For years plastics has become anglers to go baits, for anglers such as myself. It all started when the invention of the mister twister came out. It caught fish and you can fish it in any type of way you would like. You could drop shot it, jerk it, leave it on the bottom, straight retrieve it, and use it as a trailer. One of the most important factor of the time is that the plastic bait didn't hurt your pocket book. You could by one good crank bait that is $5.00 or you could buy one pack of stick bait worms (8 in a package) for $4.00. But it really comes down to situation. If the bass are facing a serious cold front and the bass are packed into one area I would choose a crank bait for the depth you would be fishing (square bill=shallower water, deep diver= deeper water). Other then the fishing conditions i love to throw plastics. since I'm usually fishing out of a sit on kayak I tend to be in shallow areas because its safer and it still holds giant bass. I have casted into 3ft of water and landed a 19 inch smallmouth off plastics. even in really windy conditions. When I use plastics i use many different types of plastics and techniques for the right water and season type.
In the spring i use a black and blue tip 4'' tube bass pro shops tournament series Texas rigged on a trokar 4 ought tube hook with a 1/8 to 1/4 tungsten weight with bobber stopper in front of the weight. You could flip your tubes under docks and i like casting around a weed patch jerking it hard to get it out of the thick cabbage then let it fall for a quick 7 seconds once your out of the weed patch and bass (both smallmouth and largemouth) will smash it because there on the weed edge spanning in the middle of spring. Another one of my favorite techniques is the classic wacky worm rig. I like to use the brown and blue flake strike king kvd perfect plastics ocho worms. In weedy situations i like to right the kvd plastic on a double catch lures screw lock football jig which you would take the tip of the bait and screw it on then Texas rig the hook into the worm. For none weedy area (such as a rocky shore line or certain docks) i use the double catch lures wacky worm hook in 1/8 ounce so it falls slowly which big bass can even say no. I love fishing all the shore line especially in between docks. On geneva lake in lake geneva Wisconsin I fish often, I ALWAYS fishing in between the dock weather in casting into 2-10 ft catching bass in the trophy rage (18inch+ mark). the reasons why i catch these bass in between docks is finding the bass moving dock to dock to spawn and you just start racking them in because they are hungry and will really eat anything in there way.
In the summer I have the most luck. I catch more bass in the summer then the spring and fall combined. I am literally on the water every day during the summer trying every plastic in every color you could get on the market until you find that perfect plastic that you can throw every day in the summer and get bigger bass every time you head out on the water. I have figured many soft plastics techniques that work good though out all conditions that you need to have in your tackle box. First off you need to get the strike king kvd perfect plastics rodent in TWO different sizes. The small one is one inch smaller then the 5 inch large rodent. The bigger six which was first made for flipping but I cast it and I can cast it a mile because its a solid bait. The same goes for the smaller rodent its just a inch smaller which you can use on lighter tackle but still can catch trophy bass. My favorite baits for these baits is the black and blue, brown and red flake, green pumpkin and watermelon. I like the Texas rig 50 rodent on a 4/5 ought trokar 120 worm and the 150 rodent on a 3/4 ought trokar 120 worm hook with a tungsten weight (the heaver the weight the faster its going to sink) 1/8 to a 1 ounce weight with a bobber stopper in front of the weight. I like to fish this bait in between docks in the 2-15 feet of water in weedy areas with all types of weeds such as coontail, hydrilla, etc those bass are waiting for a topwater frog or a flipping bait fall right in front of them. A lot of people flip or cast 5 times at a dock or in-between docks, if you do that your doing it wrong. a couple time i anchored my kayak in one area and literally casted into one area about 8times and out of know where a huge largemouth pounded it. You have to be very patient with the rodent and work it the right way or you would even come close to a fish is your using like a spinner bait. Now in the summer my second to go bait is a bait that a lot of anglers realize how many fish this bait produces. Its the strike king rage lizard with i think this bait is just great idea. I like the color watermelon red flake. I rig this up on a 4 ought trokar unweighted swimbait hook. you screw this bait onto the bait then Texas rig the lizard. I use a tungsten worm weight a 1/8 to a 1/2 ounce then in front of that bait is a bobber stopper so the weight doesn't slide up on the line. i like to fish this around weed edges with rock. I like to work it as a "jerk, jerk, jerk, let it sit for 5 seconds then repeat". when you rip that bait the tail does crazy causing vibration and water movement.
Ah the fall. The turning of the beautiful leaves and the hard fighting smallmouth that just dominate at the fall and hit the bait so hard. This when you have to kick your game up. One bait that I enjoy using is the live target hollow body in really any color. I like using this bait as soon as summer makes that HUGE transition into fall when there dying weeds but the smallmouth bass really turned on and started bitting and its getting really good. I like to work that live target frog thought the thickest weeds you could find (out of water weed like lily pads and over grown coontail). Make sure none of that weeds are brown because that means those plants aren't creating oxogen which drives the bass away, so if the weeds are still fresh you can expect largemouth and smallmouth getting ready the eat up for the winter. my absolute favorite technique for bass and northern pike in the fall is the mister twister hang 10 worm? Which is a long 7 inch with a long ring tail for a lot of action for Texas rigging. I like blue with black flake. I rig this up on a 4 ought 120 trokar worm hook. I love working this bait around wood and rock.
Now when using all these plastics you need the right gear that are high quality to get the job done. With all hooks I trust trokar hooks. the reason why I like the trokar series of hooks with the 3 edge surgically sharped shank of the hook which produces more hook ups. Now with all the plastics I use except frogs, the rod and reel combo is use is the 7'0 st.croix mojo bass, plastic series of rods. the reason why I like that rod is the sensitivity of the tip of the rod, so I could cast smaller and light worms but the rod still has the back bone to hull big bass and possible northern pike out of really thick weed cover. for hollow body frogs I use the st.croix mojo bass slop-n-frog 7' heavy action rod. The reason I love this rod because I usually fish frog around really thick weed cover, so that long 7' length keeps me closer to the target I'm throwing my bait at and with the heavy action I can have great hook ups despite the really thick weeds. the reel I trust for both applications is the Abu Garcia revo mgx in 7:1:1. One of the reasons i like this reel is that its very versatile. I can go throw a 1/4 ounce wacky worm rig then switch to a 1 1/2 ounce jig. Another reason I love this reel is that its only 5.4 ounces but can take a beating. with a 12 pound smoothest drag you can imagine. With 10 ball bearing with special design eva nobs you can not go wrong with what ever your using however I think it performs best with lighter lures.
Whenever or Wherever your fishing, you have to figure out what the bass are bitting on. its never a guarantee that they will bite on any of the baits I discussed the baits today. You have to test that out the best way the figure that out how to catch the bass is time on the water. I love soft plastics and I hope you do too.