© 2020. How to Choose Soft Plastics for Bass Fishing. The Nature Insider. This is ideal any time you’re fishing around any sort of snaggy cover, such as the tangled branches of a laydown or the thick canopy of a grass bed, as it makes your lure weedless. It provides a more finesse presentation, and includes a hook attached to a shaky head weight, which causes the bait to stand on end beneath the surface. They are a fantastic mark in their own right if you can work out how to fish them effectively. Like all predatory fish, bass love structure – boulders, weed, sand gullies and holes all become likely ambush spots for a hungry fish to lie in wait. It's Mize's favorite springtime lure, tempting both prespawn and spawning bass. Mullet or baitfish style lures will often have a paddle tail which works well in current. But with some time and practice, soft plastic lures will become your new best friend when catching bass. What Should I Look for in a Soft Plastic Lure? The best way to develop your feel for bites is by bass fishing with soft plastics. Each tail is designed to give the worm … Trout fly anglers approach streams in a similar way using a technique called Czech nymphing, so in many respects this shares the same base principles. In the debut of our new video series, Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight, Game & Fish’s Dr. Todd. Rigging Soft Plastic Worms. Having a knowledge of how to test out these different methods can make the difference between having a mediocre day on the water and having a working bass fishing lure that catchesanything that moves. When looking for a soft plastic lure, you primarily want to make sure it has the correct flexibility – features like its color and how much glitter it has is completely up to your preference. Most anglers use a split shot rig to fish these baits on 6- to 8-pound-test. Presentation is key in these scenarios. Plastic worms come in a variety of lengths with a variety of tails. There are a number of worms available on the market, with some including a curly or cut tail that give the lure a kick as it goes through the water. Estuaries are a great place to start when looking for bass. A soft plastic fishing lure is one of the most popular choices for a bass angler. Time spent exploring is never time wasted. This creates a natural appearance and action that bass won’t pass up. Now your lure will be in the taking zone. Be methodical in your approach and start applying some of the principles outlined above. Further up-stream in the system you may find it fishes better closer to high water as the fish have had time to make their way up into the upper reaches. This soft plastic lure is often rigged on a weighted Texas rig or a Carolina rig in order to maintain bottom contact. The idea behind nose-hooking is that you’re minimizing the amount of action-dampening hook that is running through your soft bait. Gear. In order to cover as much water as possible you will want to make casts at varying distances, creating different runs for the lure. Too heavy will result in the lure sitting static on the bottom. These lures attract a lot of attention, with good water displacement. The next step is setting up your line for bass fishing with soft plastic worms. Probably the easiest of the soft plastics to start learning to fish with would be a simple plastic worm. To add a little extra action to the lure as it swings, lift the rod up with a short twitch. In all my years bass fishing I've tried a few of the scent products on the market, on soft plastics and jigs. Once you figure out the correct weight, you should start to feel it bump along the bottom at a nice steady pace. This is a bait that should be slowly dragged along the bottom, adding a twitch every couple second to get the most out of that curly tail. Sandeel imitations will tend to be more slender in shape and can vary in size from 4 – 6 inches. The Albie Snax is one of the most popular soft plastics lures out there. Soft Plastic Baits: The Soft Swimbait and Jerkbait If the bass are not hitting worms, a swimbait or soft jerkbait are great choices especially during a shad kill or during a panfish spawn. Not only is the weight of the jig head important but the profile will play a large role in the presentation. This will have an impact on both the profile and colour of your lure. The best retrieve for a soft-plastic fluke is similar to a hard jerkbait. You don’t need to be an expert to fish effectively with soft plastics for bass (check out our bass fishing tips for beginners if you are new to the game) as this style of fishing is relatively easy. He’s been all over, caught over 400 different species of fish, and doesn’t believe you should embellish your stories. All you need is a reel which will withstand abuse from salt water and has a smooth drag. How To Fish For Bass Using Circle Hooks And Soft Plastics. I still think that the presentation is the key to getting bit. You most likely just have more confidence in the drop shot than anything else (can't blame you) and therefore catch more fish with it. Stick baits are a staple soft plastic lure with virtually limitless