The name Soft Plastics is just a general term for baits that are made from soft plastic such as artificial worms or soft tube bait. Are great because they replicate live bait such as worms or leeches because they can wiggle around in the water when they are reeled in. The photo on the left is a picture of soft plastic minnows. They have a curly tail to make them look like they are actually swimming. The best ones are made by Berkley and can be sold in packs of 6 or individually. The price of an individual lure is 5.29$ and it comes with a hook with a weight at the top of it which makes it look even more realistic to a fish. These lures can actually be made at home if you have the proper equipment since it is just putting melted plastic into a worm-shaped mold. Often times these baits are scented to appeal to another of the fish’s senses.
The most popular technique for fishing these lures is letting the lure hit the bottom of the lake and then jerking it back up again, reeling in the slack line and letting it fall to the bottom again almost to make it look like it is hopping along the bottom. This technique is very popular especially with tube baits. If you are fishing with a plastic worm that has a curly tail or a paddle tail you can just cast it and reel it in letting the tail do the work to make it move, or if you are fishing from a boat you can cast it out and just troll them along which works as well. The trolling technique works best if you are on a big lake so this stategy might not be the best choice for a small lake.
Soft plastic lures are best for bass because they look like worms or other creatures that may be found in the shallower area of a lake. These lures are very versatile though so they can be successful with multiple species but largemouth and smallmouth bass are probably the main targeted species for this type of lure.
Soft plastics are always being innovated just like many other types of lures. The most interesting thing that people are doing to these lures are putting salt in the plastic mixture before it turns solid after melting it. This makes the plastic denser, which makes it sink faster than just regular plastic. They are making the plastic worms in different shapes and sizes (as seen in the lower picture) some worms are made to be skinny and more finesse looking and others are made to have a larger profile to look like a big juicy worm or leach. They are also made with sparkles sometimes to catch the eye of the fish when it hits the sunlight. They do this because fish like bass and sunfish are attracted to shiny objects.
The soft plastic worms and leeches have the same natural accessibility as real live ones so they can get into the lake because predators drop them or if it rains. Leeches live in lakes so that’s how they get into the fish’s diet. Soft plastic minnows are meant to replicate real live minnows. Fish like pike who are natural predators will bite these very realistic lures since they look so much like minnows.