Some lures get hot during certain seasons and then seem to wane in popularity, if not productivity. Not so for soft plastics. These workhorse staples of the tackle box can always be counted on to save a trip no matter the conditions.
But anglers who pay special attention to lure design can maximize the action this time of year.
As days continue to shorten and waters cool, fish feel the need to feed up before winter. While subtle, straight tailed worms and flipping baits that feature slick, low action appendages were the ticket during the doldrums of late summer and into September, now is the time to kick up a fuss with action-oriented tails and claws on your creatures and craws.
Some examples include NetBait’s Paca Slim, the Z-Man Turbo Crawz, and the Strike King Rage Craw.
Now’s the time to pick up the pace and take advantage of these lures’ undulating antics. Not only are action craws suitable for flipping and dragging on a Texas rig, but they make great trailers on swim jigs, bladed jigs and even buzzbaits.
Of course, you can just swim one on a light Texas rig, same as you would on a swim jig, and the smaller profile will generate more strikes under many conditions including the occasional fall cold front or Nor’easter.
Cagey anglers have been quietly kicking up a surface fuss with weightless craws rather than the common toad for years. Again, the idea is to draw attention to a struggling lure without additional bulk.
There are times when a bulky bait is called for, but fall is a season when you can catch numbers of fish of all sizes and a simple craw bait is going to deliver more strikes more often than a skirted lure or a larger soft plastic.
Additionally, if you do want to pitch a jig or similar to upgrade your bag, now would be a great time to consider using a flapping-type craw as a trailer. You get the bulk, but also the action. Besides, you’ll be nursing a humble, lethargic spilt tail trailer all winter so turn and burn while you can. You might even be among the small but growing group that is rediscovering the power of real pork trailers as Uncle Josh has emerge from a decades-long hiatus.
Whether you’re burning grass flats, seining miles of riprap, or surgically picking apart docks and laydowns this fall, kick up a fish-catching commotion with the motion of action craws!