky hook through the middle) to mimic a feeding minnow or suspended panfish.

The neko rig starts with a wacky rig (like the one shown above), but levels up on the action by inserting a weight into one end of the plastic worm. The additional weight makes one side move faster and more erratically than your wacky-rigged stick bait and also allows the worm to stand up on the bottom.

Like most finesse techniques, we recommend a spinning reel and rod like the Abu Garcia Veritas in medium weight for less than $100 or The Daiwa Finesse rod at $179 and 8 or 10 lb. fluorocarbon line.

The essentials for a neko rig start with a wacky hook rigged with a 6mm O-ring to a wacky worm or stick bait and a nail or weight like the VMC Neko skirt. Read on for our favorite neko rig recommendations!

How to Select a Wacky Rig Hook

Many hooks will work for the wacky rig or neko set up, but VMC has specifically designed a line of wacky hooks that even come in a weedless version for the elite angler.

Shop the VMC Neko Hook

Shop the VMC Neko Weedless Hook

How to Select a Wacky Rig Worm or Stick Bait

There’s a wide range of worms and stick baits that work great for the wacky rig and translate perfectly to the neko rig. Price point is a main consideration.

The Yamamoto Senko has a higher price tag, but is a favorite for bass anglers as the increased weight allows the bait to drop faster and with a different movement. The Yum Dinger has a lower price point that makes it perfect for everyday use. We’ve heard from many anglers that practice with Yum Dingers and break out the Senko when the tournament is on the line.

Here are our 5 favorite wacky worm baits. We carry all of them in a number of sizes and colors to fit the water you fish:

Berkley General

Yamamato Senko

Yum Dinger

BioSpawn Exostick

Zoom Trick Worm

Weights, Skirts, and Tools for Neko Rigs

The weight portion of the neko rig conversion requires very little sophistication. A small nail from your local hardware store will do the trick. Note: it’s important to only insert the weight into one side of the worm to keep the worm vertical. 

Another great option is the skirted weight insert from VMC. The barbs on the neko weight help keep it inserted and the skirt provides the added flash to add attention to the presentation.

The skirt of the VMC Neko fans out on the drop and will lightly disturb the bottom when pulled. This small sediment disruption is a key prey indicator that will attract a bass looking for a meal.

Shop the VMC Neko Skirt or watch below to learn more about the VMC Neko Skirt:

We also recommend speeding up your rigging process and preserving your worms with a Wacky Rig tool that allows you to easily insert the 6mm O-ring around your bait and hook. You can find this accessory here.

How to Fish a Neko Rig

The Neko rig fishes well year-round but performs best when the bite is tough on other Bass fishing styles. Consider using your sonar to target mid-lake humps in clear to moderately stained water. The added weight on one end of the neko rig presents the bait differently, helping catch suspended fish. With additional weight or a skirt, you can add even more profile and churn up a little bottom sediment to get a strike. 

Like Walleye fishing, the bite commonly occurs on the drop, so it’s important to let the neko rigged bait hit the bottom before twitching the line and letting it drop again (almost like a vertical jig).

Tell us what lakes you fish and we’ll help you find the right products by using our shop-by-lake tools. Upgrade to Omnia Premium and you’ll receive a 10% rebate on all purchases and get free shipping with no minimums. See you on the water!

Omnia Asks: How Can I Catch Spring Walleye on Lake Mille Lacs?

0

There’s a lot of information out there about how to catch a fish. With populations and lake clarities changing quickly, sometimes you need to go to the source – the anglers who truly know the water. Omnia Asks is a series featuring local experts offering their unique perspectives on challenging and contentious questions.


After spending the cold Minnesota Winter buried under over a foot of ice, anglers dream of warmer Spring temperatures on Mille Lacs Lake. The Spring melt signals it’s time to get back out in a boat and catch the state fish, the Walleye. (Editor’s note: Lake Mille Lacs has long been regarded as a top-tier year-round Walleye lake, but it also offers excellent opportunities to catch trophy Smallmouth and Muskies throughout the season as well – check out our lake overview and product suggestions HERE).

