When you’re going bass fishing, you want to use the right baits to ensure you catch the attention of the fish. Bait that mimics the fish you’re trying to catch is often best, providing a more realistic lure. Soft plastic worm baits are a popular type of bait that is excellent for bass fishing. With different types of worms available, you can try out various setups and find what works for you.
Find out more about soft plastic worm baits, what they are and when and how to use them by reading this ultimate guide.
What Is a Soft Plastic Worm?
There are several types of soft plastics you can use when you’re bass fishing, but soft plastic worms are potentially the easiest option to start out with. This is a simple type of soft plastic lure that is still a very effective way of catching bass. It has been used for many years and is still a favorite for anyone who wants to find success catching bass. There are many different designs of varying sizes and with different tails, each of which helps to provide a different action.
The advantage of worms is partly the variety that they offer. You can fish with them in many different ways and in many different conditions. Because they have a narrow shape, they can move through cover well, although they can also get caught on things under the water. One of the ways that a soft plastic worm can be used well is on long casts when you want to check for the presence of bass. They can be used in water with different visibility and various setups, allowing you to find the best way to fish for bass with them.
Types of Worms
Knowing the different types of worms will help you to explore what’s available and how to make use of them so that it benefits you when you’re bass fishing. Each type of soft plastic worm bait offers you something different so that you can fish in different conditions. You can choose the bait that suits the situation that you’re facing and try out different things.
Let’s look at some of the types of worms you can find, how they’re designed, and the different ways that they work.
Curly Tail Worms
As the name suggests, a curly tail worm is a worm that has a curled tail at the end. A lot of people will often choose a ribbon tail worm instead of a curly tail worm for many things now, but it’s still a great choice for catching bass. These worms come in several different lengths, but a 4 to 6-inch curly tail soft plastic worm can be a great option for many applications. They’re great for using over submerged weeds or perhaps around the ledges of rocks.
When you want a soft plastic worm that is small and skinny, a finesse worm is a good choice. They can be used for different types of bass fishing. Even though they are often recommended for smallmouth bass fishing, they can also be used for catching largemouth bass. They come in different sizes and are best used with lighter tackle. You can use various techniques with this type of plastic worm, including hopping them along the bottom, swimming them, and vertical jigging.
Paddle Tail Worms
A paddle tail worm has an upturned scoop tail. This type of plastic worm bait is particularly good for using whenever there is matted grass or lilypads, or any other vegetation that could be tough to get through. It can swim over vegetation and you can then drop it down whenever you spot holes to get the attention of the fish below. A longer 8-inch paddle tail worm can be easier to swim through vegetation, but a 5-inch paddle tail worm can often help you to catch more bass. It’s also important to have enough weight with this type of plastic worm to ensure it will swim well through the water. If there isn’t enough weight, it won’t move correctly, but it will go too fast if you use too much weight.
Straight Tail Worms
Straight tail worms look pretty simple. They’re a type of finesse worm that can be great for fishing during the summer or in the middle of winter. A straight tail worm can be used for going deeper, down to a depth of 30 feet with the right rig. The straight tail can move like a darter minnow along the bottom when you retrieve it with a slow dragging motion. This works well when there is no cover on the water or vegetation to navigate.
Stick worms are a straight stick design, with no tail or other appendages. This means that they don’t create any kind of action when they’re in or on the water. They can come in different designs but they all share the trait that they don’t do anything in particular. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not useful. They can be great for catching bass and can be used in lots of different ways. The rig you choose makes it possible to use stick worms in different conditions, including in thick cover, in deep water, or in hard-to-reach locations.
A Ned worm is a type of roboworm that is short and fat with a flat bottom. This means that it is great for using on a small jig head and it will also produce a small action as it glides to the bottom of the water. It can be grouped in the finesse bait category and can be bought in a range of different colors. You can also get them with a salt release system, which releases a burst of salt when there is a bite to make the fish hold on for longer.
Best Worm Setup
Choosing from different types of soft plastic worms is only part of creating the right conditions for bass fishing. Another essential step is to make sure you have the best setup, including which rod, reel, and line to use with these types of bait.
Spinning rods can work out well for people using any type of soft plastic lure, which is ideal for beginners to bass fishing. Soft plastic lures that are smaller in size typically work well with a spinning rod. More generally, a 6 and a half to 7-foot rod will work well with soft plastics. Choose a medium to medium-heavy, fast, or extra-fast action rod.
When it comes to the line, you should use either braid or fluorocarbon line on your rod with soft plastic worms. You can also benefit from using a fluorocarbon leader on the end of your braid when the water is very clear. This helps to make your line less visible so that the fish aren’t scared away. When you’re choosing a reel, you could use either a baitcaster or a spinning reel. However, keep in mind that casting plastic bait without any weight can be more difficult with a baitcaster.
Best Plastic Worm Rigs
Plastic worm baits can be used with multiple types of rig if you want to catch bass. The different rig types, along with the different types of lures, allow you to fish in different conditions and in different ways. Try these options for bass fishing with plastic worms.
It’s easy to set up this rig to use with soft plastic worms. First, put the hook through the worm’s nose. Run the hook out to the side and turn it to point toward the body of the worm when you reach the eyelet of the hook. Finally, insert the hook point and thread it back into the body.
Start this rig by putting a bullet or egg sinker on your line, followed by tying a swivel then putting on a bead or brass clacker. Cut a small leader, tie it the swivel, tie your hook and thread your worm through the middle or using the Texas rig.
Other rigs you might want to try include the drop shot rig and wacky rig.
How to Fish a Worm
You can use plastic worms to fish for bass throughout the year. Using the right fishing and retrieve techniques will increase your chances of success when using these lures.
When using a straight style worm, you can try casting them weightless and retrieving them at a medium to fast pace. If you jerk on the rod tip, you can make it dart erratically. Slow retrieval in calm waters with lots of pauses can work well too. At night, you might even try not retrieving your lure and simply tapping on the rod now and then to introduce some movement. After casting your worm, it’s a good idea to let it sink to the bottom. You might then drag it along the bottom or retrieve it to bring the worm off the bottom by raising your rod.
Whichever worm you choose, make sure to give it some action to attract the attention of the bass. Some other tips to use include varying the size and using natural colors.