by Dave Landahl
Sure, there are a zillion lures you can toss for bass during the late winter or early spring. So many of them are effective and fun to use. For sake of discussion this time around, let's look at soft plastics.
There are so many to choose from, and all of them can have a place in your arsenal, depending on how you like to fish them. So, Pros4- 1Source checked in with a few Bassmaster Elite Series pros (Josh Bertrand, Fletcher Shryock and Brandon Palaniuk) to see what they choose to use in the soft plastic realm for early season bass.
Spiderwire pro is a Senko-maniac.
"I have three favorites," said Shryock. First is a Texas-rigged Senko worm to flip in clearer water. Second is a wacky-rigged Senko to fish in cleaner water around docks. Third is a Senko on a shaky head on points and steeper banks in pockets.
"Just throw the Senko!"
Tip: Shop Basspro.com keyword Senko to find popular Gary Yamamoto Senko Worms
Abu Garcia pro Josh Bertrand suggests a little more variety for his soft plastic selection.
"The Berkley MaxScent Powerbait General Texas-rigged is great fished around spawning areas with a hard bottom.
"My other choice is usually a Berkley Pitboss Texas-rigged and flipped on wood or grass."
Yamaha pro Brandon Palaniuk sticks with a basic soft plastics approach early in the year.
"I flip shallow wood in transition areas with a Zoom Z-Hog," said Palaniuk. "I'll fish a shaky head on pea gravel points using a Zoom Trick Worm, and I'll use a twitch-twitch-pause retrieve with a weightless Zoom Super Fluke on shallow flats with grass."
Berkley pros Justin Lucas and Adrian Avena both feel strongly about their soft plastic baits and what to use early in the year. Check out their choices.
"I use a Havoc Bottom Hopper on a ¼-ounce shaky head," said Lucas. "Green pumpkin is my main color. I dip a tiny bit of the tail in chartreuse dye.
"A Powerbait Bearded Deuce on a football jig is another good option. Usually a ½-ounce jig with green and brown colors.
"Also, a Powerbait Maxscent General on a neko rig, colored green pumpkin party."
"A Pitboss on a Z-Man Jack Hammer," said Avena. "Black and blue is the color.
"Another one to try is a Powerbait Maxscent General. Green pumpkin color... fish either a wacky rig or on a shaky head jig.
"The Berkley Gulp 3-inch Minnow in the smelt color. Fish that on a jig head or a drop shot."