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What is the best soft plastics for smallies.


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For spring and summer I throw a lot of creature baits like Yum crawbugs, lizard creature baits, senkos cut into ned rigs and swim shads or rapalas.

 

For fall I switch to more aggressive swim baits, spinners, and big worms.

 

Winter is the time I use live bait the most since I have very little luck catching bass in the winter without some kind of live bait like shad, shiners, crawfish, or nightcrawlers pumped with air on a weedless hook (work it slow) let the worm do most of the action itself.

 

I fish clear water fast moving rivers though, for small lakes and ponds I would look above for better options.

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There is no bad soft plastic bait for smallmouth!

 

As many others have said just try to match the presentation to the conditions. That could be weightless wacky, shaky-head, Ned rig, drop shot,...

 

They all work great in the proper/matching conditions.

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On the SM waters I fish which include the Susquehanna and the St Lawrence the single best bait for me is the 3" Twister Tail and an appropriate weighted jig head. Next would be small crank baits and the Ned Rig. 

 

In the deeper water of the St Lawrence I use drop shot rigs with live bait (yea I said live bait) or rubber. One bait that worked great up there was the Fishbelly Hawg Shad but they seem to be out of production now and I'm down to my last 4 or 5 packs. I have stocked up on some goby imitations and will try them.

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On 4/28/2021 at 9:46 AM, Jim Van Ryn said:

My opinion is going to be a little biased on this one ?

 

If you are going to drop shot - then try our X Zone 4" Slammer or the Finesse Slammer. Brandon Palaniuk won on Champlain with this bait in 2020. (Green Pumpkin / Blue Flake)

 

If you are going NED Rig - try out our Ned Zone - floats and stands straight up. Bulbous tail for a little extra action.

 

If you are going to go Swimbaits - try our Swammer. It has the most unique action in the swimbait market. Sometime they need to see something different.

 

Here is a link to our You Tube if you want to see Palaniuk giving some information on our baits.

 

Happy to be a board sponsor! Thanks all!

 

I gotta second this. The slammers are my go to drop shot bait. The smallmouth here love them. Also the finesse craw makes a great small jig trailer. And they are made in Canada!!

On 4/28/2021 at 9:46 AM, Jim Van Ryn said:

My opinion is going to be a little biased on this one ?

 

If you are going to drop shot - then try our X Zone 4" Slammer or the Finesse Slammer. Brandon Palaniuk won on Champlain with this bait in 2020. (Green Pumpkin / Blue Flake)

 

If you are going NED Rig - try out our Ned Zone - floats and stands straight up. Bulbous tail for a little extra action.

 

If you are going to go Swimbaits - try our Swammer. It has the most unique action in the swimbait market. Sometime they need to see something different.

 

Here is a link to our You Tube if you want to see Palaniuk giving some information on our baits.

 

Happy to be a board sponsor! Thanks all!

 

I gotta second this. The slammers are my go to drop shot bait. The smallmouth here love them. Also the finesse craw makes a great small jig trailer. And they are made in Canada!!

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 5/16/2021 at 8:43 AM, mcnealstash said:

Nikko helgrammites- 3"

Keitech Crazy Flapper 2.8"- very underrated bait... I usually Texas rig this one with 1/8 oz. tungsten 

Keitech swing impact fat 3.3" or 3.8"

Any green pumpkinish tube ~3.5"

 

 

 


Amen on the crazy flapper. I’ve even slapped it on a Ned head.

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On 5/16/2021 at 7:27 PM, MN_Bassmaster78 said:

Mister Twister curly tail grubs

Zman TRD

Missile baits bomb shot

Zoom finesse worm

4" senko

How do you like rigging your bomb shots?  I tried nose hooking them last night for a drop shot rig.  I need more patience using the drop shot but my problem was when I got the bait back close to the bank, blue gills were attacking it.  One strike and the bait was ripped off at the hook and gone.

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So by now you should have gotten the gist that smallmouth are not a finicky fish.  They are generally aggressive and opportunistic.  Put a bait in front of them and they will bite it.  It's not 100% true all the time of course, but locating them is a far bigger challenge than making them bite.

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7 hours ago, hokiehunter373 said:

How do you like rigging your bomb shots?  I tried nose hooking them last night for a drop shot rig.  I need more patience using the drop shot but my problem was when I got the bait back close to the bank, blue gills were attacking it.  One strike and the bait was ripped off at the hook and gone.

I nose hook them on a dropshot rig but I have not used them while fishing from shore, as I usually fish for smallmouth on offshore points from a canoe (basically I've never had the bluegill problem) I have a feeling though that they would be killer on a 1/8 oz shakey head

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9 hours ago, billmac said:

So by now you should have gotten the gist that smallmouth are not a finicky fish.  They are generally aggressive and opportunistic.  Put a bait in front of them and they will bite it.  It's not 100% true all the time of course, but locating them is a far bigger challenge than making them bite.

X2

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On 4/12/2021 at 11:05 AM, Swampdonkey fishing said:

I am going small mouth fishing in June and I need to know what soft plastic to throw.

 

I have a spinning rod and a bait caster so I can throw basically everything.

So did you go nd what Happened ?

Here's my vote  

1922790223_25Sept2017RageBugBR.png.d6e8ad2cfe533f9be1e255f8e63a0977.png

Fish Hard

:smiley:

A-Jay

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On 5/27/2021 at 2:42 PM, pdxfisher said:

There is no bad soft plastic bait for smallmouth!

 

As many others have said just try to match the presentation to the conditions. That could be weightless wacky, shaky-head, Ned rig, drop shot,...

 

They all work great in the proper/matching conditions.

This is it! We fish where smallies and largemouth both operate so lures like stick and creature baits catch a lot. I find color and how you fish it to be very important, sometimes a sluggo or senko right at the top will slay shallow aggressive fish. Good Fishing : ) 

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