There are plenty of ways to target Walleye, but in this, our first lake-specific installment of Omnia Asks, we asked the experts:

“What is the best way to catch a Spring Walleye on Mille Lacs?”

You will notice a common theme – Walleye are moving pretty darn slow as the water warms – but we were surprised by the variation in the selection of baits and techniques that our experts recommended! Read on to learn how to get ready for open water!


Todd Andrist: 

Todd has been a professional guide in Northern Minnesota since 1999. He’s an expert on the Brainerd-area lakes: Gull Lake, Pelican, The Whitefish Chain, and Mille Lacs Lake. Like most kids growing up in a lake resort area, he spent his days on the water fishing and learning every inch of this massive waterbody. He has shared his passion for fishing with countless clients and strangers, and he’s quick to offer a helping suggestion to anyone that asks. To learn more about Todd’s guide service CLICK HERE!

“The best technique in Spring is to drag 1/8 oz. jigs with minnows or plastic along the edge of the breaklines. Straight tail minnows or bento minnows are my plastic of choice. Also, make sure to let out a bunch of line because walleyes will be spooked by the boat!”


Chapman Guide Service:   

Tim Chapman has been fishing Lake Mille Lacs since he was 15 years old. He and his wife Tina have been operating their resort for over 2 years. Chapman’s Mille Lacs Resort is a great private spot to stay, perfect for family vacations, reunions, and of course Minnesota family fishing! The resort is located on Main Street in Isle, Minnesota. To learn more about Chapman’s CLICK HERE!

“Slow presentation is best in the Spring as Walleye are still warming up. Rigging with leeches or using a slip bobber with leeches is a great way to target them. Red hooks are always a go-to for fishing the rock structures found in Mille Lacs.”


Steve Pennaz: 

Steve Pennaz is a friend of Omnia. He is one of the world’s highest-regarded multi-species anglers and the host of the popular series Lake Commandos. He has successfully fished thousands of locations around the world in both fresh and saltwater. He is highly skilled at finding and catching fish on new waters but calls Minnesota his home. Steve was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2016.

“I love jigging and trolling in the Spring. Try a 1/8 or 1/4 oz. jig tipped with a fathead or a shiner, running along breaks or shallow flats. A 6 lb. braid like Berkley X9 or FireLine Ultra 8 will give you more distance on your casts. At dusk, trolling a #7 Flicker Shad is hard to beat. Tie direct to 8 lb. braid and let out enough line to allow your bait to hit the bottom during your troll (the Flicker Shad is awesome in 10 to 12 feet).”


Do you have a question you’d like us to ask our experts?  Email us at hello@omniafishing.com with the subject “Omnia Asks

Omnia Asks: How Can I Catch Spring Bass on Lake Mille Lacs?

0

There’s a lot of information out there about how to catch a fish. With populations and lake clarities changing quickly, sometimes you need to go to the source – the anglers who truly know the water. Omnia Asks is a series featuring local experts offering their unique perspectives on challenging and contentious questions.


Largemouth and smallmouth bass have become increasingly common target sport fish on Lake Mille Lacs. In 2016, Seth Feider won the Toyota Angler of the Year Tournament on the Northern Minnesota lake with a fat sack of smallmouth bass. This only helped solidify the fishery as a great place to catch bass.

Whether Mille Lacs is your home water or you travel to this incredible fishery, it’s a big lake and conditions are always changing so it helps to get an insider’s perspective on what’s working. In this installment of Omnia Asks we asked our panel of professional anglers and fishing guides:

“What is the best way to catch a Spring Bass on Mille Lacs?”

Below, our experts dive into favorite techniques, lake attribute, and products to use in the Spring on Lake Mille Lacs. We hope these suggestions will bring you confidence and lead to a more successful day on the water!


