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Brandon Underwood

Soft Plastics

  

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  1. 1. Do you struggle fishing soft plastics?

    • Yes
    • No
    • When I first started fishing them
    • Only in new areas


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Hey guys, I'm new here, but I think this could be a good topic for other new to semi-new bass fisherman. I just got into the artificial baits this year, starting in spring, so I bought spinner baits, and crank baits. I was able to consistently produce with these baits up until it really started warming up. I can still produce with spinner baits, but I know soft plastics produce better during the summer, where in lies the problem. I have talked to people for hours on end about soft plastics, and have fished them a lot lately but without any real bites, or hits. I have used senko's and swim senko's and yum dingers ( june bug, baby bass, green pumpkin) throwing them weightless texas rig, letting them free fall and then bringing them back up to let them fall again. I've tried ribbontails, grubs, creature baits etc, all texas rigged with a bullet sinker, swimming, crawling them on the bottom, and jigging, with different colors, black (muddy water) blue translucent with purple (clear water) green pumpkin (clear to stained water). What I'm getting around to is mostly, what am I doing wrong, or not doing? I have caught one fish on soft plastics this year, off of a green pumpkin swim senko weightless in the new river (it was a largemouth to beat it all), but that's been it. I still catch a few off of spinners, jitterbugs, and rage toads, but I cannot seem to figure out the whole soft plastics. Does anyone have tips, or anyone else that seems to have this problem, or has been through it? Thanks in ahead for any input, and I hope this will help others out as well, maybe bring a new light to some people who have been fishing soft plastics and producing for some time, but learn a new technique or tactic. Also I'm not sure what section this topic should be in, and I apologize if I have picked the wrong section.

-Brandon

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I get to be the first to say it, haha WACKY!! But for real I would try wacky rig. For me when I do fish T-rig I just fish them with a slow retrieve.

I don't even heat mine no more but if I do I just use a lighter but with using a lighter make sure you don't melt the plastic worm.

For more info on wacky pm Sam or Wayne P those are my plus many others go to guys.

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Spend some time looking around the site. We have hundreds of articles on fishing

soft plastics, every other lure class and technique. Ignore BASSclary, now and in

the future. Other than live bait, soft plastics are the most universally fished bass baits

on the planet. They are easy to fish and very productive.

Here are a couple of articles to get you started:

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Tomorrow morning I will be hitting the water before sun up. I plan on top water, then mid water, and then finally soft bait fishing after the sun gets up. My plan is to catch some fish on the soft baits tomorrow for the first time in my life. I have decent success with the other lures I use and want to add the soft baits to my tool belt. The bass are moving into the deeper water now that summer is here and I want to catch them all day instead of just at sun up and sun down.

My successful fishing trip will be based on time spent with my son and if the fish want to join in the fun then so much the better.

By the way, my 11 year old son is getting quite talented with his casting spoons, catching large mouths and crappie. I am one proud dad 8-).

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I don't know if you have tried them but maybe pick up a pack of super flukes. I have better luck with flukes then senkos and it's like d**n near impossible to not catch a fish on a fluke for me at least. Maybe you can also try a carolina rig or drop shot. There not your standard set up for fishing plastics but they both are very effective.

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Brandon, welcome to bass fishing.

I have been bass fishing for about 6 decades, a very long time.

Soft plastics (rubber worms) started to be popular about the same time that I was learning to bass fish and became the most reliable and successful artifical lure made to date.

Here are 10 of the techniques every bass angler should learn to rig.

1. Texas rig; bullet shape weight that is free to slide on the line above a plastic worm style hook.

2. Florida rig; same as the Texas rig, except the bullet weight is pegged agianst the hook.

3. Carolina rig; egg shape sinker that is free to slide on the line and stopped by a swivel above a length of leader line and hook.

4. Split shot rig; round split shot clamped on the line above the hook.

5. Slip shot or finesse C-rig; cylinder shaped weight free to slide on the line, stopped by a pegged glass bead above the hook.

6. Drop shot rig; bell shaped sinker tied to the end of the line, the hook tied directly on the line above the hook.

7. Shakey head jig; ball head jig with worm keeper.

8. Dart head jig; small bullet shape jig head.

9. Spider jigs; Hula grub with single or double tail.

10. Senko's; heavy salted fat bodied stick worm.

You rig the above techniques on any type of bass rod/reel combo, however casting outfits are typically used with line size 10 lb or heavier, spinning reel/rod for 10 lbs or less. Line weight should be selected to match the worm & hook size and type of cover you plan to fish.

