Springtime soft plastics can lure largemouths


Staff Photo by Brett A. Clark Mike Sweeney, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011.


By Mike Sweeney

Saturday, April 14, 2018

When I am fishing in our area for largemouth one of the things that I have tied on is a soft plastic bait of one kind or another.

This time of year the weather can play hardball and when the front passes through and the skies clear a soft plastic bait will work when nothing wants to bite.

When fishing soft plastics I tend to have only a few different kinds such as Flukes, worms and bug baits.

The flukes I fish without a weight because it resembles a baitfish and I like to twitch the rod tip to make it dance.

The action is amazing and there is no doubt that it catches fish.

The best colors are pearl with a little sparkle and blue for when they short strike the white.

I use a wide gap hook and run the hook through the middle of the head and out the bottom of the bait.

Then bring it through the slit in the bottom and back up on the top with a slight skin hook to hide the point.

You want to keep the bait straight so make sure you hit it in the middle.

The worms and bug baits I fish the same way which is Texas rigged with a weight pegged to the head of the bait and slid over the eye of the hook.

I use the same wide gap hook and run it through just like the fluke and bury the hook point a little deeper into the bait.

These baits can be pitched into heavy cover and worked through with very few snags because the point is protected by the bait.

This also means that when you set the hook you have to set it hard to get the hook to penetrate the fish.

If you have never fished a soft plastic bait the bite can be deceiving with some just getting heavy while other bites you can watch the line run away.

What I tell people is it never hurts to set the hook so watch your line where it enters the water and when in doubt set the hook.

What’s biting, where...

The fishing reports for the offshore guys are picking up and the more they go out the better they get at finding the tuna.

A boat from Pirates Cove went out Tuesday and brought back 315 pounds of tuna to the docks.

The fish are out there you just have to go and get them.

On the beaches there was some good drum fishing at the point over the weekend but then it died after the storm on Saturday night.

There is some puffer fish and even some mullet being caught off of ramp 48 and 50 but all the piers are reporting skates and dogfish.

It should improve if and when spring decides to show up.

Locally we are still talking about the big largemouth bite that has been on the pre-spawn stage for the past month.

With this week’s steady rise in temperatures it should bring the fish shallow by the weekend.

Moving baits like flukes and square bill crank baits will find the bite but don’t leave home without a soft plastic bait for flipping wood and stumps up on the flats. The crappie have shown up with all this nasty weather and they are shallow.

Stump flats and brush piles are the best bet but always watch your depth finder on the first drop off to about 8 feet.

They will sometimes hang on those drop offs just like the white perch.

If anyone gets out this week send me a picture and a report to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.