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Soft Plastics for Largemouth Bass

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Soft Plastics for Largemouth Bass
By Russ Miyada

The following are some of my preferred methods and lures for bass fishing in abundant cover. They are basic, easy to use and very effective.

Rod/Reel & Terminal Tackle
    General Purpose (including Drop Shotting & Skipping)
      •       6'6”- 7' spinning or baitcast combo
     •       Medium action/fast tip
     •       8-10 lb super-line w/8-10 lb mono/fluoro leader
     •       #1- 3/0 EWG worm hook, depending on thickness of plastic bait
     •      1/8-1/4 oz bullet weight or no weight; oz drop shot weight

     Pitching/Flipping/Frogging
     •      6'6”- 7' baitcast combo
     •      Medium-heavy action
     •      30-50 lb super-line w/15-20 lb fluoro or mono leader; leader not necessary for frogging
     •      2/0-6/0 EWG worm hook or wide gap straight shank worm hook for heavy cover
     •      3/8-3/4 oz bullet sinker

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Rigging Methods for Soft Baits
Texas Rig  Most commonly used method for largemouth bass fishing due to its "weedless" design.  Excellent for pitching, flipping, punching, and skipping in heavy cover such as brush, weeds, trees, snarls, rocks, docks, etc.  Also good for minimum cover and open water.  Can be used with slip sinker, weight insert or no weight.
 
 







 
 
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Wacky Rig  Very effective method to employ when conditions dictate it.  The position of the hook in the middle section of the worm imparts a slow fall and wiggle to the lure.  Use when bass are finicky and in relatively light cover.
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
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Drop Shot Rig  Although designed for deeper water, this method can be effectively used in the shallows as well.  The lure can be shaken, wiggled or hovered above cover or the bottom to entice bass into biting.
Note:  For comprehensive information on different types of plastic worm rigging, refer to Gary Yamamoto's Inside Line newsletter at - www.insideline.net/articles/rigging-guide.html
 
 
 
 
 
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Where to Fish for Largemouth Bass
My friends and I have caught them in lakes and reservoirs such as Silver, Lacamas and Potholes in Washington;  Tenmile Lakes, Prineville Reservoir, Crane Prairie, Galesville Reservoir, Mercer, Brownlee Reservoir, and Henry Hagg in Oregon;  Clear Lake and the Delta in California.
 

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The largemouth bass prefers relatively shallow water and has an affinity for the darkest shade and heaviest cover in the form of "lay downs" (fallen trees), standing timber, brush, aquatic vegetation, docks, big rocks, etc. where they often wait in ambush for prey.  Their diet consists mainly of fish, crawdads, frogs, salamanders and other available creatures.
A soft plastic bait rigged Texas style works best in places with abundant cover.  Slowly crawl it through the cover an inch or two at a time, stop and pause for a few seconds, and repeat the process until a strike occurs or the lure is out of the strike zone. 
A bass strike can be as distinctive as a "hit" (tap, thump or pull), as subtle as a "feel good" (heavy or light feel of the line/lure), or as visible as a "line movement" (moving line, line twitch at surface, abrupt line slack).
Whichever strike it may be, make sure to set the hook hard in order to drive it through the plastic lure and into the jaw of the bass.

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The largemouth bass will also relate to vertical structure and cover when it prefers deeper water such as in summer and winter.  They will position themselves along bluffs, boulders, bridge pilings, vertical timber, ledges, etc. where forage may pass.  Fish these deeper bass with a dropshot rig or a weighted Wacky or Texas Rig.


 

 
 
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General Rules - Fish shallow in spring and fall; fish deeper in winter and summer.  Fish inside and shallow (flooded shoreline) during rising or high water; fish outside and deeper (secondary ledge, deep cover, creek channel) during falling or low water.  Look for areas where a channel meets a point near an adjoining flat.  The biggest bass will be in the best spot.

Soft Plastic Lures for Heavy Cover

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Gary Yamamoto 5" Senko
Yum 5" Dinger
Bass Pro Shops 5 3/8" Stiik-O
Use in relatively shallow water, Texas Rig or Wacky Rig with or without weight.
 
  


 



 
 
 
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Venom 4" Hot Rod tube
Outlaw 5" Limp Stick
Use this tube for skipping under overhangs and docks or into pockets; Texas Rig without weight.
 
 
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Roboworm 6" Straight Tail
Good for a Drop Shot Rig or Slip Shot Rig; rig the hook Texas style.
 
 

 
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Zoom 9 1/2" Mag II Worm
Barlows Tackle 5" Ringer
Texas Rig it with a bullet weight.
 
 
 
 
 
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Reaction Innovations 4.2 or Double Wide Sweet Beaver
Very good bulky “creature bait” when Texas Rigged with large, extra wide gap hook and bullet weight. The 4.2 is also good as a bass jig trailer.
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Missle Baits D Bomb with Paycheck Baits Punch Skirt
Use for punching through matted weeds and debris. Punch Skirt allows for better penetration. This “creature bait” should be Texas Rigged using large, wide gap, straight shank worm hook with heavy, pegged bullet weight.
 
 
 
  
 
 


 
 
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Zoom Brush Hog, Super Hog or Baby Brush Hog
Rig this “creature bait” Texas style with a bullet weight.
 
 
 

  
 

 
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Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper
Good as swim bait over weed bed; use a large wide-gap keel-weighted rigged Texas style.
 
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Zoom Horny Toad or Spro Bronzeye Frog
Good for top water frogging. Texas rig the Zoom Toad with a large wide gap hook.  Toad will also do a slow sinking spiral.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Good Luck & Good Fishing
I hope that you will find this information helpful.  If you catch just one lunker largemouth bass in heavy cover when you would otherwise would not have before this, then this "read" would be deemed successful.
 
If you find success, PLEASE remember to "CATCH & RELEASE" your largemouth bass so someone else may enjoy the thrill that you have experienced.