Seth Feider:

Seth Feider is a current BassMaster Elite Angler with sponsorships from Rapala, VMC, Simms, Daiwa, and Outkast Tackle. Feider, a Bloomington, MN native won the 2016 Toyota Angler of the Year Tournament on Lake Mille Lacs in northern Minnesota (You could say he knows his way around Lake Mille Lacs!). He has helped launch the custom Feider series technique-specific rods with Diawa and line of jigs with Outkast Tackle. You can learn more about Seth and see his favorite gear HERE.

“I always recommend a slow, steady retrieve for Spring fishing on Mille Lacs. I’m looking for shallow flats and relatively shallow humps on my sonar and fish at the first break (in 8-12’ of water). Fish are still moving slowly so the slow, steady retrieve is key.

I recommend the Daiwa Tatula casting rod and reel with Suffix Line. This is a pretty great all-around rod set up for the baits I use for Spring Bass. For tackle, I use the Outkast Feider Fly in black, the Rapala Deep Shadow Rap in silver, the 360 GT Swim pre-rigged in natural colors, and an Outkast Golden Eye swim bait in green pumpkin with Biospawn ExoSwim in natural colors like the Feider Shad. 

That feels like a lot of products that I’ve either designed or have my name on but they work and they’re my go-to baits for Spring fishing on Mille Lacs! Keep in mind that zebra mussels have filtered the water over the last few years so natural-colored baits will work best for the clear water.”

Read more about Seth’s Spring Bass Essentials for Lake Mille Lacs HERE


Ron DaRosa

Ron DaRosa is a professional Bass fishing guide on Lake Mille Lacs. Ron’s guiding career began in 1985 when he was recruited to be a Bass specialist at Ron and Al Lindner’s renowned Camp Fish in the popular Leech Lake resort region of Minnesota. Ron spends his winters fishing for trophy Crappie and Cass in Southern Illinois on Rend Lake, Kinkaid Lake, and Crab Orchard Lake. To learn more about Ron’s guide service CLICK HERE!

“Spring on Mille Lacs is awesome! Opener can bring a variety of style options that make a range of tackle products very effective. Here’s a couple of my favorites for picking up Spring Bass:

First, I like suspending jerkbaits on offshore reefs as a great starting point. I usually throw on 8 lb. fluorocarbon line with a spinning rod and reel.

Another great option is the football head jig with a speedcraw trailer or similar plastic. The football head is versatile and can be used deep on the reefs and shallow as they move up to shallow water. I like to throw the football head setup on at least a 7 ft. baitcaster with medium heavy action and 17 lb. fluorocarbon.

The ned rig and tubes always work as well. As another alternative, hairjigs like the Feider fly can be great, and seem to help trigger inactive fish. I also like spinnerbaits on a small frame over dark reed beds as fish roam in schools before dispersing to spawn. Bass are often found shallower than where they actually spawn. One huge key is finding rock and sand edges or transition zones between sediment types. This is true from 3 to 20 feet.

I typically outfit a spinning rod and reel with 10 lb. braid and 8 lb. fluorocarbon leader. My rod is typically a 7 ft. medium weight with fast action. My reel of choice is a 3500 or 4000 size.   

Note: not all fish spawn shallow on Mille Lacs. I have worked with the MN DNR on a population study on Mille Lacs and they have told me they see spawning activity down to 15 feet while diving so keep this in mind finding Bass during the spawn as the water warms.”


Steve Pennaz: 

Steve Pennaz is a friend of Omnia. He is one of the world’s highest-regarded multi-species anglers and the host of the popular series Lake Commandos. He has successfully fished thousands of locations around the world in both fresh and saltwater. Steve is highly skilled at finding and catching fish on new waters but calls Minnesota his home. He was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2016.

