Although I mostly use naturale colors, I've caught on a spectrum of colors. I use anything from a 3 inch Senko to a 10 inch Manns Jelly worm
Without knowing where you're fishing, what you're fishing for (I'm guessing Bass) or how, I'd offer this advice..
First have polorized glasses. Observe the fish, watch for a reaction
Second, pitch to cover.
Third, No matter what speed you're retrieving at, slow it down.
Fourth, Watch your line carefully, you may be missing takes. Bass don't bite so much as they inhale (suck in) Keep a little slack in your line, and watch for any movement. Also watch the drop, sometimes your line will stop sinking before your bait hits the bottom, that could be a take..
The best advice I have is find a nice clear lake, get the glasses mentioned above, and you can see your bait coming in a few feet out. Just pay attention and ask yourself, does that look natural on the way it? Every plastic is fished differently and there are multiple way to fish any one bait, and each season you will find more success with some than others. However one constantly keeps catching them, worms, therefore I would make this one the priiority bait to master first.
I use a four and a 1/4 inch senko in either green pumpkin or junebug. Cast it next to weed line or submerged cover of any sort. The fish really like to eat it on the fall so watch your line closely. After it hits the bottom wait about 5 seconds then pull it up then let it fall and repeat this pattern until its completeky reeled in.
I agree with FearNofish. If you are just starting out with plastics, your best bet would be worms. A five inch Texas rigged Senko is hard to beat and it will work in just about any conditions. If you're fishing clear water go with more natural colors (green pumpkin, watermelon seed), in more stained waters use darker colors (junebug, black, purple).
Work it slow and until you get a better feel for it, set the hook on anything that even remotely feels like a hit. Sometimes you will feel a distinct tick when the fish takes the bait, other times you will only feel pressure or weight on the end of your line. Like anything else, it takes time and practice so don't give up if you aren't successful your first few times out. Keep at it and you will catch fish. Good luck and let us know how you do.
Reply by: *gone fishin* Posted: 6/15/2012 12:21:44 AM Points: 423
Right now with fish being in prespawn mode the will be deep hanging around sructure. A worm is the best tactic for this time a 7" berkley power worm in motor oil will do, I use a 3/8 ounce ttungsten bullet weight. I also flip visible cover with a baby brush hog or a sweet beaver. Just keep at it plastics catch ALOT of fish about 85% of all my fish have came off of a plastic bait. Use at least 15 lb fluorocarbon you willl be hauling fish out of cover and i like to get my fish up in a hurry a 7' mh rod is perfect for most plastic applications.
Reply by: TELE-CASTER Posted: 6/15/2012 12:39:14 AM Points: 4257
I agree with most everything "gonefishin" said, but my recent experience at most places I'm fishing, the fish are "post spawn", not 'pre' spawn... its males and females still holding together, on the frye pods... I've caught many male/female combos in the last week... they are guarding the frye hatch...
I am new to the plastic world and bass fishing as of March this year. I have found the best luck rigging up Senko's (I use 4" & 5" in watermelon w/ red flakes and green pumpkin w/ red flakes) in a weightless texas rig w/ 1/0 offset shank hooks. The Senko's are heavy enough to cast a good ways to hit structure and what not. 95% of my strikes come while it is on the fall. If it manages to make it all the way to the bottom, I usually let is rest for 10-15 second before I start working it.
As mentioned by others, I basically jig it up off the bottom (doesnt take much at all without any weight on the rig) and let it fall back down without reeling in any slack. You can see the line pull out slowly as the Senko flutters back to the bottom. The key I found was to pay super close attention to the line as it falls back for any "different" action than the standard fall. If I notice a difference, I pull up the little bit of extra slack in the line (typically only 1 turn of the reel) and set the hook.
As mentioned, I am new to bass fishing as of March and I have landed more bass than I can count down at P-lo using this technique. I look for any type of sturcture in the water and just cast right into it. With the Senko rigged weedless you dont really have to worry about snagging so you can let it fall and work its magic.
Hope that helps. Anyone feel free to correct me as I have pretty much self tought myself how to use plastics with a little help in the "rigging" from youtube and Jim down at Xstream Bait & Tackle to confirm what I saw online...
fishing plastics is by far my favorite way to fish and after years of trying I figure out what Colorado bass like I've come down to 2 different rigs that almost always produce good bass....most important is color...I almost exclusively use watermelon...when nothing else is working I throw on my go to watermelon worm....confidence in your bait is key (watermelon is mine)
first - check out buckeye flick it hooks...it's a wacky rig set up that I rig with a 5" senko (always watermelon)....the football style head allows you to twitch it along the bottom as well as traditional wacky rig fishing....
second - 7" powerworm (watermelon watermelon watermelon) texas rig it with a 3/0 wide gap worm hook and a 1/8 oz. bullet weight....cast out let it sink and work it along the bottom....work the presentation from fast to slow
2 things that are important pay close attention to your line...I use fireline tracer braid so I can see when a fish picks up the bait and takes off...second make your casts in relation to structure and cover whether it's in and around down trees or the edges of weed beds...bass are ambush predators so they're going to want to sit in a protected concealed spot and wait for something to come to them...
