If you’ve never tried or even if you’ve just lost faith in tossing around soft plastics for inshore game fish… you are seriously missing out! New technologies have made fishing with soft plastics easier and more effective than ever, especially in the way of scent technology. Scented lures can be fished just like your standard soft plastics but offer quite a few advantages as well. Here are a few tips and techniques that will help you get the best out of your “softer side”.
Many a fish has fallen to the good ol’ soft plastic rigged on a jighead. This is a great way to cover a lot of ground as you can cast a heavier jighead a long way and bounce it through deeper creek holes fairly quickly. One effective way to use a scented soft plastic on a jighead is to fish it just like live bait by letting the lure sit in the bottom of those creek holes. Fish will grab the lure while it’s just sitting there or being carried by the current. It beats fishing with a live bait in that situation because many times your shrimp or minnow will get chewed off by smaller fish before the bigger ones have a chance to find it. The plastic will stay put and can be reused for more than one fish. Also when trying to make those extra long casts you don’t have to worry about flinging your shrimp or minnow off the hook.
One of my favorite and most versatile ways of rigging a soft plastic is on a weedless hook. When you’re fishing spartina grass, turtle grass, oysters, or any kind of structure, a weedless rig comes in very handy. Using a scented soft plastic rigged weedless will greatly improve your ability to thoroughly cover those areas and catch more fish. Whether it’s a pot hole in the grass or an edge of an oyster bar you can literally stop the lure and let it sit in those hard to reach, but very fishy, areas and let the fish pick up the scent of the lure. Letting it sit in those areas for a few moments can sometimes mean the difference between getting that big bite or just moving on without knowing the fish was ever there.
Another rig that has gained quite a bit of popularity over the last few years is the drop shot rig. Look at any redfish tournament professional’s rods and more than likely they’ll have at least one drop shot rig ready to go. The rig is pretty simple and consists of a weight rigged on the end of the line with your lure/hook tied in anywhere from a few inches to a few feet above it. You can toss a drop shot rig a country mile and it also allows your lure to be fished in thick grass or structure by suspending your lure above the bottom. Just toss it out and then let the current move the lure until it gets slammed. This is an awesome way to fish a scented soft plastic and has won me some serious cash in some big redfish tournaments.
Scented plastics are here to stay and make a valuable asset to anyone’s tackle box… Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your “softer side”!