Soft plastic fishing techniques: how, when and where? by Sean Thompson

Soft plastics have been around for a couple of decades now and have a place in most regular and casual anglers'
tackle boxes. Unfortunately, many anglers are still not achieving the success rates they could. This is because
they're not rigging correctly, using the wrong combination of plastic and jighead, using the wrong line, action,
or simply fishing them in the wrong location or stage of the tide.
Consequently, I hear a number of casual anglers say they've tried soft plastics, but they don't work. Either that or
they've only caught one or two fish on them, and usually return to bait in frustration. The truth is, soft plastics work.
Like most things in fishing, you need to adapt to the time, tide, wind, water colour and importantly the location. Your
action also goes a long way to determine your success, as do factors like tackle choice and the correct presentation of
your lure on the jighead.
This article highlights a range of soft plastic techniques, including the how, when and where to use them. It includes
basic tips for people who are new to soft plastics fishing, as well as more advanced techniques for anglers who use
them more regularly, but aren't maximising their potential. With a bit of patience and practice, hopefully these
techniques will deliver you better results with your soft plastics, regardless of how often you've used them before.
To begin with, there is little point being at the right place with the wrong tackle or presentation. It's the fishing
equivalent of trying to win the Melbourne Cup riding sidesaddle on a donkey! To maximise your chances of success,
there are a few basics that soft plastics anglers need to get right first.
Tackle choice and presentation
While an occasional hungry bream or flathead might take a poorly presented glob of frozen bait on a heavy
monofilament trace, a poorly presented soft plastic will rarely, if ever, catch you a fish. Get it right though and it's a
different story! Here are my top ten tips to get you started and well on the way to success with your tackle choice and
Only ever use jigheads, which have the weight built into the top of the shank of the hook, and not a standard hook
for attaching your plastic. If you need more weight, use a heavier jighead and not a sinker above your jighead, or you'll