Soft plastics for summertime bass

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Ron Statzer from Elizabeth City scored two nice largemouth on a weightless worm.


By Mike Sweeney

Friday, August 18, 2017

This time of year you can catch largemouth a lot of different ways from top water, jigs, crank baits and spinner baits but the one that will put fish in the boat every day no matter what the weather is soft plastics.

Soft plastics come in every shape and form imaginable with some looking like exact replicas of a frog or worm while others look like something out of a science fiction movie.

The colors are as different as well with some glowing in the dark while others are black as coal. When you approach the soft plastic isle in your local tackle store it can be rather intimidating but around the Albemarle region we have a few basic ones that pay off rather well.

When fishing soft plastics in our creeks and river systems we can choose some easy lures that will pay off in almost every one of them.

Flukes are a soft plastic lure that is fished without a weight and looks like a bait fish in the water. Run the hook through the head of the lure then out the bottom of the body and back up through the slit in its under belly. The hook and bait should be straight in order to get the correct action so take your time.

Once the bait is tied on you can use a spinning rod to skip the bait up under branches and limbs and in order to make the bait look natural you want to make quick snaps with the rod tip. This action will make the bait dance back and forth in the water which appears to be an escaping baitfish and the bass love this.

If you can get the bait all the way to the bank that works even better because most of the bait this time of year is shallow. You want to throw whites and pearls with some blue flakes mixed in for best results.

Plastic worms and lizards are another go to plastic bait and these you want to fish with a pegged weight at the head on a Texas rig.

What that means is you first put a bullet weight on the line then tie on the hook which should be at least a size 3 but I prefer 4s and 5s. You then thread the head with the hook for about a quarter of an inch then bring it out and spin it.

Move the hook down the body and bring it back into the body so when the hook comes back out the worm will remain straight. You then stick the hook point back into the body which will make the lure weedless. Then take a tooth pick and break it off in the bottom of the weight and slide the weight down to the head of the worm.

The tooth pick will keep the weight from sliding on the line and will give the bait a more natural action. Throw these baits in every bush and stump field on the bank and then bring them down the first drop in front of the structure.

If a fish in there he will hit it either with a ton of force or it may just get heavy either way set the hook.

I always tell people when they are first learning soft plastics when in doubt, set the hook and don’t be shy about it.

Bring that rod tip high and fast over your head and let them know you are there. I like to throw natural colors here with browns, reds and pumpkin seed.

These techniques are a tried and true way to catch bass but remember it takes practice and patience to fish soft plastics but the rewards are worth the wait.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore guys are in the middle of one of the biggest billfish bites of the year with blues and sails coming to those looking for them and it is just in time for the Pirates Cove tournament.

Some lucky boat will be bringing home close to a quarter of a million dollars this week so good luck to all. The tuna are still pretty regular and there are some dolphin mixed in but not as much as they usually are this time of year.

Closer to shore and on the beaches the action is not as busy but there is some blues and Spanish mackerel just off the breakers. Some mullet and flounder are next to the beach and we even had a 40 plus pound cobia caught off Jennette’s Pier this week. Blood worms are working for the mullet but fresh shrimp is working for everything else.

Here at home it is still a hot bite on the largemouth and the white perch. Ron Statzer from Elizabeth City was fishing the Big Flatty this past week and scored two nice largemouth on a weightless worm.

That creek has had some nice fish in it lately so I am going to have to give it a try and see for myself. The perch are on the drop offs just outside the flats in about 5 to 7 feet of water and they don’t seem to be slowing down any.

Huge numbers are being reported with some guys complaining that the hardest part is trying to get through the small ones to get to the bigger fish.

It is a terrible problem to have but someone is going to catch a hundred or so to catch the big ones for dinner. White Bettle Spins and Uncle Jessie lures tipped with shrimp are the pay off lures here so enjoy you fishing.

Remember that if you get out like Ron send me a report and some bragging pictures to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike and I will do my best to show off your catch.