Live bait works, no doubt about it. Slap a waxie, a wiggler, a spike, or a minnow on your jig and you are pretty much set for fishing. Sometimes it pays to squish your waxie after you have it hooked. Sometimes it’s better to hook your minnow thru the tail instead of under the dorsal fin. And sometimes it’s better to let most of your waxie hang horizontal off the hook. We could go on for hours on simple tricks to spice up your presentation to the fish because sometimes that little something extra helped put more fish on the ice. So why all the hype about plastics?
Its more about what your live bait cannot do, but plastic can. First and foremost, your plastic will never perish. Leave it in the truck overnight in freezing conditions? No problem. Been sitting in the basement for 6 months? Still not a problem. Want to put it back and try something different? It’s ok with that also! What else?
Plastic comes in many colors and sizes, as well as shapes, weights, and hardness. Sometimes just something new to the fish in the area will attract bites. Sometimes the fish want small, long, bumpy, etc. What I seem to notice is that plastics are easier to quiver in front of fish, teasing them into the bite without scaring them off. Take for example the Micro Nuggies by Little Atom company pictured directly above. The long thin tail on the Micro Nuggie quivers in the water with the slightest movement, without having to bounce your jig around too much. And sometimes that is the key to putting more fish on the ice!
With lots of brands out there, and lots of different style plastics to choose from, its hard to make a choice on what to buy. Don’t be afraid to ask around. Ask people fishing around you, ask your local bait-shop guy, ask the salesman at the big-box store, check the fishing reports. Most of the plastic baits cost between 2 and 5 dollars, so just gobbling up everything out there will hurt your wallet in a hurry. Most of the time, fisherman will tell you what is hot without you having to worry that you are getting sold snake-oil. Never be afraid to ask!
And don’t forget to pay attention to my articles, as I will be writing more reviews in the near future! This weekend in Spirit Lake/Okoboji, I plan on trying the hottest plastic on the market right now, the Northland Nymph Mayfly. Anglers up north are reporting amazing success with this new plastic, and I am about to find out what all the hype is about…..