How do you fish with soft plastic lures?

How do you fish with soft plastic lures?

How to Fish with Soft Plastic Lures: A Comprehensive Guide


When it comes to fishing, one of the most effective techniques is using soft plastic lures. These versatile baits can mimic a wide range of natural prey, making them irresistible to various fish species. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, learning how to fish with soft plastic lures can greatly enhance your chances of success. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps and techniques to maximize your fishing experience with soft plastics.

Choosing the Right Soft Plastic Lure

Before you hit the water, it’s crucial to select the appropriate soft plastic lure for your fishing needs. Consider the following factors when making your choice:

1. Size and Shape

The size and shape of the soft plastic lure should match the natural prey in the water. If you’re targeting smaller fish or finesse fishing, opt for smaller and slimmer profiles. For larger fish or in situations where you want to attract attention, go for larger and bulkier lures.

How do you fish with soft plastic lures?

2. Color

Choose lure colors that imitate the local baitfish or other prevalent forage in the area. In clear water, natural and transparent colors work well, while brighter and more vibrant colors are ideal for murky or stained water.

3. Action and Tail Design

Consider the action and tail design of the soft plastic lure. Different designs produce varying swimming motions, such as paddling, wiggling, or darting. Experiment with different actions to see what attracts the fish in your specific fishing location.

Rigging Soft Plastic Lures

Properly rigging your soft plastic lure is essential to achieve the desired presentation and maximize its effectiveness. Here are some common rigging techniques:

1. Texas Rig

The Texas rig is a popular and versatile setup for soft plastic lures. Insert the hook point into the top of the lure and then bury it back into the body, making it weedless. This rigging style is ideal for fishing in heavy cover or vegetation.

2. Carolina Rig

The Carolina rig is excellent for covering larger areas and probing deeper water. Slide a bullet-shaped weight onto your mainline, followed by a bead and a swivel. Attach a leader to the swivel, then tie your hook and rig your soft plastic lure. The Carolina rig allows the lure to move more freely, providing a subtle and enticing presentation.

3. Drop Shot Rig

The drop shot rig is perfect for fishing in deeper water columns. Tie a hook onto your mainline, leaving a tag end. Attach a weight to the tag end, creating a dropper loop. Position the hook above the weight, leaving a gap between the two. Rig your soft plastic lure on the hook, and the weight will keep it just above the bottom, enticing fish that feed higher in the water column.

 fish with soft plastic lures

Techniques for Fishing with Soft Plastic Lures

Once you’ve selected the right soft plastic lure and rigged it properly, it’s time to hit the water and start fishing. Here are some effective techniques to try:

1. Slow and Steady Retrieve

A slow and steady retrieve is a go-to technique for many soft plastic lures. Cast your bait out and retrieve it at a steady pace, allowing the lure to imitate a natural swimming motion. This technique is particularly effective for attracting fish that are in an active feeding mood.

2. Bottom Bouncing

For fish that are holding close to the bottom, try the bottom bouncing technique. Cast your soft plastic lure out and let it sink to the desired depth. Then, use a series of gentle lifts and drops of your rod tip to make the lure bounce along the bottom. This mimics a wounded or struggling prey, enticing fish to strike.

3. Jigging

Jigging is an effective technique when fishing in deeper water or when targeting suspended fish. Cast your soft plastic lure out and let it sink to the desired depth. Then, use quick and upward jerks of your rod tip to create an erratic and enticing motion. Allow the lure to fall back down and repeat the process. This technique imitates a wounded baitfish or a struggling prey, triggering a predatory response from fish. For fishing tackle and supplies soft plastic lures see here.

4. Skipping

Skipping soft plastic lures is a technique used to reach areas under docks, overhangs, or other structures where fish may seek shelter. Hold your rod tip low and parallel to the water’s surface. With a quick and underhand motion, flick your wrist to propel the lure horizontally across the water’s surface. The lure should skip and slide, landing in hard-to-reach areas where fish are likely hiding.

Tips for Success

To increase your chances of success when fishing with soft plastic lures, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Experiment with Retrieve Speed

Fish can have varying preferences when it comes to the speed at which they want to chase their prey. Experiment with different retrieve speeds, ranging from slow to fast, to determine what triggers the most strikes on a given day.

2. Use Scented Attractants

Adding a scent to your soft plastic lure can enhance its effectiveness by creating a realistic and enticing smell. Apply a scented attractant specifically designed for fishing lures to increase your chances of attracting fish.

3. Pay Attention to Water Temperature

Water temperature plays a significant role in fish behavior. In colder water, fish tend to be more sluggish and may require a slower presentation. In warmer water, they are more active and may respond well to a faster retrieve. Monitor the water temperature and adjust your fishing techniques accordingly.

4. Observe and Learn from Nature

Take note of the natural prey and the behavior of fish in your fishing location. Observe the movements, colors, and patterns of the local baitfish and try to imitate them with your soft plastic lures. Learning from nature can provide valuable insights into what will attract fish in your specific area.


Fishing with soft plastic lures is a versatile and effective technique that can greatly enhance your angling experience. By choosing the right lure, properly rigging it, and using various fishing techniques, you can entice a wide range of fish species. Remember to experiment, observe, and adapt your approach based on the conditions and behavior of the fish. With practice and persistence, you’ll become proficient at fishing with soft plastic lures and increase your chances of a successful catch. Happy fishing!

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