“In Mille Lacs’ clear waters, you’ll find giant Spring Smallmouth tight to big boulders or roaming shallow flats. Baits like the 4-inch PowerBait MaxScent The General stick worm rigged wacky are hard to beat for fish holding tight to cover. For roaming fish, cast a bare 1/8 or 3/32 oz. black marabou jig using a 6 lb. braid with a 4-foot leader of 6-pound flouro for distance/invisibility. Fish slowly, off the bottom, pausing often to let the marabou “pulse.” Don’t be surprised if you pick up a few bonus Walleye!”


Jim DaRosa

Jim lives on Like Mille Lacs during the open water fishing season and has been targeting Smallmouth Bass for over 20 years. He started guiding exclusively for Bass in 2006. Jim guides from the fishing opener until the middle of October and spends approximately 100 days on Mille Lacs Lake each year. He specializes in artificial baits instead of using live baits or trolling. He is a licensed Master Pilot Guide, certified by the State of Minnesota. You can find more from Jim HERE.

“Spring fishing (Pre-Spawn and post-spawn): At ice out (Mid May – water temps at 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit) Smallmouth Bass are coming out of their winter haunts and begin to stage in depths of 6-15 feet around rock reefs. Good bait choices are 1/2 to 3/4 oz All Terrain football head jigs tipped with Zoom Speedcraws. Another good choice is a jerkbait fished at various speeds and rhythms. I recommend letting Bass tell you how they want it. Change up cadence with fast to long pauses to identify what works in the moment. I like suspending jerkbaits like Berkley Cutters in 90 and 110 sizes in natural colors like clown, perch, silver/purple, and silver/pink.”


Do you have a question you’d like us to ask our experts?  Email us at hello@omniafishing.com with the subject “Omnia Asks

How Jordan Lee Fished Bass Pro Tour Stage 1 at Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and Lake Garcia

0
Image via Major League Fishing

Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour kicked off January 29, and Jordan Lee bagged 26 fish weighing in at a total of 55 lbs., 1 oz. during the Championship round.

The first five days of competition took place on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes (click HERE to see the Omnia Fishing lake page for Lake Kissimmee), and the final Championship day moved to Lake Garcia.

Per BassBlaster, here were his winning rigs that proved key to coming out on top in the inaugural MLF event:

Rig 1:

Seth Feider Signs with Omnia Fishing to Help Launch Innovative Tackle Ecommerce Site

0

MINNEAPOLIS — Omnia Fishing and Seth Feider are pleased to announce today that they have partnered to launch new online tackle retailer OmniaFishing.com. Omnia is the first online tackle retailer to sort products by relevance based on water body characteristics and offer map-based tackle shopping.

Seth Feider, known for sporting one of fishing’s best cookie dusters, is a current Bassmaster Elite Angler sponsored by Rapala, VMC, Simms, Daiwa, and OutKast Tackle. Feider, a Bloomington, MN native, won the 2016 Toyota Angler of the Year Tournament on Lake Mille Lacs in northern Minnesota with boat-loads of smallmouth bass. He has helped launch the custom Feider series technique-specific rods with Daiwa and line of jigs with OutKast Tackle.

Omnia Fishing® recently raised a million-dollar round of funding to create a better online experience for anglers to not only discover, organize, and purchase fishing relevant gear, but most importantly to hit the water more prepared. The company is founded by a group of start-up veterans and fishing industry insiders including Matt Johnson, the former co-founder and CEO of Contour Innovations, another Minnesota-based start-up that created the Insight Genesis platform that was acquired by Lowrance™ in 2014. He is joined by his co-founders Dan Wick, the technical co-founder and former CTO of Red Stamp (acquired by Taylor Corp 2013) and Chris Morgal, who’s held positions at Pure Fishing/Berkley, Northland Tackle, and Navico/Lowrance.

