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Fishing with Kenny | Soft Plastics for Every Situation

By Nathan Coker
In Fishing with Kenny
Feb 29th, 2024

article by Kenny Covington

Alure in a tackle box is nothing more than a tool is to a toolbox.  Each one has its own identity and a specific job it is used for.  Some lures are specialty items, such as a weedless spoon or even a frog for example.  Most of the time, both of these lures are used in specific situations for them to perform at their best.  With this being the backdrop of this months “Fishing with Kenny” article, let’s look at some soft plastics that will produce for you year round, regardless of where you are fishing.

A soft plastic lure can be categorized in several ways.  There are creature baits, stick worms, tubes, fluke style baits, plastic worms, lizards, swimbaits and craw worms, all of which are popular choices.  The fascinating thing about each of these lures is most of them, when used properly and with the correct technique, will catch fish twelve months out of the year.  Agreed, some of them are better at specific times but that still doesn’t take away from their yearlong effectiveness.  Let us take a look.

One of the most popular soft plastics in the last several years is the “creature bait.”  Two of the more popular lures in this category is the Zoom Brush Hog and the Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver.  It has been said that more fish have been caught in our area on a Zoom Baby Brush Hog than any other soft plastic and I have no reason to dispute this.  However, over the past several years, I am willing to bet a Sweet Beaver runs a very close second.  Both lures are effective in all water situations, depths, and seasons, usually by flipping and pitching the lures around any visible cover.  Watermelon, Green Pumpkin, and Black Neon are the more popular colors and adding dye to the tips of the lures only adds to their effectiveness.

One of the forgotten soft plastics, largely due to the effectiveness of the aforementioned Brush  Hog and Beaver, is the six or eight inch lizard.  This was and still is, a big bass killer!  A lot of fishermen believe the lizard to be a springtime only choice, but I know of anglers who fish it year-round with great success.  One of the better characteristics of the lizard are the numerous ways it can be fished.  Flip it, cast it, Carolina rig with it, float it over the top of grass, use it for bed fishing; as you can see, its effectiveness is hard to dispute.  Like all other soft plastics, there are colors abound but watermelon/chartreuse, cotton candy/ chartreuse and South African Special are really the only colors you will need.

Arguably the deadliest soft plastic of all times is the Senko style worm.  There are many versions, all of them will catch fish, but to make things easier let’s focus on the Yamamoto Senko and the Yum Dinger. The Senko is heavily impregnated with salt and is a bit softer than the Dinger.  While personally I have caught a lot of fish on a Senko, if I was forced to choose one over the other, it would be the Dinger, simply due to its durability.  We could write a whole article on which colors are best but I have found the simpler I keep things the better I seem to do.  Junebug, black/blue flake, and a shade of watermelon or green pumpkin will pretty much cover all the bases.

No matter if you fish a Senko wacky style, Texas rigged weightless, Texas rigged with a small sinker, or even Carolina rigging it, these lures are deadly, especially during the spawning season.  If there is a better soft plastic for heavily pressured bass, I can honestly say I have never seen it.  One more quick tip: when topwater fishing, the Senko is a fantastic follow up bait for fish that short strike your topwater lure.

When was the last time you Texas rigged a craw worm?  For most anglers, it has probably been a long time but for me, since the discovery of the Zoom Speed Craw, I have one tied on at all times.  In my opinion, it is the best all round soft plastic lure ever made for bass fishing.  There is nothing you can’t do with this little guy, and it catches numbers of bass, and it can catch you the fish of a lifetime.  It is a fish catcher.

The Speed Craw comes in two sizes; however, I use the smaller version 95% of the time.  The only time I use the Super Speed Craw is when I am needing a bigger profile for a jig trailer.  I do not believe I have ever fished a lake where I could not or did not catch fish on the Speed Craw.  I have used it Texas rigged it for flipping and pitching, I have used it as a jig trailer on both a standard jig and a swim jig, I have Carolina rigged it, I have put it on a Shakey head and caught smallmouth bass in Arkansas, I have used it as my main bait for sight fishing bed fish.  I have found a lot of colors in the Speed Craw that are effective fish catchers, but if I had to choose my favorite colors they would be South African Special, Junebug, Green Pumpkin Magic and Blackberry.

The Speed Craw is one of the soft plastics where I have noticed the rigging of it to be of the most importance.  First, you want to use a bit heavier slip sinker when Texas rigging it.  I like no less than a 3/8-ounce sinker and have used as large as a 5/8 because the lures effectiveness is based on the rate of fall.  I always use a 3/0 straight shank flipping hook with 30 lb. test braided line.  Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed, from January through December, the Speed Craw will catch bass!

Wow, how the time has gotten away from us again this month.  I hope we were able to share a few tips and ideas that will help you on your next trip to the water.  It is in the heart of springtime so the fish should be biting!  Be careful on the water and make sure you catch one for me!