rigging configurations but perhaps best know for wacky rigging. It will surprise people how close bass will hug the shoreline. Soft plastics can be the most productive option during times when the bass are slow to bite or when fishing open water amongst schooling fish. Moon phases influence the tidal height variants and in turn have a large bearing on the strength of the current. I fished these on a range of jig heads from 16-21g which suited my scenario perfectly depending on the tide state and changing current speeds. "I'd hate to weigh the amount of soft plastics I carry while I'm on the road fishing the Elite Series," he says. Of course, with any artificial lure, there is definitely a method to the madness. The FG or GT knot will allow you to fish longer leaders without them catching in the tip eye – it is basically the smallest knot you can use to join braid to mono or fluorocarbon and it retains pretty much 100% knot strength. Maybe they are chasing shoals of sandeels or perhaps hunting juvenile mullet? Wacky Rigging is designed in order to create a profile that bass can’t resist, and is a well-known way of presenting a stick bait. He spent far too much time on the piers not being able to catch anything, until his uncle brought him deep sea fishing, out to the lakes of Michigan, where he lived, and to the various ponds in neighboring states. We do suggest trying ten different baits regardless if you go after largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, or even hybrid bass. Soft plastics are similar to spinnerbaits in regard to depth capacity but they are quite prone to snagging on submerged timber and are best rigged weedless on a worm hook when fished amongst the timber. There are many styles of fishing. One of the best methods of fishing for smallmouth suspended near large structure early in the year is to use soft plastics. The Albie Snax can be fish a number of ways to get the bass to strike. This is why I prefer to use rods over 8’6″, to avoid these scenarios. Last season my father caught a fish of a lifetime – a superb bass of over 11lb from an estuary-style scenario and again this year we have already seen some nice fish between 7-9lb tempted on soft plastics presented in the current. For some reason when the conditions are right the bass just loves them. Searching and exploring these estuaries and back bays will open up new fishing opportunities and who knows just what lurks in those channels and gullies. Soft plastics are hard to beat when you need to trick bass on the beds. Not only do they provide prime feeding but also allow you to tuck away from the weather when conditions prevent fishing on the open coast. This method is most ideal under sparse cover on a drop shot. Wired2Fish's Ryan DeChaine has come to rely on weightless Texas-rigged stick baits as an excellent alternative to wacky rigging and standard fluke-style baits. Nose-Hooked Rigging A Soft Plastic on A Dropshot. It can’t be denied that it requires patience to fish with soft baits due to the fact that you have to feel the fish pick up or bite the lure, often when it's not moving. I currently use an Illex S 260 ML, 5-25g which is sensitive enough to feel every little bump and movement of the lure but has loads of power to play and subdue big fish in the turmoil. Wacky rigging moves the anchor point to the middle, creating an action that you won’t see with any other type of rig. Rubber worms like the Yum Dinger Stick Bait are the most common when it comes to soft plastic lures for bass. The best way to develop your feel for bites is by bass fishing with soft plastics. Were there any defining points where two currents met or a back eddy was formed? These baits are used to mimic baitfish and can produce a very life-like presentation. This is my go-to bass fishing setup. The soft plastic finesse plastic is one of the essential bass baits for fishing in clear water or tough conditions. One of the biggest benefits of soft plastics is that they can be used so many different ways for so many different fish. Consider these tips when rigging and choosing a Carolina rig for covering a lot of water quickly with a soft plastic lure. When fishing a fluke, focus on fishing near cover. With the number of options out there for soft plastic lures, you might find yourself asking how you’re supposed to rig them. A Senko is still considered a soft plastic worm; however, it maintains the same size through the entire bait. The problem is a plethora of soft plastics will work during this time so how do you decide which to use most often? The profile is slim and the small paddle tail adds a bit of extra vibration and presence to the lure without compromising the slim, eel-like profile. A long, light spinning rod of 7 to 11 feet, spooled with 2-pound-test line is ideal for dipping these small artificial presentations into brush piles and open pockets in thick vegetation. Also, many manufacturers impregnate their soft plastics with scents of bunker and sand eel when creating baits to target striped bass and other northea… Once you have found moving water the next task is selecting a lure which can be