FishHound Names 10 Top-Producing Soft Plastic BaitsFishHound Names 10 Top-Producing Soft Plastic Baits Open up the tackle box of any serious bass angler and you’ll find a sizeable stash of
LOS ANGELES, July 8, 2013 –Open up the tackle box of any serious bass angler and you’ll find a sizeable stash of “go-to” soft plastics. The reason is simple – these tantalizing artificials often produce – even when the fish are tight-lipped and showing little interest in other types of lures. All soft plastics are not created equal, however. Some are simply more effective and enticing than others. So, which ones should you stock up on? The pro staff of Fishhound.com, the Web’s fastest-growing angling community, got together with award-winning outdoor writer and editor, Dan Johnson, and compiled the following list of 10 top-producing plastic worms, creature baits and swimbaits:
Berkley Havoc Devil Spear
Designed by legendary bass pro Mike Iaconelli for flipping and pitching heavy cover, the 4-inch Devil Spear sports a ridged, spear-shaped tail that flaps and vibrates wildly on the fall. It also features a streamlined body, with no appendages to catch the cover. Beefy enough to handle a 4/0 or 5/0 hook, it’s great Texas-rigged, flat, with a bullet weight pinned to the nose. You can also rig it sideways as a swimbait, on a 1/8- to 1/4-ounce, belly-weighted hook.
Berkley Powerbait Power Worm
When Berkley reintroduced the 12-inch Power Worm in 2012, it gave a nod to bass fans who prefer super-sized softbaits over finger-length finesse offerings. And for good reason, because there are many situations when monster worms rule. Berkley’s foot-long behemoth trails a long, sickle-shaped tail, which produces plenty of commotion. Coupled with the extended profile, it makes the bait a hit for attracting bass in muddy or stained waters.
Bruiser Baits Intruder
Worthy craws abound, but Bruiser’s 4¼-inch Intruder is noteworthy for its wispy, supple arms and flexible pinchers, which tremble and flutter with the slightest twitch of the rod tip. In side-by-side tests against similar baits, the Intruder’s action put it on the A-list of craw-style baits.
Jackall Clone Gill
At 2 ½ inches, Jackall’s Clone Gill mimics a deep-bodied baitfish. Eight color options include four realistic renditions of juvenile sunfish in various color phases, along with baby bass, black crappie, and two shad patterns. The detailed paint jobs make it ideal for clear water, particularly when pressured bass have time to scrutinize the bait. Recommended riggings include nose-hooking—either on a drop-shot rig with a light-wire hook, or pinned on a small jighead.
Trigger X Hodad
Built for abuse in heavy cover, this tube-creature hybrid has gotten its share of press for flipping, pitching and Carolina-rigging. It’s a worthy option for any of these applications, but it’s also great for something a little different—namely, drop-shotting for post-spawn bass on a VMC SpinShot hook. If you keep it moving, even ever-so-slowly, the Hodad stretches horizontally, with its long, gangly appendages flickering in its wake.
What softbait rundown would be complete without Gary Yamamoto’s iconic Senko? Thanks to the bait’s ingenious design and density, it falls slowly, yielding subtle shimmies and flutters on the drop that bass find hard to resist. Not the best bait for straining water in search of fish, the Senko is deadly for surgical strikes around cover and other ambush points. While the Senko excels when fished weightless, you can also add screw-in weights of up to ¼-ounce for fishing brushy cover or depths to 20 feet.
YUM F2 Dinger
A hit right out of the gate when first introduced, the Dinger was recently improved with the infusion of YUM’s new F2 attractant, which studies at Mississippi State University showed bass prefer more than other formulas. Fish attractants aside, one of the key secrets to the Dinger’s success is its unique action on the fall. Wacky rigged, you get a subtle, dampened action on the tips—a bit more subdued than that of higher-action stickworms—that triggers strikes from even jaded, gun-shy bass.
YUM Money Minnow
Swimbaits are standouts in a number of situations, and YUM’s Money Minnow is a tried and true performer in the category. For 2013, it’s available in 2½-, 3½-, 5- and 6½-inch sizes and 14 color patterns, for matching most any bass forage and fishing conditions. Always a threat in clear water, the Money Minnow is amazingly versatile—able to be rigged and fished in ways limited only by your imagination.
Z-Man ElaZtech Toobz
Hands-down, the coolest thing about Toobz is their buoyancy. These 4-inch tubes float, horizontally, so you can fish them as topwaters—crawling them over weedmats and pausing in open pockets without fear of fouling. But perhaps most important, is when you slide one on a jig or rig it Texas-style, you get a head-down, tail-up orientation that mimics an agitated crayfish.
C-rigging is another option, also aided by the bait’s determination to rise above bottom. Z-Man also touts the toughness of its ElaZtech construction, which truly gives Toobz elastic qualities Stretch Armstrong would envy.
Zoom Baby Brush Hog
Like other Zoom baits, the Baby Brush Hog is so soft it’s almost scary. A craw-lizard-worm creature that defies pigeonholing into one category or presentation, it’s dynamite for a number of bass tactics. It excels when rigged Carolina-style, weightless on a small weedless hook, and as a jig trailer. Especially impressive, aside from the silky feel, is the way the curly tail appendages corkscrew through the water, even at slow speeds. At 4 inches, it offers all the action of the original 6-inch Brush Hog, with a bit smaller profile, perfect for tough bites and skittish bass.
Grow your fishing skills and improve your angling effectiveness.
Subscribe to the free weekly BassResource newsletter.