Cachem All knows. Hands down Yamamoto Senkos. Use a 3 inch with a #2 or #1 offset worm hook or 4" with a 1/0 or 2/0(4" will cast better for you), no weight, on 6-10 lb test. Make sure you get Owner or Gamakatsu hooks. It makes a difference. And only Senkos. Other knockoff baits will melt or oversoften your Senkos if kept in the same box,nd they don't act the same. Make sure your bait hangs perfectly straight on the hook or they will spin and act improperly. Watermelon/Gold Flake, Watermelon or Green Pumpkin and Black Flake, and straight Black will cover you until you get going. Use black during low light or dark. The greens any time. Cast and be ready for the bite on the sink. Then move it slowly along the bottom. The slower the better or just sitting still. Set the hook extremely hard on any movement or tap. Preset your drag so the line won't break and if a little goes out on the hookset, you know your setting the hook properly. If they aren't biting that, they're probably not there, so, move a little. Fan cast all over the place, because there is probably something holding fish that you can't see. Also hit the shoreline cover. If you get a bite in one spot, work that spot several times. I've already gone through 200+ Senkos this year, mostly on Smallmouth, but they work the same for both species. That ought to tell you that they work. Best of luck to you. If you want to go fishing with me in my bass boat, I'll get you on the Smallmouth with an occasional Largemouth mixed in. The Smallmouth are a great way to learn the techniques.You don't need to bring anything unless you want to use your own rod and reel. I'll check this for a coupleof days to see if you respond.
I dont fish a ton of soft plastics, but I just got into fishing w/ Berkley Gulp Alive.... that stuff is amazing! I wouldnt have ever used it before, because I assumed it was a fancy version of bait. However, this stuff is extremely tuff, durable and the catch rates with this bait are amazing. Just for fun while at antero i used live worms under a bobber on one rod, and a 3 inch minnow imitation (berkley gulp alive) on another rod suspended under a bobber. Now, I assume that a floating minnow immitiaon is not as natural as a worm or a leech, but i swear that the berkley gulp out fished live worms on average 10 to 1. It is very quality and I recommend it to anyone....also I did some research on this stuff, it isnt made out silicone like most of your soft plastics are, and therefore the material is more pourous...thus allowing the scent to penetrate into the bait.... this allows for the lure/ bait to stay in the water w/out re-applying more scent.
By the way, if you buy the pint version, it comes in plastic jar with alot of liquid "scent".....I dropped the dang jar of scent and it soaked into the carpet floor in my boat... lol, now my boat smells like stink bait! lol....
Dark Green (crawdad color) Strike King 3" Tube Jig. 1/16 or 1/8 tube weight tied right to the line. This is all i have used this year from April to today. Fishing the same small pond and continue to catch fish every day, 3-4 in 30 minutes. Fish SLOW like a crawdad twich, twich, sit. Twich sit, twich, twich.
I can almost guarantee you are missing bites. It took me a full season to get it. Your rod tip will...not....bend. It will...not....move. You have to have your finger lightly touching the line right at the reel. You will feel a "tic" on the line. Reel down and set the hook hard. You didn't elaborate but my issue was I was a trout fisherman and waited for the rod tip to bend. With bass it very rarely does. VERY rarely. That little tic on the line is the time to set the hook.
Reply by: nightangler Posted: 6/21/2012 10:26:48 AM Points: 1278
Itchy - that has been my biggest challenge so far as well. I grew up fishing torut and it is a totally different type of fishing. Thanks for the tip on keeping your finger on the line by the reel to feel for the tic. Hopefully that will pay off with more fish :-)
Reply by: Dangly Posted: 6/21/2012 11:01:04 AM Points: 14
Yes! Itchy! I totally agree. another thing about the "take"-sometimes you won't even feel the tick- watch the line. Any movement that is unexpected and do a gentle lift- if there is any resistance at all set the hook- does two things if there is a fish you'll hook him, if not that quick movement follwed by the bait falling back to bottom will often trigger a strike. When I say watch the line this is what I mean- watch not only where the line enters the water but watch the "belly" of the line: any shake at all in either spot and set the hook.
Reply by: itchyreelfinger Posted: 6/21/2012 11:11:56 AM Points: 906
Night, what you are feeling is the bass sucking the bait in. You'll have 1-3 seconds to set the hook. Don't wait for it to happen twice. As soon as he realizes that its not real, he'll spit it out. Think about it like this: If you picked up a piece of realistic looking plastic fruit, it wouldn't take you long to realize it wasn't real. Same thing with a fish. They'll suck it in, realize its not real and spit it out. Thats how much time you have to set the hook.
Dangly, you are spot on. There have been times that I felt nothing but saw the line at the entry point "swimming" to one side or the other. DEFINATELY a fish on!!