Hard Body Lures Vs Soft Plastics
Finding exactly the right bait is always the big question when entering unfamiliar territory or when the fish just don’t seem to be biting. Ask a neighboring fisherman and he might tell you he’s been fishing all day with a soft plastic jig and the fishing couldn’t be better. Yet another fisherman might say he wouldn’t use anything but hard bodied bait. The real key is in the type of bait commonly found in the habitat. The fish go after what’s familiar to them.
Knowing Your Fish
Knowing the type of baitfish found within the vicinity can help you decide just what type of lures to use. The water conditions also play an important factor. In brackish or cloudy water, you need something that will glitter and catch the eye of the fish. For these conditions, spinners and spoons are usually the most effective.
Soft plastic minnows, worms, shad bodies and grubs are great for ultralight fishing in clear, undisturbed water. Their soft bodied, flexible texture imitate bait fish well, making them standard equipment in the pro-fisherman’s tackle box. Ultralight fishing trolls often use a combination of plastic, soft bodied and hard-bodied lures to ensure something is getting fish attention.
A drawback of using soft plastics is that minnows and other tiny bait fish will nibble at them, destroying the lure. There doesn’t seem to be much a person can do to remedy this, but fortunately, a large quantity of plastic lures can be purchased for a very low price. As long as this problem doesn’t bother you too much, they are very effective for ultralight fishing in calm water. That these lures are often attacked by bait should be reassuring as the same problem occurs when using live bait.
In recent years, manufacturers of ultralight fishing lures have created hybrids. Hard body lures, with soft body tails add a life like action and appearance that appeals to the fishing community and comes with many success stories. The closer a lure comes to mimicking a baitfish, the more likely you’ll be able to be able to come home with your fish.
A recently development in the production of hard baits is the floating twitch bait. These lures are made to look like a wounded fish. When twitched, these baits dive below the water, then resurface, exactly like a fish that has been struck by prey and has become disoriented. Fish them along shallows, in shoreline and flats. These are not passive lures. They are engineered to entice the fish to strike and must be played if you want them to perform.
Surface walkers are meant to be retrieved with a constant twitching motion so the lure zig zags across the water. These hard lures are handy in any tackle box. They are called “probing bait” because they are used to locate fish while covering a lot of water.
Lipless hard body lures are used by ultralight fishermen when the water depth is greater than four feet. The lure will sink into the water column, then when retrieved, a twitching action will cause the lure to dart, flash and mimic a wounded bait fish.
Baits that feature a lip are called crank baits. They are ideal for fishermen unfamiliar with artificial lures as they do not need a lot of practice to make the bait seem life-like. All you have to do is cast out the line and start cranking it back in. The lure will do the rest.
Learn the type of bait fish commonly found in the area where you plan to fish. Use plastic lures for fishing in daylight, in calm, clear waters or as part of a combination for trolling. Use hybrids or hard-bodied lures for brackish, choppy or cloudy water, and for poor light visibility. Keep the glitter and shine happening in imitation of a live bait, so your fish is convinced what’s dangling in front of him is something good to eat, and you’ll return home a happy fisherman.