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Lindner's Angling Buzz Episode 13: Soft Plastics Today

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Video Transcript

Oh, yeah. Real nice one, Jeff. We're going to show you how to catch more and bigger fish with soft plastics, from panfish to bass to walleye up to big pike and muskie.

Well, everything in between. Having a better understanding of matching soft plastics to the jigs and hook delivery systems can dramatically increase the amount of bites that you get. We have a variety of different guests today sharing their tips and tactics into the subject matter, as well as our Buz Bite reports, our cool product segment, and much more.

This is Angling Buz, brought to you by Omnia Fishing. A smarter tackle shopping experience. When you look at the amount of soft plastics available to anglers today, it's quite amazing.

Everything from small microscopic panfish baits to two pound molded monstrosities for muskie, as well as the jigs and hooks to present them. And most anglers, including our featured guests today, they don't head out on the water without having some soft plastics rigged up. And simply put, soft plastics work year round spring, summer, fall, and ice fishing as well.

And we're joined today by multi species specialist Jeremy Smith of Angling Edge, and he's going to share some insight into the subject matter of soft plastics. So, Jeremy, what's your take on soft plastics today? Well, Troy, softbaits are certainly, in my opinion, the most versatile tool that you have in your tackle box. They catch everything that swims.

It doesn't matter what season it is, and it doesn't matter if it's shallow, deep, or anywhere in between. For walleyes, swim, baits and shad profiles are a goto for snap jigging in the shallows. For spinner rigging, the thin bodied worms will minimize panfish problems if you're fishing around weeds.

For smallmouth, the list is pretty deep. Jerk, minnows tubes, finesse plastics for drop shotting and again, swim baits and Ned rigs are keys to have in the boat, whether you're fishing shallow, deep, or anywhere in between. When we're talking large mouth bass, crawfish profile, jig trailers like the Big Bite swimming craw are key at this time.

It's also an awesome time to break out the big worms and creature baits for Texas rigging and deep weeds. And if you've not experimented with the Tokyo rig, you should. They are incredibly effective for penetrating dense weed cover with plastics like tubes or the best flipping bait ever muskies.

And know, big rubber like this for muskies, it's something that you always have to have on. They can fish shallow, they can fish deep. You can fish them slow, you can fish them fast.

They're just probably the most versatile tool that you have in your boat. Yes, there is. That's a lot of great information.

And if you had to identify some of the different delivery systems, what would they be? Well, that's pretty easy. The jig has to be the number one tool for putting plastics on. It's so versatile.

You can fish it high in the water column, you can fish it on the bottom and anywhere in between. The jig is just, in my opinion, the most versatile fishing lure there is. However, there's more to it than just that, and there's more to plastics rigging than just using a jig.

And one of the keys is matching the size of the hook to the size of the plastic. But not only that, matching the right length, power and action of rod along with the line that you're using for that. So an example like this, this might be a great pike rig for fishing in weeds.

Notice I've got a really large hook, thick diameter. I don't want to be throwing this on ten pound braid. This is something you're throwing 40, 50 pound braid on.

Conversely, then, if I'm going to go do some finesse fishing for walleyes, I want to make sure that the hook matches the size of the plastic. Specifically. It's got to be just right on.

And then this would not be a situation where I'd fish heavy line. This is a lot more of that ten pound braid, lighter leader. So the key really is not only matching the right weight and style of delivery system you're putting on the plastic, but it's also matching that rod, reel and line for the specific situation.

And Jeremy, what's your favorite technique? Well, one of my favorites happens to be the drop shot rig. Now, if you're not familiar with what this is, this is a weight forward system. So the weight is tied on the end of your line, and then there's a distance between the weight and the hook, which is keeping the soft plastic a fixed position above the bottom.

Now, if you're not comfortable tying a polymer knot for a drop shot, you can get these little spins shot deals from DMC. I use these all the time. They prevent line twists.

And I've got this little nico hook on this particular spin shot. It's absolutely deadly for fishing fish, especially if you're fishing like a sharp break where you want a bait to be at a specific depth, where maybe for a walleye fisherman, a slip bobber might not be in the strike zone all that long. Day in, day out, this thing is incredibly easy to fish, and it catches everything from blue gills to really big, large mouth bass and everything in between.

It just depends on which plastic and the size of hook that you're using. Yeah, that's very true. Well, thank you for sharing a lot of great information.

Appreciate it. And up next, it's time for our timely topics. We're talking about Tokyo rigs for large mouth bass.

Got him. Little better, Jim. Yep, that's a better.

