Fishing with soft plastics is one of the most popular ways to fool big bass. Fishing with them is surprisingly easy, simple, and relatively inexpensive. When bass head to shallow water in spring, fishing with them becomes more effective.
You'll be covered all season long with these 3 soft plastics, whether you're on a budget or prefer to keep it simple. If you cover water and stay shallow, they’ll result in lots of exciting fish catches.
Obee 6” Finesse Worm
The majority of Finesse and even curly tail worms do not actually float; they simply sink very slowly when fished without a weight and if they are not salted. During the spawn and post-spawn period, when the water temperature ranges from 60 to 75 degrees, this buoyancy provides an incredibly tantalizing action that is hard for big bass to resist.
During the spring, we typically use a weightless Texas rig rigged with a floating worm. Because they're fairly heavy, they cast well and this particular rigging allows for a weedless approach when weeds are present. By casting parallel to the shoreline or any edges, such as grass lines and stump rows, the worm will dance near the water's surface.
You can achieve this action by making sharp, downward twitches with your rod tip to make the worm move from side to side. When you fish with worms, be careful not to pull the bait because those rapid rod snaps allow the bait to take full advantage of the buoyancy and create an erratic action that drives big female bass bonkers.
The straight tail worm excels when fished quickly parallel to edges, which bass use as travel routes as they travel to and from their spawning grounds. But they’re also a good target-oriented bait when the bass are fairly aggressive. You can skip them under shallow dock platforms and walkways, under overhangs and even into fallen trees.
Most of the bites are visible, which is a blast. When you see a flash or a boil, it's time to set the hook. Be sure to keep visual contact with your worm as it works underneath the surface.
Obee 5” Stick Worm
Although these worms can also be fished on the weightless Texas rig, we use a Whacky rig in the spring, which means that we hook them right through the middle in order to give them a unique, parabolic action as they fall. While it may be more prone to snags, it is an excellent choice when the bass are holding onto very specific pieces of cover.
Using this technique is very easy because the worm does most of the work since it has such a natural, non-threatening appearance and action. When the worm hits the water, let it fall on a totally slack line to the bottom. After it reaches the bottom, make small, upward flicks with the tip of your rod and let it fall on the slack line once more. This methodical approach isn't great if you need to cover a lot of water, but it is good when you're picking apart an area.
When using a wacky-rigged stick worm, you should always pay attention to vertical cover; especially when the bass appears to be suspended. It is a great time of year to utilize dock posts, logs, and even riprap banks. There's no doubt you can catch them fishing around grass and laydowns, but you'll have to deal with your fair share of hook-ups as well.
During slack line, you will be bitten the most when the worm falls to the bottom. You should keep a close eye on your line at all times. As soon as the line jumps or tightens, set the hook. Bass will spit your bait if they feel tension, so don't put yourself in a feeling contest with them.
Obee 5” Jerkbait
Soft jerkbaits can be your saving grace when the fishing gets tough, and you have trouble finding a productive pattern. While keeping a subtle profile and action, they let you cover water very quickly. They're popular for blind casting to likely bedding areas, but they're also good options post-spawn when the bass are guarding newly hatched fry.
In the same way as a floating worm, you'll rig your soft jerkbaits on a weightless Texas rig (you can also hook it with weighted belly hooks or shaky heads). By executing sharp downward twitches with the tip of your rod, you should fish quickly within inches of the surface when your bait hits the water. A flat tail like jerkbaits we provide will produce a dramatic "walk-the-dog" action that is excellent at triggering unresponsive bass.
Using the retrieval method outlined above, target southern spawning pockets with water temperatures in the 60s; hard bottoms are preferred. You will find female bass on vertical cover near the mouth of the spawning pockets, when the bass changes over from their post-spawn phase.
You will see most of the fish bites, so when you see the water start moving near your bait, give it a second, then preform the hookset.