The soft-plastic stickbait is a category of game-changing bass fishing lures. Here's your guide on how to rig them.
It's a simple finesse bait to fish, and one of the most effective ways to catch a boatload of bass.
Cylindrical in shape, narrow at each end and often called by the brand name Senko, the soft-plastic stickbait has an alluring charm both largemouth and smallmouth bass find hard to resist.
They might not seem as exciting as topwater lures, and they don't have a lot of defining characteristics, but stickbaits can out-fish hard baits like a jerkbait or crankbait if you know what you're doing.
Like any soft-plastic bait on the market, rigging options are endless. Here are our top four choices that are guaranteed to catch fish.
1. Wacky Rig
As the most commonly used method when fishing a soft-plastic stickbait, the wacky rig is easy to work and always produces fish. The technique involves piercing a hook through the midsection of the bait (with a weedless approach if conditions call for it).
Often called the "do nothing" rig, fishing a wacky-style weightless stickbait is as simple as casting it out into open water and letting it wiggle and wobble as it slowly sinks. Anglers should also utilize intermittent raises of the rod tip, which will bring the bait dancing upward and forward.
If the water you're fishing is relatively deep, or if you want the bait to sink quicker, you can use a weighted hook. A common household nail is another alternative, which you can insert into one or both ends.
2. Texas Rig
The profile of a soft-plastic stickbait is ideal for pitching, flipping and casting around cover and structure. A pegged or screw-in worm weight or sinker, in tandem with an appropriately sized worm hook, does the trick.
Experiment with the weight of lead or Tungsten, depending on the cover or depth of the water you're fishing. Jigging or hopping the bait will do the trick, too.
3. Shaky Head
If bass are in a finicky mood, a soft stickbait rigged on a shaky head is sure to grab their attention. Choose light jigs coupled with a 5-inch bait to tease and tempt bottom-hugging fish.
Work this presentation slowly along the bottom, delicately shaking the bait to give it a quivering, lifelike appearance.
4. Ned Rig
A hot technique that's taking the bass fishing world by storm, the Ned Rig is one presentation bass love to chomp down on. Simply take a jig head and thread on half a soft stickbait. It's that easy.
Work this bait in a variety of fashions: hop it, drag it, swim it or dead-stick it. The bass don't seem to care.
Soft baits, such as the four outlined here, are best thrown on a spinning rod with braided line.
Give soft plastic stickbaits a go this fishing season. You can find them in a plethora of colors, like green pumpkin, watermelon, and (seemingly) a million others. They'll be effective in clear water or dirty, and you can use almost any fishing line.
They truly are a wonder lure, and deserve a spot in every angler's tackle box.
For reference, we used Berkley 'The General' soft stickbaits for all of these examples.
Did you enjoy this post? CLICK HERE to view more articles by Justin Hoffman. You can also check out his Photography Site Justin Hoffman Outdoors, as well as follow him on Facebook Justin Hoffman Outdoors, Instagram hoffmanoutdoors, Twitter @HoffmanOutdoors, or subscribe to his YouTube channel Justin Hoffman.