Meridian Star

Outdoors

June 17, 2011

Mann’s Jelly Worms — still catching bass

MERIDIAN —    As I picked up a pack of the extra large foot-long purple Mann’s Jelly worms my mind raced back through time into a faraway place. And there, memories of George Little, catching bass on Mann’s Jelly worms came flooding back. Yes, the Mann’s Jelly worms were very popular and the first bass fishing worms that were scented(smelled good) and caught fish.

    And like George Little, many anglers across the south caught literally thousands of bass on those, grape, purple and blueberry jelly worms designed and sold by an Alabama country boy named Tom Mann.

    Mann went on to become a legend in the fishing world as one of the first stars on the B. A. S. S. tournament circuit. Later on his company became known for producing quality lures such as the Little George, Jelly Worms, and assorted crankbaits. They all looked good and produced awesome stringers of bass, caught by Mann and thousands of other anglers as well. Though Tom Mann is no longer with us, his legacy remains intact with the lure company that still churns out bass catching products and lures.

     As I held the pack of purple Jelly Worms I wondered if they would still catch fish. Popping the pack open, I inhaled the sweet aroma that produced visions of lunker bass in my mind. I promptly purchased a pack of the monster sized blue and purple worms to test, once again.

Testing Ground

    Arriving at a local lake we launched the boat and quickly headed for a submerged ledge, located just off of an expansive shallow cove. After working the area pretty good and bumping and grinding around stumps and the bottom with my crankbait with no luck, I decided to slow down.

    I pulled out one of the purple jelly worms and started probing the bottom for a lunker bass. Though I was sure that I could catch a lunker bass on the worm, I wasn’t sure if there was a lunker nearby.

     I was about to find out.

     As I gazed across the lake and worked the worm slowly back to the boat my mind wandered aimlessly for just a minute. Out of my peripheral vision to the left I noticed that the worm was coming to the top, through the clear waters of the lake. Almost instantly something green and silver flashed on top of the worm, right at the boat. I pushed the fast cast button on my Garcia Revo reel, dropped the rod tip down and let the bass take it deeper.

    After a few seconds I engaged the handle and snapped the rod back with all of the strength I could muster.

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