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Soft vs. Hard: What Bait Works for Bass?

What bait works for bass: soft baits or hard baits?

The great bait debate continues to ripple through pro and hobby fishing forums across the web. Every bass angler wants an edge for his or her next fishing trip.

RELATED: Wildlife Department Says Maine's Ban of Soft Plastic Baits Unnecessary

Hard baits or soft baits: Which catches the best bass?

Soft baits

Those who cite soft baits as the only baits to use when fishing for large or small mouth bass usually argue these reasons:

  • They snag less often than hard baits
  • They cost less
  • They maneuver easier

The worm will never lose the top position for favorite bass fishing bait. Whether real or manufactured, bass cannot resist a fat worm dropping in front of it and wiggling around.

Put a worm on a Texas Rig and cast into weed beds or other underwater cover to entice bass in the pre-spawning days of early spring, or cast a spinner on a windy day for mid- to topwater action.

Jigging in the shallows in the early spring before or after the spawn can attract a monster bass that strikes when the jig first enters the water.

Hard baits

Other anglers only use hard baits for bass fishing. The reasons they give include:

  • They last longer than soft baits
  • They look more like fish bass naturally feed on
  • Their noise and action get more strikes

The flexibility of crank baits make them popular. In the winter, drop them on the top of weed beds; deflect them off rocks or wood to make noise that attracts attention. Crank baits work in deep water and shallow water for fishing during cold or hot months.

Popper baits make noise to attract attention. The method of popping the bait sharply at intervals as an angler reels in the line also sets off the rattlers built inside and most strikes occur during these movements.

RELATED: Bait Battle: Carolina Rig vs Texas Rig

Use hard baits with coloring similar to the bait fish found in the area you're angling in. Bright greens and oranges seem to attract bass whether using hard or soft bait. Float baits, like floating minnows, get the most hits if they have white bottoms.

In areas with large crappie or bluegill populations, hard baits with the same general shapes and colorings fool bass into striking even when they have taken to deeper water.

The success of bait varies by region, season and weather. Bass fishing experts learned by trying different baits in all types of conditions what bait works for their fishing style.

What's your bait of choice? Do you use both hard and soft baits?

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Soft vs. Hard: What Bait Works for Bass?