A lot better. Yeah, it's a lot better. There's some biggies in here.

A lot better. This is so much fun. It's combat fishing.

When you got a fish for big bass like this in the thick, dense, deep water cover, nothing. There's not a better presentation method period than a Tokyo rig. I mean, this Tokyo rig came on the scene some years ago, and it is one deadly way to fish.

It goes through everything. It fishes in anything. It makes no difference.

It's like when I first looked at this Tokyo rig when it came on the scene, I said, will a bass really bite on that thing? Boy, do they bite on it big time. And they put together Tokyo rigs. Now we have them available in all different sizes, hook designs and everything to cover every aspect of soft plastic concoction that you could put on the back of them.

Jimmy's fishing a craw tube right now. I'm fishing a big bite bait. Best flipping bait ever, which I really like.

But there's a variety of different kind of softbaits that fit on the different size hooks and everything. It just gives you a basic idea of some of the baits you could use on this delivery. Know, a lot of people think weed fishing and they think Florida.

You see all the big lily pad beds. But realistically, we live up in the north country in our northern natural lakes, and we actually have some of the probably the best weed fishermen. And the reason being, we actually have a lot of really deep weeds.

Right now, we're fishing in a weed bed that it's 17 foot deep and it's solid coontail. And I can actually see it's, like 3ft underneath the surface. And what we're attempting to do is to actually drive our baits directly down.

You'll notice that Al and I are making very short casts, and that's for a couple of different reasons. Number one is your biggest goal is to take this Tokyo rig and actually just get it to penetrate to the bottom. The fish are on the bottom, and there's like a canopy of these weeds.

And then there's room underneath where the fish can swim. And what we're trying to do is they actually punch this thing right through this dense weed canopy. In this particular lake, we actually have weeds grow down into 26 foot of water.

It's actually changed a lot. This is actually my home lake in central Minnesota. It's a gull lake.

The intriguing thing was these weeds didn't used to be in this lake like this at all. Old weed lines in this lake used to be like, 1214 foot of water. Today, with zebra mussels has changed the complexion of a lot of our lakes.

In the north country, where we have weeds growing deeper than they've ever been before. The Tokyo rig is just an awesome rig for heavy cover fishing, especially for largemouth bass. Now, when it comes to walleye and soft plastics, how does Brad Hawthorne like to fish those? So for summertime walleyes or walleyes and artificials start with your swim baits, right? Swim baits.

We're not new to swim baits in the walleye world. What we are new to is shapes and sizes. And plastics that literally were designed for walleye, not for everything for walleye.

And you take here Northland Eye Candy walleyes have sharp teeth. They have sharp gills. Nothing about the front end of that fish is nice.

And that's why we need a material that'll literally hold up to numerous fish, cast after cast after cast. So swim bait fishing not going to go over it. Have a ton of different head sizes, have a ton of different body shapes.

That is swim bait fishing. For walleye, once you get dialed in, you usually don't have to change throughout the day. Then we go into jig, crawlering, jig, crawlering.

Basically, you have your crawler, and you have your Ned style jig. And this is exactly what it sounds. This is just Ned rigging with a little bit longer worm.

If you guys are looking for a walleye worm that was designed for walleye fishing and this technique, this is, again, an eye candy. That worm has a paddle tail on the back of it. So when you go to swim this, it wags its tail.

That's when the walleye is going to bite. This approach, it's either when it hits the bottom or when you pick it up and that tail starts wiggling, usually when they're going to smoke it. Okay, so now we go to jerk minnows.

Jerk minnows. This is another eye candy bait. You notice in a pattern here, it's because the stuff is built to catch walleye.

You got Wallace, the target species. Yes, sir. Here's my jerk minnow.

Now, notice how I'm matching the jig to match the plastic long shank hook. I want that hook shank farther back on this bait. This bait is always moving erratically.

You want to have that hook farther back to hook the walleye. So there's my three for walleye, right? Those three. If you use those three starting baits for walleye, you'll be successful on any body of water in the state of Minnesota.

Now, for bass, for smallmouth in particular, here's a good approach. This is a tube style bait. Again, it floats.

And always keep in mind the head of the jig that you're using, the head shape and the size. Not only size. So here's a football head on this jig.

And there's a lot of people out there that don't know why we use a football head. When guys say they're slow rolling a football jig, it means they're, in short, working a football jig really slowly and erratically off the bottom because it's bouncing around, usually with a crawfish tail. So that's why you use a football head on anything.