Omnia Fishing CEO Matt Johnson, a longtime angler himself, said, “The way we buy our gear is so intricately connected to our fishing preferences and location that until now no one has been able to build a scalable online solution that provides tackle recommendations by lake.” OmniaFishing.com was born from the premise that anglers rely on data about the changing, complex relationships between water body details, fish species, fishing styles, season and what is working now when selecting the gear that will fill their tackle boxes. “The shift to ecommerce has been slower for fishing than other industries,” said Johnson, “but we think this Shop-By-Lake concept will provide the best shopping experience for fishing tackle.” Online communities based around each lake will act like digital versions of local bait and tackle shops where insider lake knowledge can improve the process of shopping relevant baits.

Omnia Fishing is working with some of fishing’s top brands to offer a new way for anglers to shop online by map. Using a custom algorithm that matches products to species, styles, and lake characteristics, anglers see products that match the conditions of the lakes they fish and the techniques they use to fish them. Seth has been closely connected to product selection planning and algorithm development to make sure the correct colors and products show up based on user preferences and lake clarity values. Once presented with relevant products, anglers can purchase or reject the Omnia suggestions. Patterns of purchase and rejection will influence future product listings by lake as the algorithm gets smarter. In addition, expert lists by season, lake feature, clarity level, and species will be available by lake.

Novice anglers can take advantage of seeing only relevant products for the lakes and species they fish narrowed down by color to avoid being overwhelmed by long rows of tackle options. Expert anglers will receive a custom shopping experience and be able to indicate products that are working in real time and receive a share of the sales of those products through an upcoming “hot bait” feature.

Although live and in Beta now, at Spring launch Omnia will carry approximately 5,000 individual products and will ship directly from its Minneapolis-based warehouse. The hyper-personalized experience and organization are free to use for all anglers, but Omnia also offers an Amazon Prime™-like Premium Membership, with no-minimum free shipping, exclusive deals, and, most importantly, an annual account credit of 10% for all purchases from that year. Lake data for Midwest and Great Lakes states will be live in the Spring with an expansion South throughout the year.

Early access sign-up is available now at OmniaFishing.com and anglers can request activation for lakes that aren’t currently live by clicking the activation button on their favorite lake’s page.

OmniaFishing.com

Contacts
Matt Johnson, CEO
p: 715-864-9347
e: matt@omniafishing.com

Parker Mullins, Marketing Manager
e: parker@omniafishing.com

Seth Feider’s 10 Spring Bass Fishing Essentials for Lake Mille Lacs

0

View more about Seth and see his favorite gear here!

Sadly you can’t get a McRib in the Spring, but Smallmouth Bass are ready to feed! So wipe the Big Mac crumbs out of your mustache, wash it all down with your Mountain Dew and get to Mille Lacs!

After a long dark winter, I’m ready to get out as soon as the water opens. I start out by looking for shallow flats and relatively shallow humps on my sonar and I set up shop at the first break in 8-12’ of water.

I always recommend a slow, steady retrieve when fishing baits on Mille Lacs in the Spring. Fish are still moving slowly waking up from the Winter so the slow, steady retrieve is key.

As far as my gear, here is a list of the best fishing tackle for a Spring trip to Mille Lacs. Give them all a try and I guarantee you’ll get bit!

9Daiwa Tatula 100 HS(7.3:1) Casting Reel – Left Hand / Right Hand ($159.99)

10Suffix 832 Braided Line, Low-Vis Green – 8lb. or 10 lb. test ($15.99)

Those are my 10 favorite lures, baits, gear and tackle for hitting Mille Lacs once the ice clears! Hot tip: if you come and go from the Southwest, there’s a great McDonalds in Garrison, Minnesota where you can pick up another Big Mac on the way home and dream about the return of the McRib.

How To Fish Spybait Lures

0

Jason Dudek gives an introduction to spybait fishing and talks about how to fish the Duo Realis spinbait lures.

Explore our selection of Duo Realis lures at the link below!

