Pondering Plastics Let Dr. Jerry analyze your fishing problems

We don’t actually need a Dr. Phil of fishing, however typically I feel it might be good to have such an individual round. A fishing therapist may assist preserve us from bogging down like beasts within the La Brea Tar Pits as we attempt to determine on that one excellent plastic lure and rigging for the job at hand.

It will really be fantastic to have one easy plastic “silver bullet,” however that’s not attainable. To take care of ceaselessly altering fishing conditions we’d like plenty of designs and riggings; the frustration comes from a seemingly limitless menu of prospects. So as to cut back your hand-wringing over selections, I’ve chosen a couple of favourite methods and makes use of for worms, mushy jerkbaits, tubes and paddletails. They’re assured to resolve most of your fishing issues. Simply don’t begin calling me Dr. Phil.


Most anglers perceive the frequent want to change the look or motion of every “tableau” we current to our finned pals, and that holds true even for the straightforward however efficient wacky worm. Including weight to wackies is a technique. Now comes the addition of “arm” weights each for deeper fishing and to vary the motion of these waving extremities. Lunker Metropolis’s ball-end Wacky Weights are splendid. Ridges preserve the weights in place. Merely embed them in a worm’s ends–or solely in a single finish for really erratic habits.

Although wacky worms are often fished close to the floor, with solely the load of the hook to sink them slowly, there’s no cause why you’ll be able to’t fish a non-weighted wacky nearer to the underside. To do this, use a slip sinker or Carolina rig with a tiny little bit of pegged Styrofoam someplace on the chief to drift the worm at no matter depth is desired. Additionally, attempt fishing a wacky conventionally however with one among Falcon Lures’ Okay Wacky hooks, that includes a built-on shank weight situated close to the attention. Fashions with or with out weed guards can be found from Falcon (337-232-7326). The ahead weight location encourages the hook’s enterprise finish to experience up because the lure drops.


Because the unique Slug-Go made historical past we’ve been catching issues on these lures, primarily whereas they have been fished weightless simply beneath the floor. Nevertheless, varied weighting types assist you to fish mushy jerkbaits dropping, suspended or on the underside.

Weighting away from the lure on the road preserves the inherent gliding motion of the mushy sticks. Cut up shot, cut up shot plus a slip float, Carolina rig–all have their functions relying on depth and placement. My favourite approach entails utilizing a small (2 1/2-to 3-inch) mushy jerkbait rigged drop-shot type. Drop-shotting isn’t just for deeper water, so use this rig off refined breaks close to shallows as properly. Although I often use bigger baits in the summertime, I’ll drop again to this finesse technique if the fish are balky. Slightly than regular weedless horizontal hooking, simply hook the bait as soon as by its nostril and see what occurs.

To take care of a extra horizontal drop with weight on the lure, attempt one among Daiichi’s Copperhead hooks with the little screw on the eye. Weight the hook shank utilizing a cone sinker you’ve sawed midway by lengthwise. Crimp it to the hook. Alternatively, Lunker Metropolis’s Stomach Weights do the identical factor, as do Falcon Lures’ Bait-Jerker pre-weighted hooks. They’re accessible rigged both with Gamakatsu’s G-Lock hook (whose level and barb angle barely downward) or Tremendous Line offset wide-gap. The tapered weight enables you to rig the bait weedless (Texas-style) with out tearing it.

Physique-weighting mushy jerkbaits is right when working lures over weeds, in pockets, exterior weed strains or alongside deeper construction. Insert two (or extra, relying on lure dimension and depth necessities) nail-type weights crosswise within the lure’s physique behind the hook bend. Clip off the weights flush with the lure physique. After you let the lure sink, twitch it as soon as and let it fall. It’ll drop all the way down to fish hiding out of the sunshine in weeds or rocks, and is difficult for them to refuse.


Tubes first grew to become standard as finesse baits for use round “clear” cowl, however we quickly discovered they’re simply fantastic bashing about in weeds, brush or different sticky stuff. In thicker cowl the perfect rigging strategies are: 1) Texas-rigged with a cone-shaped slip weight on the road forward of the hook; 2) rigged with an inside weight designed for tubes; and three) on a weedless jighead.

I’ve two favourite inside specialty weights. One is Woo Daves’ tungsten-impregnated plastic plug, which you insert like a stopper and rig Texas-style to make the bait successfully weedless. The load, which is on the market from Bass Professional Outlets, may be lower to go well with. One other new weight I like is Lindy’s E-Z Tube. These are small cylinders that slide right into a tube’s open finish. As soon as there, the hook level is inserted–by really feel–by the tube nostril into the load’s finish gap, then out the aspect gap of the load and the tube. The hook is rotated and the purpose is barely caught into the tube to make it weedless.

I like jigheads that match inside a tube. Strike King’s fiber guard EZ-Rig Weedless Tube Heads are nice and include common hooks or heavier hooks for flipping baits and hoisting heavyweight fish out of thick cowl. You’ll be able to fine-tune the bristle guard by reducing out a few of the fibers for these instances whenever you’re fishing in cowl that’s not too nasty.


I don’t know why the previous Vibrotail Minnow by no means caught on some years in the past when it was launched. Regardless, plastics with boot-like tails are firmly entrenched nowadays. There are many them with slight variations in profiles, bellies and tails. A few of these lures, just like the Storm Wildeye Swim Bait and Berkley’s Energy Pogy, swim simply at slower speeds. Lunker Metropolis’s Salt Shaker has an oversize tail for critical thump; it additionally wobbles like some laborious crankbaits. Cabela’s Livin’ Eye Paddletails include both light-weight resin jigheads or leadheads.

In summer season I have a tendency to make use of 4 1/2-, 5-and 6-inch paddles, dropping to 3-inchers when fish are after smaller forage. For the massive guys like stripers and such, the brand new 6-inch Salt Shaker has already turn out to be a favourite, as has the Cabela’s Livin’ Eye and Motion Plastics’ Massive Sport Shads in 6-inch dimension. Barely smaller, Berkley’s 5-inch Inshore Energy Swim Bait is a superb one, too.

Troll them, forged them, run them slightly below the floor or bottom-bump these rigs; it’s laborious to work them incorrectly. Some anglers even rig them with an in-line spinner positioned a couple of inches forward for trolling. They’ll catch absolutely anything you need.

So now you’ll haven’t any downside deciding what to make use of, proper? Effectively, okay, there are nonetheless fairly a couple of lure choices, however at the least I’ve narrowed your selections in soft-plastics.

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Use a drop or two of superglue to affix mushy plastics to a jighead that lacks keeper ridges or barbs. The glue can even make minor repairs in these baits, which is able to prevent cash.


Anglers spend a lot time specializing in the “appropriate” methods and locations to fish soft-plastics that they miss the bigger image: These baits may be fished efficiently at any depth between the highest and backside. Don’t restrict your self to conventional shows for varied soft-plastics. Be imaginative in your strategy.

Jigheads with weedguards will allow you to put a tube bait within the thick of issues.

Use embedded weights to sink a wacky worm quicker. Add or subtract weights to get a sluggish fall that doesn’t impede the motion.

Strive a small mushy jerkbait in a drop-shot rig. To get essentially the most engaging quiver, nose-hook the lure so the physique and tail can transfer freely.

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