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Question on plastics & soft baits for bluegill

  • Rick Wetzel
    Participant
    Posts: 5
    #2113031

    New to the forum. My question is on plastics & soft baits for bluegill. I know that the choices are endless. Just for the sake of discussion, if you were looking for something up to 1in, 1 to 2in & 2 to 3in. I was thinking, little grubs & split tails for up to 1in, shad 1 to 2in & twister grubs 2 to 3in. just wondering what your thoughts are.
    P.S. I am just looking for numbers not large size bluegill

    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2113114

    Small ribbed paddle tails like a Mighty Might are great, bring live bait though, they can be finicky and they have a great sense of smell.

    stevenoak
    Participant
    Posts: 1360
    #2113126

    I use Gulp crickets all summer. Beats trying to keep live bait in hot weather. Mayfly larva under the ice. Catch as many fish as I did with live bait. Up to a dozen with one bait.

    Ryan Wilson
    Participant
    Posts: 333
    #2113193

    Look into EuroTackle’s micro finesse series soft plastics. The EPF Swim and EPF Grub are pretty awesome. The Swim is a 1” paddle tail that works quite well. Pair with small lead jig/tungsten jig and you’re good to go. Don’t hesitate to throw a float on top. I like slip bobbers if I use a a float. Very quick and easy to change depths when needed.

    Don’t overlook tying or buying some flies either. Personally, I almost fish panfish exclusively with a size 12 foam beetle and a small clear casting float on my ultra-light spinning setup. Works very well and catches everything from gills to smallmouth to trout.

    I don’t know what waters you’re fishing but if numbers are the game I wouldn’t personally use small soft plastics. But that’s me. Honestly you’d probably have better luck using a bare hook with a few strands of colored thread tied to it Ora chunk of thin rubber and. Again, that’s me. Fish are dumb dude. If it looks small and squiggly… they will more than likely try to eat it just out of pure instinct. Especially, if size isn’t your goal and you’re focused on only numbers.

    Having said that, the Eurotackle finesse stuff is pretty good. I’ve also had good luck with Northland Impulse soft plastics.

    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2113205

    Steven, where do you get mayfly larva?

    Rick Wetzel
    Participant
    Posts: 5
    #2113220

    All very helpful, thank you so much

    Jimmy Jones
    Participant
    Posts: 292
    #2113221

    Go find some replacement tails for Ratso’s or Shrimpo’s in a few colors and hang them on 1/32 heads. The whip tails are favorite prey of sunnies and gill with an occasional perch or crappie tossed in. You’ve indicated that you are seeking the garden variety of fish so don’t over-think this.

    Rick Wetzel
    Participant
    Posts: 5
    #2113236

    Not over thinking, just have empty slots in my plastic box. I just figure guys like talking about what they use to catch fish. Thanks for the replacement tails tip, I wouldn’t have thought of that.

    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2113310

    If you can’t geek out a bit about trivial stuff on a fishing forum what’s the point? Glad you posted Rick!

    stevenoak
    Participant
    Posts: 1360
    #2113428

    Steven, where do you get mayfly larva?

    Impulse seem to have good sent, and lasts for several fish. Black works best for me. Red blood worms good too. I very seldom buy live bait. They work good ice fishing and through ice-out. Then I switch to the gulp.

    Attachments:
    1. 20220403_0905337451-scaled.jpg

    stevenoak
    Participant
    Posts: 1360
    #2113436

    Beats babysitting live worms on a 90 degree day.

    Spoon Minnow
    Participant
    Posts: 208
    #2113456

    New to the forum. My question is on plastics & soft baits for bluegill. I know that the choices are endless. Just for the sake of discussion, if you were looking for something up to 1in, 1 to 2in & 2 to 3in. I was thinking, little grubs & split tails for up to 1in, shad 1 to 2in & twister grubs 2 to 3in. just wondering what your thoughts are.
    P.S. I am just looking for numbers not large size bluegill

    You’re on the right track Rick. Small soft plastics get it done! But a few things to consider:
    jig head weight and hook size
    lure size, shape and action

    I rarely go heavier than 1/16 oz. Hook sizes that fit to 1/2 the lure’s length allow the best action the lure was designed to produce and action is everything when it come to povoking fish to strike! I make most of my own soft plastic lures but if I had to choose, Crappie Magnet grubs are a sure thing when rigged on a 1/24 oz jig with #6 hook. It’s double tails have the right amount of flex fish jump on:
    crappie magnet

    even this large pickerel got into the fun:

    Spoon Minnow
    Participant
    Posts: 208
    #2113463

    Straight thin tails are great!

    as are min-sticks:


    Fork tails do well:

    Note the many species that strike small soft plastics and the variations in shapes and colors.

    Rick Wetzel
    Participant
    Posts: 5
    #2113501

    very cool pics! thanks for sharing!

    mahtofire14
    Participant
    Mahtomedi, MN
    Posts: 7196
    #2113831

    Gulp Minnows and Eurotackle B Vibers. If I’m not using live bait I’m using those.

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