These are some of the most innovative and effective soft baits, even if they look a little strange.
Anglers know that their success is largely hinged on one thing: their choice of bait.
Skills, location and time of day can only bring you so far if you're using the wrong bait. With today's technological advances in soft bait creation, the look and feel of these fish-catching tools are becoming more lifelike by the day.
Some would even say they're looking a little too crazy. We decided to shake out some of those myths, and gather some of the best performing soft baits for your perusal.
Take a look at the slideshow to see our choices, and include any we may have missed in the comments below.
The Double-Tail Hula Grub is a combination of two great things: the Original Senko stick bait from pro angler Gary Yamamoto, and a double tailed spider grub. The effect is a crawfish-style imitation that can be Texas rigged or on a jighead.
The color choices are out of this world, with more than 20 to make your decision difficult. They shape will produce a lot of movement, and cause bass and similar big eaters to go nuts.
Did you know game fish absolutely hate turtles? They're known to raid fish eggs, and the territorial instinct of largemouth bass will kick in upon first sight. They aren't even hungry and they'll still go after this bait!
Go with the Bombshell Turtle in the Juvenile Green color combo, and use it during the spawn. You won't regret the choice.
Most fishermen know that hellgrammite imitators have been used for a while, and are ideal for trout and slabs. Crappie and sunfish just love these ugly bugs, and enticing them with a tasty-looking meal is easy if you've got the right choice at the end of your line.
Put Mister Twister's innovations to good use with the Twister Mite, and use it on a drop shot rig for the best results.
You won't have to worry about thick vegetation with the Trigger X® Aggression Flappin' Bug, a truly versatile bait.
They're infused with Bio-salt and use Ultrabite Aggression Pheromones that mimic the natural predator versus prey response. Count on high class durability and bass strikes for days.
With the Go-To DT Skirt you get a great combo of twin legged (to mimic crawfish) and skirted baits to produce an enticing meal no matter what game fish you're after.
Take on trout, smallmouths and everything in between with this little monster, and go with the Pumpkin Pepper Green color for reliable results.
Matted weeds don't stand a chance against the River2Sea Bully Wa Frog, mainly due to its stealthy landing capabilities. It will walk across open water with ease and hook with the smallest bite thanks to sturdy Gamakatsu hooks on the larger model.
Try the Coot color for something different, a red and black combo that raises attention from even the most sluggish fish.
We'd suggest rigging the Strike King® Rage Tail™ Toad weightless on a 4/0 or 6/0 wide-gap hook. Be sure to rig it "eyes up" for the best effect.
The action produced by these baits is impressive, and sending it through lily pads doesn't end in bad snags.
The huge flapper claws on BPS's Baby Crack Craws drive the bass nuts, and it's infused with salt and scent to add to the enticement.
You'll find that with some experience, this will end up being the go-to craw bait you've been looking for.
A strange but simple design adds to the appeal of the Elite Chunk, and it's proven to get strikes from big game fish time and time again.
The meaty head is pretty durable and the claw arms pulse and flap with the slightest movement. It's the sort of bait that adds the right ingredients to your tackle box.
It's in the eyes... The Pesky Perch from BPS is super realistic, and it can be rigged in a wide variety of styles.
Bass that are looking for this kind of bait fish won't be able to pass the Pesky Perch up, so try to match the color to the species found in your area and get ready for the line tugging to begin.
Triple your pleasure and present what appears to be a mini school of bait fish with the Mann's Three-For-All. The Hardnose technology that holds them together up front also keeps them far enough apart to maintain the realistic look and feel.
Despite the triple threat, the bait only uses one hook and can be used to target a bunch of different species, including some saltwater game fish.
Savage Gear's Alien Eel V2 is an upgrade on the original Alien Eel, with enhanced action and swimming movements. Whether on retrieve or the drop, bass and other game species won't be able to resist.
One model has a clip-on double hook option, and the mini side fins give it even more appeal, to both anglers and the fish they're after.
The ribbed beaver-style body on the YUM F2 Wooly Bug is added to the YUM trademark beavertail, and the end result is one mean soft bait. It uses one of the most effective attractants on the market.
The water displacement produced by the Wooly Bug rivals any other of its size, and the bass in your home waters won't know what hit 'em.
Taking some cues from the fly fishing trade, the Berkley PowerBait Power Nymph is a great trout or panfish option. They only stretch a little more than an inch long, but are touted as the kind of bait fish simply won't spit out.
We'd put money on the Green Chartreuse or Pumpkin Chartreuse colors to get the best results, but any of the colors look like something a trout or slab would pounce on.
The appendages on the X-Factor Muskrat are as lifelike as it gets and give some great action. It's also one of the more durable soft baits on this list, and can stand up to a fair share of strikes.
You can even split the legs for additional action, but as is this is one of those baits that should be in every tackle box.