Soft plastic baits are made in a seemingly never-ending array of colors and patterns. Look at bait maker Zoom. They have 421 different color codes, and are actively producing about half of them. The color selection I use is very limited. I normally fish nothing but June bug and blueberry colored baits when fishing soft plastics. However, when it comes to early season fishing, I might branch out a bit.
I was going through all of my soft plastic baits this past weekend and noticed out of everything I had, I only had about five bags of baits that were not a June bug or blueberry color. In those colors, I had almost every odd bait shape known to man. Time to go pick up some other colors.
Water temperatures are down and the lakes have a tendency to clear up a little bit. Between now and the spawn, I would not mind having the option to throw something different. Colors that may just force a bass to strike even when they don’t want to include white, pink, green watermelon and pumpkin.
Consider also the techniques you’ll be using. For me, that would be mainly flipping onto a bed, a drop-shot rig in deeper water looking for beds, or using it as a moving topwater bait to fish real shallow water.
With that list of methods, I’m looking for some shorter worms, flukes, swimbaits and creature baits. These might antagonize a bass just enough to make them strike, and at the same time Ill be able to see my bait in shallower water.
If you’ve ever done any bed fishing, flipping to the white circles, you know what I mean. Bed fishing can be funny. You’ll often see a bass pick that bait up before you feel it. The bass will inhale the bait, move it, and spit it out faster than you can detect the strike. Seeing the strike as it happens makes a huge difference, and it’s far easier to see a brightly colored bait in the water.
This next week while I am not working, I most definitely plan on making a trip to Bass Pro Shops to pick up a few things that I think will help me out tremendously in this area. After all, taking a run at fishing professionally has made me look at some different choices going into those tournaments. The last thing I want to do to myself is limit any option I can have to catch bass.
But I’m not going too crazy — I’ll only pick up about 10 bags of different, colorful baits. That should give me enough options to go to if I feel the need. I plan to still rely on my go-to baits and colors because the first two tournaments are in Florida on bodies of water I know. It seems like a good idea to stick with what I know works and then make sure I have alternatives on the off chance I need them.
Since the spawn is coming, it may be worthwhile to take a look in your tackle box and see what options you have for fishing soft plastic baits. You might want to enhance your chances a bit with some lighter, brighter colors. Don’t go overboard — just have enough to throw when times get tougher and a real change may make a difference.
I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and is looking ahead to a happy New Year. Be safe, and hopefully things will be better on the fishing side of life going forward in 2020.
Greg Bartz is a tournament bass fisherman based in Lakeland. Greg fishes lakes throughout Florida’s Heartland and enjoys RV travel around the Southeast with his wife and tournament partner, Missy. Contact him at Greg.Bartz@SummitHoldings.com.