How to Fish for Bass with Soft Plastic Lures – The Ultimate Guide
A soft plastic fishing lure is one of the most popular choices for a bass angler. 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. 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 also won’t have the benefit of a big splash like a top water or a hard tug like a crankbait. So, what’s the benefit?
Soft plastics are combinations of a few simple materials, including salt, plastic or PVC material, sand, glitter, and coloring, formed into various lifelike shapes. This may include worms, frogs, or small fish – anything that can be perceived to be alive by a bass. Soft plastic lures come in an array of colors, shapes and sizes and there are hundreds of different types available. 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.
How Should I Rig a Soft Plastic Lure?
With the number of options out there for soft plastic lures, you might find yourself asking how you’re supposed to rig them. Bass anglers have developed multiple ways to rig soft baits in order to maximize their effectiveness. 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.
Let’s take a look at 4 of the most effective ways to rig a soft plastic lure:
1. Texas Rigging a Soft Plastic
One of the most common ways to rig a soft plastic lure is called Texas rigging. 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.
2. Shaky Head Rigging A Soft Plastic
A shaky head rig is another great way to avoid vegetation, rocks, wood, and even boat docks in deeper water. 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.
3. Wacky Rigging a Soft Plastic
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. Wacky rigging moves the anchor point to the middle, creating an action that you won’t see with any other type of rig. 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.
4. Nose-Hooked Rigging A Soft Plastic on A Dropshot
The idea behind nose-hooking is that you’re minimizing the amount of action-dampening hook that is running through your soft bait. This creates a natural appearance and action that bass won’t pass up. This method is most ideal under sparse cover on a drop shot.
What Should I Look for in a Soft Plastic Lure?
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. It’s important to look for a lure that is stretchy and flexible, as opposed to a stiff soft plastic that tears easily. 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.
You’ll also notice that some soft plastic lures are smooth bodied while some are ribbed. While smooth soft plastic lures may look more realistic, ribbed bodied lures have advantages over them. They produce more current and commotion as they go through the water than smooth bodied lures. Ribbed bodies also have a greater ability to hang onto artificial scent, further attracting bass to your lure.
Types of Soft Plastic Lures
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.
Rubber worms like the Yum Dinger Stick Bait are the most common when it comes to soft plastic lures for bass. 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.
Curly Tail Worm
A curly tail worm like the Roboworm Curly Tail Worm works well during the summer in bigger bass. 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. This soft plastic lure is often rigged on a weighted Texas rig or a Carolina rig in order to maintain bottom contact.
The Senko lure, like the Yamamoto Senko Lure, makes our list because it’s one of the most commonly used soft plastic lures ever. A Senko is still considered a soft plastic worm; however, it maintains the same size through the entire bait. This gives it a realistic action that bass cannot resist. 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 Senko should be fished in shallow water while allowing the bait to sink near the bottom and then twitching up.
Trick (finesse) Worm
The trick worm like the Zoom Bait Trick Worm Bait can be recognized as a slender-bodied worm with a wider tailpiece, that allows the bait to have a swimming action. These lures attract a lot of attention, with good water displacement. The trick worm tends to work best on a wacky rig, Texas style, or weightless.
Time to Start Fishing
Soft plastic lures are an absolute necessity in a bass fisherman’s tackle box, and are used by both beginners and pros alike. If you’re going to use an artificial lure, using these soft, life-like worms are incredibly effective when it comes to tricking bass. Of course, with any artificial lure, there is definitely a method to the madness. But with some time and practice, soft plastic lures will become your new best friend when catching bass.