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Go Soft!

By: Matthew Zabala

Page 1, An alternative to fishing top water with hard baits.

There is one thing that most anglers often think about when the sun starts setting, and bass begin feeding on top...Buzzbaits. Don't get me wrong, buzzbaits have landed a lot of nice fish but for the past few years, I've been going soft. Fishing softbaits on top is quickly becoming a popular way of slamming top water lunkers who are looking to devour a water-skimming, tasty treat. Instead of throwing your favorite buzzbait, why not try a soft plastic frog, or creature bait?

While it's true that most bass can't resist the paddling allure of a buzzbait, they tend to hang on longer to the much more realistic feel of a softbait. When a leg-kickin' soft plastic frog is splashing around the surface of the water, coupled with a bite-inducing attractant scent...Bass go bonkers! You can pick up a pack of 6 soft plastic frogs (I throw green pumpkin w/ white bellies) at Gander Mountain for under $6. The frogs feet are paddle-shaped, and displace water just enough to entice a hungry bass to strike. Another great feature about these frogs, is that you can rig them however you want, because unlike a jitterbug or other hard bait, the hook isn't stationary. Use a hook that has a gap at least twice as wide as the frog's body to ensure better hook sets. If you want a really fast retrieve and the frog is just aimlessly skipping across the water, try using a 1/16 oz bullet weight in font of it to keep its head down.

I also like to use a Gary Yamamoto Kreature Bait, rigged weightless. The Kreature Bait can slide across the surface, while its rear appendages whip the water. Try darker colors, such as green pumpkin, or black w/ blue or purple flakes. If the bite is slower, try adding some attractant scent, or inserting a worm rattle into the soft bait. These techniques often give your lure that extra somethin' that bass are looking for.

The next time you are fishing at your favorite lake and reach for that hula popper, buzzbait, or jitterbug, forget it...Go soft too!

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