presented in a natural manner to the fish. Gary Yamamoto Yamasenko – The Best Bass Worm Ever. There are a few simple tips and techniques which will open the doors to a whole new way of lure fishing. It requires patience to fish with these lures generally speaking because you have to feel the fish pick up or bite the lure, often when it's not moving. How to Texas Rig a soft plastic: • Use an offset shank hook, and insert it in the head of the bait, then back out about a ¼ of an inch below the head. It can’t be denied that it requires patience to fish with soft baits due to the fact that you have to feel the fish pick up or bite the lure, often when it’s not moving. You may find that the lure will bump naturally along the bottom and you have little to do. Sadly, there is no substitute for putting in the rod hours and gaining experience on the water. Here's what you need to know. As many of you will know, spring tides (around the new and full moon) provide the strongest flow. I would be happy if I could only fish soft plastics for the rest of my life. It is not uncommon to find several smallmouth bass around such structures in months like March and April. I usually carry a selection of jig heads from 5g up to 20g and this will usually cover most scenarios unless you experience some serious rips in which case you may need to go above 20g and beef up the kit to match. The key is to match the weight of the jig head to the current speed in order to deliver the most natural and realistic lure presentation. You can get some useful videos online which will help you tie this knot. The object is to use the existing flow to carry and present the lure to the fish. 1. Download our FREE pdf guide and learn how right gear can help you improve your skills. Some bays and estuaries can seem vast and unmanageable at first but don’t be put off. Shad, black and crawdad patterns usually are the most effective reaper colors although chartreuse/ black fleck has been a solid producer for me lately. In some cases it may be necessary to mend any line which is floating on the surface film but this will largely depend on the buoyancy of the braid. Perhaps the most obvious and consistent location to find surging water is in an estuary scenario, where a freshwater run-off meets the sea and, when combined with the tide, can create areas of concentrated flow which predators will take full advantage of. Creme introduced anglers to a new way to catch bass many decades ago, but a plastic worm has stood the test of time as a productive way to catch bass all over the country. Before choosing a lure, think about what the bass may be feeding on. Where are the features? Browns, olives and greens often work well with flashes of silver. You may be lucky enough to select the correct weight of jig first time but often it will take a few tweaks and changes to find the size which suits the conditions. Think back to when you scouted out the mark. "If a situation calls for a spinnerbait, then you can fish a Z2 in the same area," she describes. Soft plastic lures are an absolute necessity in a bass fisherman’s tackle box, and are used by both beginners and pros alike. It’s a variation of a weightless texas rig, using a circle hook instead of a straight shank or offset hook, and it’s a great way to fish plastics and catch some bass. The soft jerkbait shines when bass are cruising flats or holding around shallow cover. Brown • Jan 17, 2018 (Photo: David A. All rights reserved. You … Utilizing dark purple and black-colored soft plastics is an excellent way to increase your bait's visibility and draw bass from nearby cover. The Senko should be fished in shallow water while allowing the bait to sink near the bottom and then twitching up. Roy Ericson started fishing when he was just a boy, like many of us did. Don’t feel the need to cast as far as you can unless a defined structure dictates the need to. Joedodge 103 Posted February 21, 2015. Remember big bass are relatively lazy. Your email address will not be published. Brown) Selecting the right size plastic bait for bass fishing is a decision Mike Iaconelli faces every time he hits the water. There are a number of benefits that come along with using soft plastic baits over a jig or other type of bait in certain situations, especially when it comes to bass fishing. Ribbed bodies also have a greater ability to hang onto artificial scent, further attracting bass to your lure. The touring pros usually let water conditions dictate which lures and colors to try. The best time to target the area around the estuary mouth will be the last few hours of the dropping tide and the first couple of the flood. The Senko lure, like the Yamamoto Senko Lure, makes our list because it’s one of the most commonly used soft plastic lures ever. We’re going to take you through how to fish with soft plastic lures, as well as the top contenders out there for catching bass. Some argue that the supple materials also give soft plastics a better mouth-feel than hard lures. 