Rigging and Presenting Late Summer and Early Fall Soft Plastics
In the minds of many bass anglers they think of late summer and early fall as the season of the crankbait. Others associate the changing season as the time for spinnerbaits and topwater lures. And still with the changing leaves, shorter days and cooler night some anglers throw a football head jig in honor of the football season getting started. Each of these popular lures produces bass at the end of summer and on into the fall. But for the most consistent bass presentations are those made using soft plastic baits. And there isn?t any bait that can consistently out produce soft plastics on those tough late summer, early fall days when bass refuse to chase lures. Guides and professional anglers have proven time and again that the classic go to of soft plastics cannot be beat in this season of change.
There are many types of soft plastic baits that can be fished with endless presentation choices for the early fall bass. These versatile baits offer anglers choices to suit the conditions with various rigging techniques to suit the area and the time they choose to fish them. PowerTeam Lures in just one of the many soft plastic manufactures that recognizes the full potential that the soft plastic baits can offer an angler and that there are several ways to catch bass. They offer some of the best soft plastic baits on the market today. With their truly unique designs that were created for the hardcore angler that has proven to put more fish in livewells. From the tournament pro that relies on a winning to the weekend warrior looking to land a bass of a lifetime, PowerTeam Lures continues to deliver success. There lures are designed for flipping, pitching, punching, Carolina rigging, Texas rigging, drop shotting, wacky rigging and even throwing on a shaky head jig. PowerTeam lures has many baits that will excel in this season, here a just a few and some tips for rigging them.
The 6? Gator with its broad "offset" tail creates vibration and creates a lethargic swaying motion that bass can see and feel. The buoyant plastic PowerTeam has created along with the forward leg design keeps the Gator nose down and tail up at a 45 degree angle that imitates a feeding lizard which is an enemy of bass especially when they are on the bed and throughout the year bass will greet a lizard with an aggressive reaction strike. A great way to fish a Gator in the late summer is on a Carolina rig with bullet weight on at least a 2 foot leader. Rig weedless on a 2/0 to 3/0 extra wide gap hook and hook sets will be a sure thing. Fish the Gator on ledges and points in eight to fourteen feet of water when the water is the clearest in early fall.
The 3.5? and 4.5? Food Chain Tubes when Texas rigged with a 3/0 ? 4/0 Extra Wide Gap hook and a bullet weight can imitate a crawfish very well and bass love to eat crawfish. The modified body texture and skirt length arms of our 3.5? and 4.5? Food Chain Tubes convinces the bass that it?s one of their favorite meals?the crawfish. The 4.5? Food Chain Tube has a meaty profile, a ½ inch solid head (for Texas rigging), and will quickly become your favorite tube for flippin? grass and cover when you?re looking for a bigger bite. The compact profile of the 3.5? Food Chain Tube is perfect for a downsized finesse presentation and has a ¼? solid head which allows for drop shotting, Texas rigging, mini C rigging , shaky head and hopping them on a tube head. These baits are serious producers when fished near shallow wood cover or isolated weed beds. These are a great lure for fishing fall cold fronts, when fish hold tight to cover. The baits can provide a slow spiraling fall that is achieved when rigged with a 1/8 to 3/16 ounce bullet weight that is irresistible to bass. These are best fished on a medium heavy worm rod with 12- 14 pound test monofilament line.
The PowerTeam Lures 4.5" Grub proves that not all grubs are created equal. If you're looking for a grub with a little extra kick, PowerTeam Lures has just what every angler needs. They have added extra weight to the tail of the 4.5" Grub with a staggered offset design that creates a "thump" as it ripples through the water. They have then cut the bulky body with a forward ribbed pattern to ensure the displacement of the maximum amount of water with every crank of the reel handle. Rig it on a 1/4 ounce jig head, scrounger head, or use it as a trailer on your favorite wire bait when bass are schooling bass in open water of the fall. If you can find bass breaking on minnows cast past the school and allow the grub to sink a couple of a foot or two before retrieving the grub with short, rapid twitches. Grubs can also be jigged on a tight line for less active bass, this classic technique has caught many fish over the years.
