By Kinny Haddox
There’s no better way to catch April bass than on soft plastic lures.
Back a half century ago, young Bill Dance busted on the scene of bass fishing like a bull in a china shop. His main weapon of choice in landing huge stringers of largemouths was a simple plastic worm. In fact, he knew so much about it he wrote a book, Bill Dance – Techniques of Bass Fishing.
“Well, I guess there are about as many ways to fish a worm as there are to cook potatoes,” he said in the book. “Without a doubt the finest way I’ve ever seen is the old Texas rig. I learned this method four years ago and in my experience, it’s the only way to rig and fish a worm.”
Dance wrote that in 1971. I bet if he read that today, he’d chuckle so hard his Tennessee cap would fall off. In those days, anglers had about a few choices of worms to choose from – Fliptails, Mister Twister Phenom, Creme Wiggle Baits and Cordell’s Tattletail. Colors? If you got lucky, you could find the whole range at your local tackle dealer —- black, purple and blue. That’s pretty much it.
Many of us old guys were around back in those days and most of us remember the good old days fondly. We also know the amazing transformation to the variety of sizes, shapes and colors that are available today and the whole range of techniques to fish them.
Today, most soft plastic lures aren’t even worms. They are Beavers, Brush Hawgs, Turbo Fattyz, Hella Crawz, Bunker Hawgs, Wild Thang Craws and the like. They fall into a category called “creature” baits. They crawl out in all shapes and sizes and fishermen have discovered that different plastic lures are perfect for different times of year and fishing situations.You can still fish a regular or curly tail plastic worm just about any time. But when it comes to plastic baits, early season bass seem to like big and healthy creature baits. As spring wears on and the spawn leaves fish a little more picky, it’s time to consider downsizing and getting creative as well. That’s where drop shots, finesse worms, wacky rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigs and smaller lure presentations can help you add to your daily catch.