T/F-rig,C-rig, spider jig and Senko's can be used with 10+ line and popular with bait casting outfits. Split, slip, drop shot rig, shakey head jig, dart head jig, are more popular with lighter line; 5 to 10 lb and spinning outfits.

Search around this site for rigging and presentation details.

Colors are trail and error for each lake and seasonal period.

Natural green or brown tones with red, black or purple flakes are always good. Shad colors like translucent smoke with silver, red, black or purple flakes can be good if the lake has shad bait fish.

Hooks and line are very important when fishing soft plastic worms; use premium worm hooks and line.

If you are interested in any of the above techniques, ask questions regarding them and we can reply in detail.

My advice; learn to fish plastic worms when the bass are more active, then you can fish them more effectively when the bass are less active.

Tom

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Well 1st off.. Are you fishing plastics in open water, or near some kind of structure? Plastics is mainly for cover, such as logs that have fallen into the lake. Theirs tons of ways you can fish with plastics. 1st being find some Lilly Pads. 2nd Fish your plastics off the banks. For Example cast your worm, into the bank and let it fall back in the water. 3rd you can cast where, you see grass growing in the lake. Bass love to hangout in grassy areas tons of baitfish. Sometimes Bass just don't like to be bothered in certain times of the day. Good times to catch Bass are, 7:00AM to about 11AM & 5Pm till sunset.

Another thing, you gotta see the water clarity, of your Lake you fish in. Your Lake certain colors will work and some won't. In clear water i use alot of Green. Here's some colors for clear water: Watermelon, Junebug, Black, Green Pumpkin, (You can use in almost any condition) White, Blue & Motor Oil In Stained water, use Green Pumpkin, Red Shad, Pumpkin Black (again) mostly natural colors for stained water. You just gotta try new things out. Most of the time, try and match the bottom of your Lake for the best results.

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Brandon..continued

Fishing soft plastic worms (I suggest you start with worms in lieu of other soft plastics), start with a technique and presentation that has a high percentage of strike to hook ratio; the c-rig or finesse C-rig (slip shot).

Both these rigs require you to slow down and keep the weight on the bottom. This rig is s-l-o-w-l-y dragged along the bottom and stopped when you feel resistance. You will learn when a rock stops the weight vs a bass; rocks don't move. Weeds are far more difficult, they can feel like a bass pressure bite, so a rod sweep either clears the weeds or sets the hook; weeds don't pull back.

Samllmouth tend to peck at plastic worms so let them move the line before sweeping the rod back. Largemouth just bite and swim off, don't wait too long to set the hook, they swallow plastic worms quickly.

If you are fishing for smallies or largemouth in slighly off color or clear water; try oxblood with light red flake worm in 6" curl tail (looks like a nightcrawler). Use a size 1 or 1/0 Gamakatsu #11 worm hook (skin hooked), 10 lb mono or FC line. 3/16 oz Top Brass black Pro-Jo weight, red 8MM glass bead, clear Carolina stopper. The weight should be about 24" above the hook to start with.

Tom

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Thanks for all of the advice guys, I super appreciate it. I have tried the carolina rig but, I always get it hung up a lot (most of lakes here everyone gets them hung up). I mostly use my baitcasting outfit (it was multiple until the secondary rod somehow got broken) and my spinning outfit for lighter rigs. But perhaps something I hadn't thought about until line was mentioned is on my baticaster I use the Berkeley TransOptic 15# which is a line that changes color in the daylight and is supposed to turn clear again when under the water, could this be contributing to the lack of strikes? On my spinning reel I have the Suffix Camo 12# which is tri-colored in a green, brown, and a semi-clear (I hate this line, btw) could this one be a problem as well? I just joined this forum, but I had already started doing what someone here mentioned in another post, which was to fish Senko's and learn to fish them before moving onto any other soft plastic for the reason of learning to be patient (which I sometimes lack). I haven't had much luck on them (1 fish, my only soft plastics fish on a swim senko, green pumpkin) and I have used multiple types, senko's in the june bug and baby bass colors (it looked similar to the green pumpkin, and is actually a Kinami bait made by GYCB), a swim senko in green pumpkin, and yum dinger's in carolina pumpkin, and green pumpkin which chartreuse tails, and the strike king shim-e worms in the watermelon chartreuse swirl. And as for the flukes, I have a bag, and have had absolutely no luck with them, which are also green pumpkin. As for the river I try to use the Gitzit G-tail green pumpkin grubs as absolutely everyone that fishes that river swears by them to be the absolute best producing bait .The lakes I fish the most are clear to stained, but never muddy, and I understand that soft plastics are a visual bait, as in the fish has to see it to hit it, unlike spinners, and crankbaits where they can generally hear them before they see them. I try to throw at cover as much as possible, as only one lake here has lilly pads, and they are so bad, I have no idea at all how anyone fishes it, it is literally impossible without a boat, as most of the bank is private property, and the pads are so bad, nobody can get a boat through them. My fishing times are pretty much never during the middle of the day either, as I can't stand the heat, and I always try to throw in a little top water near sunrise and sunset, and usually catch at least one decent bass off a green/white jitterbug or the rage tail pearl belly toads. But back to the whole line thing, do you all think that the line could be an issue? Both lines currently spooled are a monofilament, and I've been wanting to put the Berkeley Professional Grade Fluoro on my baitcaster at least, but just haven't worked up the $25 for a spool (that's a lot of baits I could be buying!). Thanks again guys, I really appreciate all the help, and advice.