For those days in late summer and early fall when the bass are in a finicky mood, a finesse presentation can be the only way to turn a bad day into a great day on the water. Its times like these when the subtle horizontal quiver of a drop shot presentation. When PowerTeam Lures decided to add a drop shot bait to their line up, they paired up with professional angler, JP DeRose from the World Fishing Network and created a bait that literally mesmerizes bass with its action. At 3.6? long, the JP Hammer Shad has a profile that is at the top of the menu for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Combined with its perfected effortless action and neutral buoyancy, the JP Hammer Shad makes it unbelievably easy for fishing on a drop shot rig. Along with the JP Hammer Shad, PowerTeam has introduced the Finicky Tickler in their lineup. With either of these baits on the end of a drop shot hook will instigate those stubborn bass to strike. Even weary and negative bass can be enticed into a strike with a quivering presentation of a drop shot bait. These baits can be deadly when fished points and flats in clear lakes in the fall. They can be fished on a drop shot rig or a shaky head for an even more subtle presentation. Bait fish like shad thrive in the fall, and these finesse baits are a convincing mimic of baitfish. When fished in a drop shot rig they are best with at least a 24-36? leader between the weight and the bait. Cast on a 6 1/2 foot medium-action spinning combo loaded with 6 to 8 pound test mono filament line. Slowly crawl these baits on the bottom and say good bye to the phrase "the fish just weren't biting today".
It's no secret that big worms are responsible for numerous wins on the tournament trail in late summer and early fall. The PowerTeam Lures 10" Ribbon Hinge Worm is the front runner of modern designs in the classic soft plastic worms. The overall size of this worm displaces a large amount of water, and the buoyancy of the plastic creates a sway in the hinged tail with a quirky action that falls in between that of a ribbontail and a straight tail worm. Whether you Texas rig it, Carolina rig it, or even throw it weightless on a 4/0 hook, this large profile worm will demand the attention from bass. These oversized worms will catch trophies after dark in late summer on into the stained water of lakes in the fall. Fish areas with isolated wood or submerged grass cover with the oversized hinged tail on a 7 foot jig rod loaded with 12 to 20 pound line.
Rigging soft plastics and knowing which terminal tackle is needed can be confusing to anglers that are beginners. I hope that todays tip can be of some help.
First the straight shank hooks in sizes 2/0 to 4 /0 are great for Large worms, crawfish, creature baits and lizards when used for Texas rigging with bullet sinker or a Carolina rig. The best thing about these hooks are there hook set. However baits will not stay in place with offset hooks, you will need to adjust the bait often.
Fine wire off set hooks in sizes of 1 to 2/0 Are great for worms and crawfish when Texas rigged with a bullet sinker or a drop shot rig. The finesse baits hold up well but the wire hook is not the best for heavy cover.
A bait saver hook in a 2/0 to 5/0 size is good for Crawfish, lizards worms, creature baits, and fat grubs. These also perform well when Texas rigged and the bait stays put. The bad thing about about these hook they take away from the natural presentation with more hook showing.
Weighted hooks in sizes from 2/0 to 4/0 work great on worms, and sink baits. These hooks are designed to fish deep at a faster retrieve giving soft plastics a more realistic profile. The draw back to these baits is the exposed weight is viable in clear water, but the faster retrieve compensates for this.
The drop shot hook in a size 6 to 1 is ideal for dropping minnows, finesse worms, and grubs. By nose hooking the bait in the nose with an exposed point is the rigging of choice for many anglers. This presentation gives a realistic visual appearance. But if the bass takes the tail of the bait, it can pull off the hook.
The EWG or extra wide gap off set hook in a 2/0 to 5/0 size again works great with finesse worms, minnows and grubs rigged weed less or on a Carolina rig. These hook are a good for many soft plastic bait applications but looses some of the sure hook sets the straight shank provides.
In this season versatile baits can mean the success of an angler on the water. The season of change as summer fades to fall after Labor Day can be the absolute best time to be on the water. Less pressure from pleasure boats and more active bass from the longer cooler nights can make some of the greatest days for fishing. These rigging tips only brush the surface of the versatility that soft plastic baits offer anglers. I will share more techniques in upcoming post. For more tips like this read "Tip of the Day post on facebook
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