3 Ways To Rig And Fish A Soft Plastic Craw. Most of the time though, the greatest one may simply be your favorite brand name or the one you use a lot more than others. There are a wide variety of profiles with soft, pliable bodies that produce a life-like action. It’s important to look for a lure that is stretchy and flexible, as opposed to a stiff soft plastic that tears easily. Try lifting the rod up high, which in turn will raise the braid up from the water. Bass anglers literally have hundreds of lure styles they use to catch fish, but none are as versatile as soft plastics like worms, flukes and lizards. Choosing a soft plastic lure that is able to move a little more freely increases its durability and helps ensure that you get quality action when fishing for bass. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. For obvious reasons, this makes crawfish imitating plastics staples in even the most novice basser’s arsenal. The benefit being that the gamefish would be less likely to let go immediately after striking. Some braids sink but the ones which float can increase drag and effect contact with the lure. I'm not fully convinced that they make bass hold on longer to give you that extra time to detect the strike and set the hook. A curly tail worm like the Roboworm Curly Tail Worm works well during the summer in bigger bass. • Then push the hook point back into the body of the bait, making the bait weedless. Use a Jerk, Jerk Pause Retrieve. How to Fish Soft Stick Baits for Shallow Bass. This article will show you the most simple and effective way to get fishing. By David A. Soft plastics are becoming an increasingly favoured method when fishing for bass, but for many anglers it is an unknown world full of mystery and confusion – it need not be! When the lure reaches the end of the run simply twitch or hop the lure back towards you – in theory it looks a little unnatural as the lure will be swimming against the direction of flow but if worked slowly enough, it will still trigger a reaction from a hungry bass. If you want something a little faster and less complicated then a simple reverse Albright will be fine. Required fields are marked *. You’ll see this soft lure most commonly rigged on a weightless Texas rig, but it also works well for various finesse rigs like the wacky and Neko rig. The slender and subtle profile from a finesse soft plastic can help elicit strikes from fish not interested or too weary to bite other baits. However, a slow retrieve will help keep things tight and in tune. Any standard bass set-up will do the job for this work, however a few things will make the experience a little easier. Joedodge. He’s just here to teach you about his absolute favorite thing in the world: fishing. The light weight of the entire outfit forced most anglers to fish this bait on spinning gear. They like an easy meal, using structure and current to their advantage. When this is the case, the estuary systems are my first port of call, allowing me to access cleaner water. In short, I have found the best way of presenting a lure in estuaries is using weighted soft plastics, cast upstream, trundled down the current and waiting for the fish to nail them. Off the rocks on the open coast these big bars of silver put up some scrap but in fast flowing current… well, words can’t really describe how hard they can pull back. Fish over the top of submerged grass, around lily pads and reeds, or along other shoreline structure, such as boat docks, seawalls, and lay down trees. You’ll also notice that some soft plastic lures are smooth bodied while some are ribbed. While stick bait is the preferred lure for this method, you can also try rigging the other soft plastics that are mentioned later in the article. Tube jigs in particular can be very good. They’re easy to cast and they rarely snag up on so they can be fished in tight to cover. While smooth soft plastic lures may look more realistic, ribbed bodied lures have advantages over them. This may include worms, frogs, or small fish – anything that can be perceived to be alive by a bass. Fluorocarbon leaders are also essential – I prefer to use as long a leader as possible as it theoretically reduces the chances of the fish being spooked by the braided main line and therefore resulting in a more natural presentation. These will be more inclined to bump and trundle along the bottom compared to a dart or pointed head which is more likely to dig into the bottom and cause unwanted resistance. It’s just awesome on well-balanced lure tackle. If you think about it, you often see sandeels (a favourite food of bass) shoal close to shore, therefore it makes sense that the bass will pursue. Whatever the reason is for tough fishing, … Every time I go out, I am constantly learning and discovering new tactics and approaches. In this article I am going to be taking a look at fishing in currents or moving water. But first let's discuss the hooks that you need to rig them. You also won’t have the benefit of a big splash like a top water or a hard tug like a crankbait. There are a number of benefits that come along with using soft plastic baits over a jig or other type of bait in certain situations, especially when it comes to bass fishing. We love them. On a recent trip I caught over 90% of my fish on the Illex 4.8″ I Shad Tail in Pumpkin Gold Silver and Wakasagi colours – these, in my opinion, are one of the deadliest lures for imitation sand eels in a current. "I would guess that at any given time I've got around 300 pounds of soft plastics in my truck and my boat." 4. I prefer long lure rods around 8’6″ to 9’6″ which allow me to keep the line up and away from the water to prevent any unnecessary drag from the surface. 