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A KGB Operative

Soft Plastics In Northern Parts Of United States?

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I'm not exactly too far north, but chicagoland srea of illinois. I think my strong points are in clear water lakes. But I have so many plastic crawfish and worms and I just can't seem to be able to use them well enough. All they do is stockpile in my trunk. I love using them, but I can't seem to get it going that well. I'm a huge fan of chatterbaits, and I love hard tackle. I want to be able to use more plastics, but is my area even good for them?

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It really depends on the lake and the cover available. I have a local lake I fish that is featureless with inconsistent weed lines where you need to cover water to find fish. Here I mostly use Crankbaits.

I fish a lake in northern Wisconsin that has a lot of reeds and well defined weed lines so soft plastics work really well.

I generally decide what to toss depending on the cover. I do toss both on each lake, just the ratio they get tossed changes. But for me the more cover there is, the more soft plastics I throw, on featureless lakes I search with a Crankbait or spinnerbait.

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You're having trouble catching fish on soft plastics in clear water northern lakes?  I'm having trouble wrapping my head around that!  If anything, I have the opposite problem -- I have a lot of hard baits I've never used, and some days I don't tie any hard baits on at all.

 

1. since you can rig worms and craws weedless, be sure to get them down into cover, rather than just running them past or over it.

2. In general, I find its better to work worms and craws too little than work them too much. Don't be afraid to just let it sit for a moment -- or a few moments-- before moving the bait.

3. When you do work the bait, try to make it spend a lot of time falling.

4. spend time working on learning a few rigs well -- basic texas and wacky rigs first, say. You can T-rig almost anything and throw it anywhere.

5. Time on task -- don't get impatient and switch lures too quickly. If you haven't been bit, its probably because you haven't found any active fish yet, not because your fish don't like worms and craws.

6. Work on your strike detection. Glenn did a good video on how to practice this: http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-videos/feel-bite.html

7. Color matters less than other things, but in clear water try natural colors (e.g., black, pumpkins, watermelons). I kind of feel like if I had every soft plastic lure in green pumpkin, I'd never need another color the rest of my life.

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How do you fish them?

Tom

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Find a weedy lake, and take nothing but soft plastics with you. It sounds ridiculous, but it's a great way to force you to use them and refine your technique.

I had the opposite problem. For me, C-rigs, T-rigs, and jigs were always my confidence baits. Last year I began forcing myself to throw crankbaits. My last two days on the water, all of my fish came via crankbaits or suspending Jerkbaits.

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If all else fails, I'd try the Ned Rig. Man that thing works and it's absurdly easy to use.

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