SOFT PLASTIC BAITS RIGGING TIPS
We found that these straight tail worms are excellent for fishing in the river. We cast them across the current, using a high rod technique, to minimize drag and allow the worm to drift with the current. Often a little twitch will provoke a strike, but the twitch should be subtle, just enough to move the worm a little bit. We also cast the worm straight upstream, which works very well in the rivers since they require less weight to sink naturally and can be fished dead with the current to resemble a dead or dying shad or other baitfish. Both Texas and exposed hook riggings work, but the Texas seems to be the best if there are any snags or it is a rough, rocky bottom. Tackle is important when fishing straight tail worms, since much of the fishing depends on slow techniques. I like to use a real sensitive rod, such as a G. Loomis, with the reel spooled with a sensitive line, such as Stren Sensor, or any other sensitive line. Using an outfit like this makes it easier to detect strikes, but you should always maintain contact with the worm, even when Deadsticking it. I like to use a small weight to accomplish this. Cross-stream casts in the current will usually maintain some tension, but upstream casts require a retrieve as fast as the current to keep slack out of the line, and make sure that you detect all the strikes.
Soft Jerkbaits like the "Zoom Super Fluke" are great substitutes for a hard Jerkbaits when the grass is too thick to use a hard bait with treble hooks. This bait was the best producer for the top ten finishers in the "REDMAN" finals at Lake Gaston. We had tried many other baits that day, but the Fluke was the winner, hands down.
There are a variety of different rigging techniques for soft plastic Jerkbaits, but I want the maximum action I can get with this bait, so I use a really large offset hook made by Eagle Claw. This hook is bigger than what most anglers use for the Fluke, but the bigger hook not only adds casting weight, but it shifts the weight to the rear of the bait and causes an exaggerated "walk-the-dog" action on the retrieve. It's a great bait for bass in weed pockets, or in deeper, thinner grass like the situation we ran into on Lake Gaston. This bait definitely gave you an advantage that day. I use a light/dark pattern with these baits, but occasionally go to colors like watermelon and green pumpkin, in the clearer water sometimes. I use this bait a lot in place of a surface bait like a rat, and if a bass blows up on it and misses, which happens a lot in heavy scum and grass, then I just maneuver the bait to the hole created by the bass and let it sink. Most of the time the bass will still be there and take the Fluke on the drop, something I can't do with the rat.
There are detailed tips as well as locations and bass being caught on these and other baits on our YOUTUBE CHANNEL
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