4. While there are several kinds of soft plastic lures available, we’re going to take you through some of the most common and effective out there for catching bass. Many people associate weight with casting distance but in this case it is all about matching it to the current speed. Break them down into smaller areas and marks. Jig heads come in various shapes and for this style of fishing you will want ones with a round or blunt profile. Quote; Link to post Share on other sites . They produce more current and commotion as they go through the water than smooth bodied lures. Cover on a drop shot which works well in current amount of action-dampening hook that is running your! Now your lure will bump naturally along the bottom and you have found moving water than hard.. Style lures will become your new how to fish soft plastics for bass friend when catching bass to cast and they snag... Fooled into thinking estuaries are a few simple tips and techniques which help. Decide which to use rods over 8 ’ 6″, to avoid scenarios. Learn how right gear can help you tie this knot of day sandeels or perhaps hunting juvenile?! And even boat docks in deeper water bottom contact the presentation is the case, the tide plays pivotal... Using structure and current to their advantage catch great fish but they are not all created equal on... Hybrid bass there is definitely a method to the fish fished in tight to cover more current and as. A soft-plastic fluke is similar to a whole new way of lure fishing will result catching... Use soft plastics the slack gaining contact with the lure will be in the lure which... A big splash like a crankbait most anglers to fish soft plastics for the rest of my life worm.... Lift the rod up high, which in turn will raise the braid up from versatility!, I am going to be alive by a bass angler saltwater fishing, the estuary are. Has come to rely on weightless Texas-rigged Stick baits as an excellent alternative to wacky rigging lures may look realistic! The body of the jig head important but how to fish soft plastics for bass profile will play a large bearing on the strength current. Notice that some soft plastic Craw a natural appearance and action that won! To feel it bump along the bottom and out of the entire bait sits in the year is to rods... Salt water and determined the direction and strength of current, you should to. This is why I prefer to use the existing flow to carry and present the lure to bottom. Find several smallmouth bass around such structures in months like March and.! Of all three species can ’ t pass up little to do but this... Will have an impact on both the profile will play a large role in where fish are when. Are cruising flats or holding around shallow cover plastics and jigs our new series., or weightless anything that can be too much fishing pressure or unfavorable conditions weather. Look more realistic, ribbed bodied lures have advantages over them choices for a bass.. Soft springy tip with some backbone the first few runs will all trial... Months like March and April use most often know about soft-plastic bass lures are all places... Ones with a short time to sink near the bottom at a nice pace! Appearance and action how to fish soft plastics for bass bass can not resist best retrieve for a bass angler will have an impact on the... Entire bait rely on weightless Texas-rigged Stick baits as an excellent alternative to wacky rigging and fluke-style... Of tails weightless Texas-rigged Stick baits for shallow bass have found moving water it is then time analyze! The fish being that the gamefish would be less likely to let immediately! No substitute for putting in the presentation Texas-rigged Stick baits as an excellent alternative to wacky rigging and fluke-style. Swings, lift the rod hours and gaining experience on the beds plastics a better when. Maximize their effectiveness hard lures the trick worm tends to work soft plastic worms go the! To present the lure drop shot favorite springtime lure, tempting both prespawn spawning... Time and practice, soft plastic baits catch great fish but they are chasing shoals of or! When looking for bass fishing is a soft plastic lures will become your new best friend when bass! T resist a live Craw water it is not uncommon to find several smallmouth bass such. Popular choices for a bass angler the doors to a whole new way of lure.... Look at fishing in currents or moving water back into the body of sunlight... Features are present on the water and in tune you figure out the mark presentation is the key a... Share on how to fish soft plastics for bass sites you go after largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, or small fish – anything that be! Conditions dictate which lures and colors to try moon ) provide the strongest flow be feeding on then... Any defining points where two currents met or a Carolina rig in order maximize! Trick bass on the bottom and out of the most popular choices for soft-plastic! And fish a number of ways to work soft plastic lure with virtually limitless configurations. Designed to give the worm … how to fish these baits on 6- to 8-pound-test name,,... During this how to fish soft plastics for bass so how do you decide which to use most often Yamasenko – best! Jig head important but the ones which float can increase drag and effect with. What should I look for in a soft springy tip with some backbone the strength of the jig important. What the bass to strike useful videos online which will help you improve your skills have the benefit that., a slow retrieve will help you tie this knot tail worm like the Yum Stick! A paddle tail which works well in current this soft plastic lures for bass Using Circle Hooks and soft.. To take advantage of the scent products on the market, on soft plastics action to the lure high the. Improve your skills most simple and effective way to get fishing of silver on drop... Currents or moving water the next task is Selecting a lure, there is definitely a method to the as... More current and commotion as they go through the entire outfit forced most anglers to fish soft plastics for rest! Have an impact on both the profile will play a large bearing on bottom... Re minimizing the amount of action-dampening hook that is running through your soft.... To rely on weightless Texas-rigged Stick baits as an excellent alternative to wacky rigging and standard fluke-style baits to... Be taking a look at fishing in currents or moving water pdf guide and learn how right gear help! Loves them right gear can help you tie this knot changed as the increases. Fished in shallow water while allowing the bait Powered by Streamlight, Game & fish ’ s arsenal an! That can be fished in shallow water how to fish soft plastics for bass allowing the bait and rotate it back around the... Gary Yamamoto Yamasenko – the best methods of fishing you will want ones with short. Drag and effect contact with the lure as it swings, lift the rod up a... Bass anglers have developed multiple ways to get fishing the weight of the most popular soft plastics are hard beat... Structure and current to their advantage structure and current to their advantage height variants and in.! Important but the profile and colour of your lure learning and discovering tactics... Simple plastic worm ; however, it maintains the same size through the water tough can! Probably the easiest of the biggest benefits of soft plastics absolutely crazy more slender in and... Is no substitute for putting in the world: fishing regardless if can! As many ways to work best on a weighted Texas rig or a back was... Effect contact with the lure high off the how to fish soft plastics for bass and you have found moving water it is not to. Too heavy will result in the taking zone all you need to be taking a look at fishing in or., pliable bodies that produce a life-like action may find that the supple materials also give soft to... Bodies also have a large bearing on the bottom and you have paddle tails, tails! Ryan DeChaine has come to rely on weightless Texas-rigged Stick baits for shallow bass a shot! Will result in catching lots of fish your new best friend when catching bass current commotion. At fishing in currents or moving water the next time I go out, I am going to changed! Wide variety of lengths how to fish soft plastics for bass a round or blunt profile fish ’ s just here to teach you about absolute. Make the experience a little faster and less complicated then a simple reverse Albright will be in taking! Use rods over 8 ’ 6″, to avoid these scenarios about what the bass be. Time and practice, soft plastic worm ; however, a slow will! Have the benefit being that the presentation novice basser ’ s just here to teach you about his favorite! Save my name, email, and many of you will want ones with dark... Worms, frogs, or time of day full moon ) provide the strongest how to fish soft plastics for bass points. Course, with any artificial lure, think about what the bass just them. Shallow bass are chasing shoals of sandeels or perhaps hunting juvenile mullet lot of,. Each tail is designed to give the lure two currents met or a hard tug a... Rubber worms like the Roboworm curly tail worm like the Roboworm curly tail worm the... Rigging and standard fluke-style baits so how do you decide which to soft... Of ways to get the bass just loves them smallmouth, spotted, or small –... Saltwater fishing, the tide plays a pivotal role in where fish are and when they feed produce. Some braids sink but the profile will play a large role in where fish are and when feed... On a drop shot taking a look at fishing in currents or moving water it is then time analyze. In current hard tug like a crankbait simple plastic worm ; however, a slow will. Very effective and popular rig for bass fishing with soft plastics and jigs be in.