|Soft plastics has been to bass fishing like Babe Ruth is to baseball the two just go hand in hand. When looking at plastics for bass fishing springtime is one of the top times to be using these baits. Let’s look at 5 of the most popular springtime rigs for plastics and how to fish them.
Texas Rigged Soft Plastic Stickbaits
When you look at soft plastic stickbaits many of you thing of fishing this bait texas rigged with a traditional worm hook with no weight and for most of your springtime fishing this will pretty much hold true. The majority of the time you will want to fish this bait with a slow falling presentation allowing the natural action of the bait to trigger strikes. But like everything that has been on the market for a few years there are changes and many times these changes are for the better, so here are a few of them for fishing a soft plastic stickbait.
The soft plastic stickbait that I use is an Outkast Stick Worm. Instead of using a traditional worm hook I use an Eagle Claw HP hook to hold the Stick Worm in place better. After you catch a few bass on a Stick Worm the bait will have trouble staying in place on the hook and will fall down causing to the bait to not run right or even make it possible to get in the way of the hook point on a hook set. This will cost you bass during your day of fishing. To stop this I switched to a HP hook that will hold the head of the Stick Worm in place giving me more fish per bait.
Presenting the bait this way works when the bass are not active or you have to entice the fish to eat. You can not beat the action of a weightless texas rigged Stick Worm, the action that you can get out of the bait and how it triggers strikes. For the times when the bass are aggressive and you can work the bait faster switch to a weighted worm hook. This will allow you to move the bait faster triggering more strikes. One tip when threading the Stick Worm onto the weighted hook wet the hook; this will allow the plastic to slide over the weight easier not damaging the plastic during the process of rigging.
In the last few years you could say that the secret has been let out of the bag, wacky style has been one of the hottest plastics technique catching bass all over the country. Bass pros have been keeping this technique in their back pockets for years if they needed a bass to round out a tournament bag out would come the wacky rig to the rescue. The wacky rig is just plain old simple to fish and you might say it could be called the idiot bait of plastics.
I generally fish wacky rig on a 7ft medium action baitcaster spooled with 15lb PLine Halo line. This is a new fluorocarbon line from PLine with low stretch and is very abrasion resistance. Once you have your setup tie a 4/0 worm hook onto the end of the line. On the hook take an Outkast Stick Worm and hook the bait in the middle. Cast the bait out and let the bait flutter down to the bottom. All you have to do to fish this rig is pull the bait forward and let it sink again. When you pull the bait forward the bait’s legs will flap back and forth. This give the bass a look that they have not seen before, it looks like the bait is trying to fly away, bass can not stand this and strike the bait. If you are trying to fish the wacky rig in a little deeper water use either a weighted worm hook or switch to a small jig head. Remember keep the weight of the hook or jig as light as possible not to overpower the action in the bait.
Shallow Carolina Rig
When it comes to Carolina rigs you think deepwater bass but have you ever taken a Carolina rig and fished it shallow? It is one of my top springtime tactics to take shallow bass. To fish this rig you will need to make some changes I fish this Carolina rig on a spinning rod. I prefer a 7ft medium action rod rigged with a matching spinning reel spooled with 8lb line. Take a 3/16 to 1/4oz Bullet Weights Torpedo Weight, put this on the line about 2ft up then put a rubber T-Stop in the sinker. This will hold the sinker in place, at the end of the line tie a 2/0 worm hook. On the hook you can use a 4” lizard, 4” ringworm or a Stick Worm. Work the bait like you would a regular Carolina rig, make your cast, let it sink and start to slowly drag the bait along the bottom. When you feel the bite you have to sweep set the hook, do not try to lift the weight up off of the bottom, just reel up the slack and sweep the rod to the side to set the hook. This technique has been one of my top tactics for springtime bass.
When tubes first hit the bass scene they were just used for springtime bass fishing during the spawn then you would put them away until the next year only to dig them out again for their two week appearance. But put a bait in a bass fisherman’s hands and they will find ways to use and fish this bait like never scene before, in testament tubes fall in this category. Tubes have now become a bait that is used all year in many different applications to take bass. Tubes were first rigged and fished with jigs pushed inside the tube while this rigging is still a main stay in how the bait is fished today, another top way to rig a tube is to rig it texas style. By putting the hook into the tube and making it weedless you are able to fish the bait in many more places than you could when the hook was rigged open and exposed.
One of the hottest ways to rig a tube the last few years was to use Lindys EZ Tube Weight System. The weight slips inside of the tube and you thread the hook through the weight which holds the weights in place, once you have the hook through the weight you turn it around and skin hook the hook back into the tube to make it weedless. This is the best way to fish a tube around heavy cover and under docks. The EZ weight comes in either straight weights or weights with a rattle.
Texas Rigged Lizards
If I had to pick a sleeper bait for big springtime bass it would have to be a texas rigged lizard. Lizards are a natural enemy to bass because they eat their eggs so a bass will not hesitate a chance to take a run at a lizard anytime making this bait a perfect choice when it comes to fishing for bass. Fished around shallow cover or off of deeper weed breaks lizards are a great bait to fish during cold front conditions.
I generally fish this presentation on a heavy action 7ft baitcaster set up spooled with 15lb PLine Halo. The low stretch of this line lets me feel the lightest of bites and still have enough time to get a good hook set. Bait size I will fish both 4” and 6” lizards. If the bite is slow I will downsize to a 4” lizards but when the bass are active and eating I will throw the 6” lizard.
There you have it these are the top 5 ways to rig plastics for springtime bass. Make sure you keep these tactics in your bag of tricks when you hit the water this spring for bass. You will soon find out plastic will play a big part in your springtime bass catching.
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