You're crawling on the bottom. Now put that into your walleye arsenal. And now not only will you catch more bass, but you catch more walleye and football heads as well.

It is interesting seeing some of the crossover between bass and walleye fishing when it does come to soft plastics. It's time for this week's Buzbite report to kick it off we're going to head to North Dakota with Johnny candle. Folks, the fishing here on devil's lake has been red hot, even though the weather this summer hasn't been.

If you like to fish shallow, there's plenty of fish up there. Weed edges are holding a ton of walleye trolling crankbaits or spinners along the edges or pitching jigs and crankbaits to those edges are producing great catches. What I've been focusing on personally with my clients lately is bottom bouncers and spinners.

I'm finding that old devil's lake shoreline, which right now is between 25 and 30ft of water. I'm traveling around looking at my side, imaging my down, imaging my 2D sonar, marking pods of fish and then trying to build a trolling pass to connect the dots with those pods of fish. My lures of choice have been regular old hammered metal spinners, silver, gold, even copper or max smile blades.

I've been absolutely killing them with the smile blades. So if you're looking for something to do the next couple of weeks, the next couple days, the next month even, get your butt over here to devil's Lake, North Dakota. Put a bottom bouncer and spinner on, cover, some water, and you're going to take home a really nice mess of walleye.

Thanks, Johnny. Now let's head to the Alexandria area with Joe Segura. I get more questions this time of year than ever.

How can I catch fish? Late July, I can't seem to find fish. What we do have stacked against us is these fish are very spread out. They are hungry more than ever.

Are they eating now? So we have that in our favor. The fact that they're spread out means we're going to have to move and move until we find them. They might be on the inside weed edge like you can see behind me.

They might be on the outside of those weeds. They might be on the submerged weeds out there on the inside or outside as well as out in the basin part. They can be on any one of those spots.

We just have to use the right techniques in each location we go to the basin part. That's kind of what I've been talking about the last couple of weeks is pulling spinners, pulling crank baits through that basin area because I can use my electronics. I can see the bait, I can see the fish.

It's just a bit, a little bit easier to target. Not saying you can't catch the biggest fish of your life on the inside weed edge or just on the outside. It's all really the technique that you're after.

But when you do find fish and you stand the move, they're going to be hungry. Thanks, Joe. Now let's head north to Leech lake with Toby Cavali vogue.

Look at the treetops. It's windy here again today. We have a high around low mid 70s.

So the fishing report is the water temps is cooling, the bug hatch is over. The fish are gorging. Walleye's are gorging on crayfish right now.

So that bite has been good. We're still looking at sand flats, ten to 14ft of water, catching fish on spinners crank baits in the evening, bobbers still and jigging wraps. Jigging wraps have really taken off this last week as far as catching fish matching the hatch, anything crayfish colored or perch colored is your best bet in that.

Twelve to 14 foot of water. Sand flats such as Portage Bay, walker Bay Traders Bay up in the goose flat. Sucker Bay area.

Those sand flats have fish and they seem to be the most consistent. The large mouth have kind of taken over the last couple of tournaments when it comes to bass fishing, so that slop is the area. But there's plenty of small mouth in and around rock humps as well.

Panfish, deeper weed edges. That's your Leach lake fishing report. Thanks, Toby.

Now let's jump up to Lake Vermilion with Billy Rosner and a great morning walleye fishing today. We're definitely getting into the dog days of summer, but don't let that get you down. Just think, starting early, we started this morning about 06:00 A.m..

From 06:00 A.m. To 830 we had an awesome walleye bite in a couple of different areas. Lindy rigs, half a crawler, put a lot of fish in the boat, but also this number nine rap lot jigging wrap in the perch pattern, put a lot of fish in the boat depth.

We're fishing. We're from twelve to 14ft off a deep weed line. Then also we're in a sand flat like 16 to 22ft where there's a little chara, sand, grass up, bunch of perch in there, a bunch of walleyes in there.

So have a great week and be safe out there. Thanks, Billy. Now let's head over to Michigan with Captain Ron Dome, Jr.

The salmon have really showed up this last week. All those winds we had four or five, six days ago, they pulled a lot of fish up from the south and from the Wisconsin side. Manistee, Frankfurt and the Manatee Islands are all fishing really well on adults.

We're seeing bites anywhere from six to twelve adult bites a trip. That's phenomenal for this time of year. Hopefully those fish stay here.

The weather looks like they're going to hang around for a little bit. We've got stable low winds, a nice western breeze most days that's going to keep that thermal climb where it needs to be. It's going to keep the bait fish around.

