CLASS­ROOM

SA Bass - - Contents - >> Roger Don­ald­son*

“Ba­sic Rig­ging for Soft Plas­tic Baits” It be­comes a habit to in­sert the hook and rig a soft plas­tic lure per­fectly straight – Roger Don­ald­son

It be­comes a habit to in­sert the hook and rig a soft plas­tic lure per­fectly straight. Af­ter hun­dreds of hours of bass fish­ing one re­alises very quickly that bass do not ac­cept a lure nearly as read­ily (if at all) when it is rigged “skew”.

The rig­ging tech­niques we will look at in here will cover all the con­ven­tional styles that you can use in ev­ery­day bass fish­ing with soft plas­tic lures. You’ll be ex­cited to learn that it is eas­ier than you had imag­ined.

There is one com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor with all lures and that is they have to be rigged straight. “What is straight?” you may ask. Let’s take a look at a few of the dif­fer­ent plas­tics and how you need to get them onto a hook. >> Jerk­baits, Stick­baits, Grubs and Curly tail worms

(No ap­pendages) The Fluke is an ex­am­ple of a jerk­bait and is a “fish” shaped lure de­signed to dart left and right if jerked strate­gi­cally, or sim­ply al­lowed to flut­ter down ca­su­ally through the wa­ter col­umn. The Senko is an ex­am­ple of a lure shaped like noth­ing re­ally other than a cigar­illo. Why the bass like it so much is a dif­fi­cult ques­tion to an­swer – but they re­ally do. It has a won­der­ful way of tran­siently, glid­ing to the bot­tom, but also has the abil­ity to be twitched and jerked when re­trieved. The body of grubs and other curly tail worms are also straight in de­sign and the tail pro­duces the most vi­bra­tion and en­tic­ing twirling ac­tion when the body is rigged straight. We’ll there­fore cat­e­gorise them sim­i­larly.

The above de­scrip­tion of the lures swim­ming ac­tion is im­por­tant to con­sider be­fore rig­ging these baits. If these lures aren’t straight then 99.9% you will not get a bite. So how do you do it?

STEP 1:

In­sert the point of your hook dead cen­tre at the top / head of the plas­tic and con­tinue un­til the en­tire shank of the point (un­til the first bend) is imbed­ded in the cen­tre of the plas­tic.

STEP 2:

Now bring the point di­rectly out the side of the lure.

STEP 3:

Thread the hook all the way through un­til the plas­tic al­most cov­ers the eye of the hook and the knot too.

STEP 4:

You’ll need to swivel the hook 180-de­grees now and so that the point of the hook faces the plas­tic. The eye should dis­ap­pear inside the plas­tic now. This makes sure the knot is hid­den.

STEP 5:

Rest the hook against the lure and take a mea­sure­ment with your thumb nail, as this is where the point of the hook must be in­serted.

STEP 6:

The in­tri­cate part. Imag­ine a very straight line down the length of the lure, push the lure up slightly and then pierce the hook in at the thumb nail mea­sure­ment point

and fol­low all the way through to the other side.

Take a look and make sure your lure is ly­ing straight. Any kinks then try step six again un­til the lure lies straight.

STEP 7:

The fi­nal step. From near the point of the hook you now want to press the plas­tic up in the di­rec­tion of the eye of the hook (only 3 to 4mm) and then imbed the point just be­neath the sur­face of the plas­tic. This will pre­vent the point from snag­ging on weed and struc­ture be­neath the wa­ter.

I hope that wasn’t too dif­fi­cult to dis­cern from the pho­tographs pro­vided. >> Crea­ture baits or lures with ap­pendages

(These may in­clude many dif­fer­ent lures, such as the Brush Hog, lizard, frog, etc.)

These baits are de­signed to be ei­ther dragged along the bot­tom, shot into and around jet­ties and struc­tures, or lily pads, or even pulled across the sur­face. As men­tioned ear­lier, the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor ap­plies; they need to be rigged straight. This will en­hance their nat­u­ral ac­tion and make the lure more life­like.

Any lure with legs or swim­ming ap­pendages will have a sec­tion which we can class as the belly of the lure. This is the point where Step 6 from the above lesson will take place – di­rectly in the mid­dle of the belly.

I used a Brush Hog for this ex­am­ple so let’s see how it works.

STEP 1:

Same as the above ex­am­ple.

STEP 2:

Now bring the point di­rectly out the side of the lure, but po­si­tion the point to exit at the cen­tre of the “throat” in or­der to line up the point of the hook with the cen­tre of the belly.

STEP 3:

Same as the above ex­am­ple.

STEP 4:

Also, the same as the above ex­am­ple. Make sure the knot is hid­den.

STEP 5:

Rest the hook against the belly of the lure and take a mea­sure­ment with your thumb nail, as this is where the point of the hook must be in­serted.

STEP 6:

Like be­fore, imag­ine a very straight line down the length and belly of the lure, push the lure up slightly and then pierce the hook in at the thumb nail mea­sure­ment point and fol­low all the way through to the other side.

As we de­scribed in the pre­vi­ous ex­am­ple, take a look and make sure your lure is ly­ing straight. If the lure is bent, curved, or kinked then do step six again un­til straight.

STEP 7:

The fi­nal step. As be­fore, imbed/prick the point of the hook just be­neath the sur­face of the plas­tic to pre­vent snag­ging.

This should more than ad­e­quately cover your gen­eral soft plas­tic fish­ing tech­niques for bass, out­side of “wacky” worm­ing, drop-shot­ting and other tech­ni­cal op­tions. I hope to see read­ers send­ing pic­tures of their im­proved catches us­ing these easy rig­ging meth­ods.

*Roger Don­ald­son is an ex­pe­ri­enced jour­nal­ist and knowl­edge­able bass angler who has en­joyed many en­light­en­ing hours with many of South Africa’s top, com­pet­i­tive bass fish­er­men. As a com­pet­i­tive angler him­self, he also en­joys shar­ing his ex­per­tise with fel­low bass fa­nat­ics in the hope that they find the same joy in this unique sport.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.