P.S. About the rocks etc stopping the bait, I picked up on that this year (when I finally bought decent rods and reels) and learned the difference between the feel of a rock, or stump and grass, and a strike, which has been a big help.

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If want to go with flouro I would go out and get XPS flouro while its on sale 20%. You can get a spool for around $13, If not that I had a good luck with Suffix elite in green(mono).

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Simple answer....no

Pretty much the only soft plastics I use are fluke type baits, in fact I use them more in saltwater than in fresh. Probably the hardest thing is developing your timing to set the hook when using plastics, not that it is really that hard. One of the first lessons I got over 60 years ago from my dad was to always let the fish "take" the bait and never overwork a lure, has served me well for all species of fish.

The hardest part of fishing is finding the fish, not reeling them in.

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Where is the XPS on sale at? We don't have any BPS or any big bait shops like that around here, just small rinky dink shops, and honestly Wal Mart is usually better than they are as far as bait. I tried the stren fluoro (like $10 a spool at wal mart) and I hated it, but I knew I wasn't getting a high quality line. It floated, and had line memory like wire.

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Where is the XPS on sale at? We don't have any BPS or any big bait shops like that around here, just small rinky dink shops, and honestly Wal Mart is usually better than they are as far as bait. I tried the stren fluoro (like $10 a spool at wal mart) and I hated it, but I knew I wasn't getting a high quality line. It floated, and had line memory like wire.

Usually just Bass Pro. It's BPS brnad line so finding it outside of BPS isn't to common. (Although I've seen some shops sell Bass Pro stuff). I'd say just order it off of their website.

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Brandon, welcome to the forum first off! I use to fish the New River as well (attended VT), what a great river!

I read/skimmed through all the posts and read the one about the line weights you were using. You might want to try or ask the people you are talking with what pound test line they are using. Twelve might be a tick heavy, maybe try an 8# copoly like Yo-Zuri or P-line flourclear. I fish the James river in Richmond and I use the June Bug and now black/blue Senkos and do pretty well (4" length) so, I think you have the right colors going. Maybe, down size a little, those smallies are sneaky little fish!

Best of luck!

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Plastics are not mainly for fishing cover, plastics can be used for fishing cover and open water, it´s a matter of choosing the right plastic and the right presentation for the conditions and place, I´ve caught a big bunch of fish in open coverless water with soft jerkbaits, swimming curly tail worms and grubs & wacky rigged stickbaits.

Will you struggle ? oh yes, you will struggle at the beginning, with time and practice you will struggle less as you obtain experience.

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I have never been a patient person, and that translates over to my fishing style. I prefer to power fish (spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater, etc) and slowing down for plastics is routinely difficult for me.

I seriously have to talk myself into slowing down, calming down, and force myself to be patient. Once I can get in that mindset, fishing plastics becomes a lot easier.

As with everything else in life you will find that with patience comes reward.

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Brandon, welcome to the forum first off! I use to fish the New River as well (attended VT), what a great river!

I read/skimmed through all the posts and read the one about the line weights you were using. You might want to try or ask the people you are talking with what pound test line they are using. Twelve might be a tick heavy, maybe try an 8# copoly like Yo-Zuri or P-line flourclear. I fish the James river in Richmond and I use the June Bug and now black/blue Senkos and do pretty well (4" length) so, I think you have the right colors going. Maybe, down size a little, those smallies are sneaky little fish!

Best of luck!