It's going to keep those fish happy. Moving over to the lake Trout jigging. That bite's also been great for us out of all those same ports targeting the main reef structures along with the Grand Traverse bays, focusing around l wife schools, and also when those L wife aren't around, focusing on gobi that are down on the bottom.

Keeping that jig low to bottom has been key on some of those days. Where that bite's been a little tougher. These fish are not forgiving.

They're big this year and they're angry. Take time to check your leaders, check your hooks and go get them. Have a good day guys.

And now it's time for our cool products brought to you by Omnium Fishing. We're going to start out with the Eye Candy series from Northland Tackle. This is a fantastic new soft plastic lure series from Northland.

These stretch a lot. They're very durable. There's different designs, some great color patterns.

They also float, so they're very buoyant. This is great for things like Ned rigging dragging across the bottom and also the stretch and durability. You can catch a lot of fish on one of these baits.

They're going to last a long time. From northland. Tackle the eye candy series.

And next from VMC, the Tokyo Rig XLS. I'm a big fan of the Tokyo Rigs, especially for fishing. Dense weeds, heavy cover, flooded brush trees.

This is the XLS. So you have an extended drop arm. You slide a weight on here and you can adjust the weight whatever you want on your quarter ounce, half ounce, three quarter ounce, 1oz.

And the hookup ratios on Tokyo Rigs are superb. And this is a new longer arm addition in the Tokyo Rig. From BMC, the XLS HD wide gap.

And next from Blackfish Gear, the cast fishing short. Now these feature six pockets, four way stretch. This is quick drying as well.

You can wear this in the boat if you're waiting. Shore fishing a day at the beach as well. These are just a very comfortable fishing short.

And also it has a zippered pocket. The moisture wicking fabric will keep you dry as well. Just a very, very comfortable fishing short.

From blackfish gear. And next up, from Boat to Trailer, the long handle version. As the name suggests, it's an extended arm to easily launch and load your boat.

This is great for use on both bunk trailers and roller trailers. And it's also great if you're fishing alone. You can launch and load easily by yourself.

The boat to trailer long handle version. And next sea foam motor treatment. It cleans and lubricates fuel systems, helps to maximize horsepower and engine performance.

It also stabilizes your fuel up to two years. The suggested use is 1oz per gallon of fuel. Sea foam motor treatment.

And next from St. Croix Rods, the Legend Tournament Walleye series. This is specifically the jig and wrap version and St.

Croix has technique specific rods. This specific one is seven foot, one inch medium power, moderate fast action. And as the name suggests, this is great for snap jigging, rip jigging.

This is just a fantastic rod. From St. Croix.

Premium components, top to end the legend tournament walleye jigging wrap. And you can shop online anytime@omniafishing.com. Up next, it's our technique of the weekend.

Probably one of my favorite ways to fish all summer long would be fishing a swim bait or a paddle tail, fishing it with like, a neon moon eye jig with three inch paddle tail is probably my favorite, but I also use the three and a half, the four inch. A lot of times when I'm fishing these baits, I'm pitching them out, especially like on a rock reef like this. Or if I'm working the edge of a sand flat.

Or if I'm targeting fish with forward facing sonar, I'm pitching the baits out, letting them hit the bottom and then ripping it, letting it fall. Ripping it, letting it fall. Momentarily touching the bottom.

Now, if I'm fishing a bottom where there's a lot of vegetation or let's say algae on the bottom or something, I might do a steady retrieve, keeping that just off the bottom, working that back to the boat. You can kind of snap jig or snap troll with the swim baits. There's no really wrong way to fish them, just allowing the fish to tell you how you should be fishing or depending on the structure, how you should be fishing.

Now, I love jig fishing. Don't get me wrong, I could jig fish all summer long, but it's not the only way I fish. I love snap jigging.

Let's say jigging wraps. I also do a lot of trolling with shad wraps, casting shad wraps if it's really windy out or there's times where these fish are up off the edge and feeding in the water column. I love throwing jerk baits like a shadow wrap.

So I've got a lot of rods rigged up in my boat all summer long. I'm ready to throw any presentation that the walleyes are willing to eat. As you can see throughout today's episode, there are so many different ways to fish soft plastics.

And as always, we want to remind you to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. Anytime you're leaving any body of water, clean, drain, dry. If you have any questions about today's video, let us know down below in the comments.

And there's also links below in the descriptions for many of the products featured in today's video. Well, thank you for joining us. And here's another video from Angling Buzz.