BlogMay 2019

3 Presentations for Soft Bait Lures

3 Presentations for Soft Bait Lures

By Andy Whitcomb

May 15, 2019

Soft bait lures catch fish in a variety of waters and conditions. They are versatile and work in any depth. Learn how.

“Soft bait lures” are any type of soft plastic creation. The “bait” term often causes confusion because it is not actually bait such as minnows, nightcrawlers, dough bait, etc. but it still is frequently used by tournament anglers to mean “lure,” thus making “bait lures” redundant. However, for the purposes of this blog, we’ll go ahead and refer to soft plastics here as “soft bait lures.”

There are so many different sizes, shapes, and colors of these fishing lures that the selection online or in store aisles can seem overwhelming. One way to narrow down your choice is to consider your primary target species. Another way to select the best soft bait lures is to think about where in the water column the lure will be most effective.

Top. One of anglers’ favorite types of fishing lures is topwater. Here, in addition to feeling the bite, there is an added rush from getting to see it. Soft bait lures for working the water surface often resemble frogs, but there also are floating worms and lizard forms. Even if these soft bait lures don’t float, if you reel in quickly with rod tip held high, it makes it skitter across the surface.

Mid. These soft plastics are designed to look like they are swimming. Paddle tail lures make the back of the lure wiggle back and forth in a panicked baitfish manner. Other forms achieve affective motion for reeling mid water depths such as curly tails, segmented, or with appendages.

Bottom. Perhaps the best soft bait lures for anglers are the old rubber worms. Cast and let sink to the bottom and then slowly lift a few inches and drop or, with enough weight, just reel or drag slowly to make this soft plastic form “crawl” across the bottom. Once the water warms during late spring, this lure is a bass favorite in almost all bodies of water and all conditions.

Finally, small soft bait lures are kind of like hot sauce: they go well with everything. After you have purchased your new fishing license, tip your favorite spoon, spinner bait, or chatter bait with a small grub tail for a more tantalizing presentation. In highly pressured areas, experiment and try to show the fish something they haven’t seen.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.