[/quote

i was going to say the same thing.....down size your line to 8-10 and weight if possible.......try lizards and other soft plastics that already have action appendages(curly tails/hands), so they still have alot of action even when moving slow

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I have down sized to Berkeley's Professional Grade Fluoro in 12# (I was afraid that too much smaller, I wouldn't be able to cast it well on my baitcaster). I have some of the Berkeley's lizards, real life like looking things, and no luck on those either. I'm going to try everyone's advice, and I really appreciate it guys.

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Brandon, you might try using a 6'-6" to 7' medium spin rod/reel combination with the 8#. Also, to be honest I recently started fishing with soft plastics (Senkos specifically) and found I was fishing the lure too fast. As other people mentioned maybe slow down some. Well, hope you figure it out and post pictures if/when you do.

Best of luck!

Wdy

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I'm going to pick up a new spinning rod soon (mine is a 7' MH action Bill Dance Quantum combo, I bought specifically for wading the river). We went over the weekend to Cedar Branch, if anyone is familiar, to visit family since they were camping, and I fished for quite a while. I was using the Strike King Shim-e sticks in a watermelon/chartreuse swirl, and caught 1 smallmouth about 1.5 lbs, and that was it. I fished about everything in my tackle box, including spinners, cranks, etc. I was the only person that caught a bass (they catfished later in the evening and caught a few). Which I understand where we were at was extremely hard to fish without a boat, as bank access is beyond limited. I keep it slow, I understand the importance of presentation, or at least I'm pretty sure I do, lol. But so far, the senko style baits and variations have been my only producing soft plastics. And to Monte, I was fishing from a boat for a while, but I traded it to the father in law (that way I still get to fish off it ;) ) but it doesn't have any kind of sonar on it. We went this morning actually to a small local reservoir early in the am, and neither me nor him even so much as had a bite. As for his wife and youngest son, they were wearing the bluegill out on some nightcrawlers. Granted, I personally never have caught anything over 1 pound from there myself, one of my friends swears that he wears the bass out there on green pumpkin yum dingers and that they're usually 2-3 lbs, and his boss supposedly caught a 5lb bass on a ribbon tail, but I've also not seen any proof. I do know that the DNR came in earlier this year and removed over 1500 bass to restock a more popular lake upstate just a little (Moncove Lake, if anyone is familiar with that one). I pound the banks pretty much the whole time, throwing at any sign of structure that I can find. It always produced for me before, so I continue with it, and it seems it works for everyone else as well. I've been laid off from work since April, and I'm getting ready to go back, so I plan on buying another kayak when I get the money saved up. I plan to rig this one up a lot better than the last one, and I'm going to definitely add some sort of sonar. Another full size boat just isn't practical, I generally fish alone, and can't use gas motors anywhere close.

Thanks again guys.

-Brandon

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It sounds as if you have learned to fish using reaction baits primarily, and are now struggling to adapt to a slower style of fishing that is (generally) soft plastics. I am in a similar position to you in that I too learned to bass fish using reaction baits, and am now forcing myself to adapt and learn new techniques. Keeping your head in the right place for fishing soft plastics is the first step I think. You have to train yourself to be patient and to continuously pay attention to what your lure is doing; how it feels. You have to be in tune with your lure in a different way in order to effectively fish soft plastics.

But, it will pay off as there is a reason soft plastics are as popular and successful as they are.

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I'm going to pick up a new spinning rod soon (mine is a 7' MH action Bill Dance Quantum combo, I bought specifically for wading the river)

If your on a budget when comes time for a spinning rod and interested in a combo I recommend this http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=419935&pdesc=GSX_Tournament_6_ML_Power_Spinning_Combo&aID=504AC1&merchID=4006 I have their older 6'6 combo for 3 or 4 years now and I love it. I was this combo for wacky all the time.

Also try to catch it on sale just like their last sale it was listed for $59.99 and one before that $64

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easiest bait for me to catch fish on

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Endless, I really dig that combo, thanks. They just opened a gander mountain like 2 hours from here and have been wanting to go, just haven't gotten around to it, and didn't realize that they had any fishing stuff, lol.

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Endless, I really dig that combo, thanks. They just opened a gander mountain like 2 hours from here and have been wanting to go, just haven't gotten around to it, and didn't realize that they had any fishing stuff, lol.

Your welcome before you make the trip unless in dire need or just want to go I would make sure there's great sales going on being that all the holidays are bout up till labor day I'm not sure but I still think some items might be on clearance. That combo I'm sure stays going on sale too but even at full price I think it's well worth it but even better for $59 or 64 if they do that again.

If do plan on going maybe call and talk to a rep about what they have on clearance, sale, or in general.

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