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Fishing Soft Plastic Baits
Plastic baits are among the most effective largemouth baits in NC. Page details the
selection and use of plastics.

Plastic baits are "must have" baits for bass fishing. They have caught fish for decades and may be the most broadly and generally productive bait for largemouth there is. They are versatile enough that nearly any conditions can be met.

Plastics have caught fish for decades. Early versions resembled large night crawler earthworms rigged with several hooks and small propellers creating flash to attract fish in low-visibility conditions. Yamamoto Custom BaitsNow they come in many shapes to meet the needs of any local waters. There are the common worm shaped, worms with flattened tails, salamander and lizard imitations, paddle-tails, grubs, crawfish and other specialties to many to mention.

On shape there is not much broad advice. Choose a shape that "matches the expected local food sources" -- your local tackle dealer will know. Casting crawfish patterns when bass are chasing baitfish schools and you have reduced your chance of success. I will add that additional motion such as that coming from a lizard very often benefits. Whether the baits floats or sinks must match local conditions also. Glass rattles will add some attention getting sound.

Bass can see color. Also, they have a special mechanism built into their eyes giving them the ability to detect differences in contrast (dark versus light) - an enormous asset when water clarity is poor. Color definitely matters, but if you brought along every color offered you would have to fish from a barge. Successful anglers learn to compromise while having enough selection. And if you understand a few things about color, you can do the same.Here are some rough guidelines to help select:

Basic brown, black and purple are required. Try these if you do not know.

In clear water greens, blues and purples will maintain their color better and deeper while reds and oranges may be less effective.

In stained waters greens and yellow are better especially near the surface. If the water is very muddy then oranges and browns may be better. Blues and purples will be generally less effective.

Some level of flash will usually help in either clear or stained waters. Baits with multiple colors will often help.

Try opaque colors on overcast days or when the water is dark. Try translucent on sunny days when the water is clear.

It takes time on the water to learn what baits are most visible in a situation. You must experiment to be successful. No two waters are alike and a particular water changes relatively quickly over time and location. I personally never stick with a non-producing color more than an hour without changing. I have ten or more shapes/colors with me at any given time.

Rigging plastics is no hassle. Texas rigged and Carolina rigged plastics are perhaps the most common way. Check out the "Discovering Outdoors" (Freshwater Fishing --> Methods and Techniques) for how to fish these two very productive riggings.

Good Largemouth Bass Fishing Links -- Link to your site
Good fishing site outside of NCFishandGame.comBassResource.com -- The Ultimate Bass Fishing Resource Guide  
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