Tips for Fishing Soft Plastic Jigs

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A paddletail fooled this speck into striking.

Casting soft plastics has become one of the most popular ways to fish among light tackle aficionados, whether the target is redfish, speckled sea trout, or just about any other inshore predator prowling the water. And one of the great things about soft plastics is that they’re relatively easy to rig and use. That said, there are a few finer points to fishing with soft plastics that will help you boost your catch – something that these three tips should help with.

speckled sea trout

A paddletail fooled this speck into striking.

  1. Carry a bottle of Gorilla Glue in your tacklebox, and use a drop to secure the tail to the jighead. No, you don’t “need” to do this, and some jig heads hold the plastic better than others. But if you use the glue you’ll find that your tails stay on a lot longer and a lot better. Having to pause between casts to push the tail back up the shank is no longer an issue, nor is there a problem with the tail sliding down on the cast (forcing you to crank in and reposition it). In the long run the time you spend gluing is an investment, and it pays off with an overall reduction in casting time lost to rerigging.
  2. When choosing a tail, match its size to the prevalent bait size. Yes, color plays a role in how many bites you get and sometimes using a paddletail versus a twister makes a difference, too. But size is often the key factor, especially when the fish are chasing schools of bait which are all similar in size and shape.
  3. Make sure your lure doesn’t corkscrew as it falls. Most of the time this happens with paddle or twister tails that don’t slide up the hook shank quite right, but depending on how the head and tail match up it can happen with just about anything. And the fish won’t like it. Jigs generally get hit as they sink, and if they corkscrew as they sink they’ll get hit half as often, at best.


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