The standard issue Ultra-Vibe Speed Worm is 5-1/2 inches long and is a proven performer among top pros and weekend anglers alike. In fact weekend warrior Jeff Coble of Henderson, N.C., won the 2007 BASS Weekend Series Championship on Clarks Hill with a regular Zoom Ultra-Vibe Speed Worm.
Now, with the introduction of the Zoom Magnum Ultra-Vibe Speed Worm (Mag Speed Worm), a winning tradition continues in a much bigger way.
The new worm is 7 inches in length and has plenty of added bulk in the body and a unique paddle-tail. The bigger worm is a favorite of BASS pro Peter Thliveros of Jacksonville, Fla. Thliveros, or Peter T as he is known in the bass fishing world, is a seven-time BASS tournament champion and an expert on Florida’s weedy waters where he employs the Mag Speed Worm to catch bass.
“Whenever I fish around vegetation, I try to upgrade the profile and vibration of my lures,” Thliveros said. “The Mag Speed Worm fits that bill. The larger size and thicker tail helps attract more bass in dark vegetation.”
Thliveros has three favored ways of using the Mag Speed Worm, from top to bottom. Each way requires Texas-rigging the worm on a large 5/0 offset shank worm hook.
When fishing surface vegetation, he “buzzes” the big worm on top by pegging a tiny 1/16-ounce weight to the nose. A 1/16-ounce weight may sound light for such a large worm but Thliveros’ intention is not to sink the worm to the bottom. Instead, he wants just enough weight to hold the worm under the surface so the tail can ripple the top of the water like a buzzbait.
For mid-depths, the Zoom pro pegs heavier weights to the oversized worm when he is fishing scattered vegetation in 3 to 6 feet of water.
“A 3/16- or 1/4-ounce weight on 14- or 17-pound test fluorocarbon line gives that big tail a perfect thump around scattered pads or clumps of vegetation,” Thliveros said. “I’ll cast it out, let it go to the bottom and then kind of swim the worm by isolated pad stalks or through scattered hydrilla.
Moving out even deeper, one of Thliveros’ favorite places to use the Mag Speed Worm is on ledges in the summertime.
“Summer is the best time for large baits on offshore ledges and that’s where the Mag Speed Worm really lives up to its name,” Thliveros explained. “It works great on ledges on places like Guntersville, Wheeler, Eufaula and Kentucky Lake. When trying to get the worm to ledges in 10 to 20 feet of water, I go to a bigger weight in the 3/8- to 1/2-ounce size.”
Well-known Kentucky Lake expert Terry Bolton says the Mag Speed Worm is a hot bait on Kentucky-Barkley right now.
“We’ve been throwing traditional straight-tail and ribbon-tail worms at those ledge fish for so long they’ve become used to them,” Bolton said. “That big Mag Speed Worm has a completely new look and feel, and the ledge bass are eating them up.”
For offshore ledges, Bolton arms his Mag Speed Worm with a 1/2-ounce weight and a 6/0 offset hook.
“A 5/0 hook will work, but when I’m fishing deep I feel more comfortable with a 6/0,” Bolton said. “And the best retrieve for the ledges is to hop the worm up off the bottom and then let it fall back down on a semi-slack line.”
As for colors, both Thliveros and Bolton stick with Zoom’s unbeatable basics.
“In Florida, I like the traditional junebug and watermelon red colors,” Thliveros said.
“On the deep ledges of Kentucky Lake, red bug is hard to beat,” Bolton added.