1Featured: Duo Realis Spinbait 90 ($13.99)

Great Ice Fishing Lures + Products for 2018

0

Glenn Walker shares great new products for ice fishing in 2018 from Kenders Outdoors, Tundra tackle, and Lure Lock.

Tungsten is more dense than other metals (making for a jig that gets down to the fish faster) and more sensitive (allowing you to feel lighter bites). These Kenders jigs feature a sturdy #2 Hook, 1/16 oz Tungsten Glow White head, and Kenders’ premium tie, meaning they’ll take a beating and keep on fishing.

These Tundra Tackle spoons feature a battery-powered LED light (battery lasts up to 5 years) that automatically activates when submerged in water and turns off when removed from the water. Add in a great flutter and tumble action, and they outperform any glow lure on the market.

The ElasTak gel liners in these boxes will keep your tackle locked in place. That means less wear and tear, sharper hooks, most importantly you won’t send your gear flying down the hole in case of an accident. 

Steve Pennaz Shares 5 Gift Picks for Holiday 2018

0

Steve Pennaz is an industry veteran, host of the Sportsman Channel’s and World Fishing Network’s Lake Commandos, and a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

Steve was in the Omnia Fishing office this week and we asked him to share his favorite gift ideas for 2018. Read on to see his picks and why he recommends them!

SP: Top pros have found that Spy Baits are a great option when fishing gets tough. Turn to this 3 1/2-inch Duo Realis Spinbait 90 spy bait in clear, calm conditions when bass are ignoring other presentations.

SP: The Choppo is one of the easiest, most productive topwater baits I have ever used. Simply cast it out and reel it in for explosive strikes from bass, pike and even giant muskies!  The Choppo runs true in choppy conditions, too.

3Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Casting Reel – Left Retrieve or Right Retrieve ($99.99)

SP: The Abu Garcia Revo X is a $99.00 baitcaster with a 6.6:1 retrieve ratio that offers superb performance at a great price. If you’re looking for the best deal in quality bait casters…this is it. The Abu Garcia Revo Rocket is another great option for someone with a bigger budget who is looking for elevated performance (note: this product doesn’t ship until after Christmas).

4Omnia Gift Card (Price Varies)

SP: Allow the anglers in your life to move quickly when hot bites emerge on their favorite waters. The Omnia Gift card is like that friend that is always there when you need something now!

SP: This new 5-carrier braid from Berkley is the best braid I have ever used. It features a center core that keeps the line round so it handles extremely well and flows off the reel unlike any other braid; to make it better, this line’s abrasion resistance is off-the-charts awesome.

How Jason Dudek Fishes Lake Minnetonka

0
image via @jasondudekfishing

This is the first installment in a series focusing on the favorite lakes of Omnia Fishing partners and experts and breaking down their fishing style, tips, and tricks.

Their insights will help refine the recommendations for these lakes, in turn providing you with a more accurate list of the best gear for your favorite bodies of water, and ultimately helping you to be even more successful next time you hit the lake!

Jason Dudek is now a Minnesota-based bass angler but grew up fishing for salmon and trout on Lake Ontario, in New York. He competed in his first bass tournament in 1991 as a senior in high school on Lake Champlain. After graduating from college, he continued his journey of competitive fishing, starting in what is now the BFL before moving to Minnesota in 2000. Since that time, his career has continued to build, and he has competed at the Pro/Am and national professional levels. 

Jason was in our office recently so we took a few minutes to learn more about his approach to fishing Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. Read on to learn more, and be sure to check out Jason’s tips for bass fishing here!

What to look for:

JD: Grass

Favorite Colors:

JD:

  • Green Pumpkin in clear conditions
  • Black Blue in stained conditions

Favorite Baits:

JD:

Favorite Technique:

JD: Jig fishing heavy cover (try it with the baits recommended above!)

Favorite Fishing Style:

JD: Pitching milfoil

Favorite Lake Feature:

JD: Matted grass

Favorite Products:

JD:

RECENT POSTS

MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

TRENDING NOW