Soft plastic lures come in many different sizes, colors, and styles. With all of the different soft plastics on the market today it can be overwhelming or confusing for some anglers. I want to cover a few of my favorite go-to soft-plastic/jighead combos I use when targeting reds, trout, and flounder.

I truly believe in the phrase “match the hatch.” When I am targeting redfish in skinny water, I try to mimic the bait you can expect in the area you are fishing. Early in the year I scale down and throw smaller plastics and jig heads such as a Z-Man StreakZ 3.75” paired with a 1/8 oz. Trout Eye jighead. The reds are a lot more finicky in colder months and will spook a lot easier. I work the bait very slow in the colder months! If you think you are fishing slow enough, slow down a little more!  

But this time of year, when the water temperature rises and the fish become more active and aggressive I will toss a larger plastic such as a 5” Berkeley Gulp Jerk Shad paired with a Fathom Inshore jighead. I will work these baits more aggressive in the warmer months as the fish are more aggressive.

On sunny days I like to fish with natural or bright soft plastics. When I am fishing days that are overcast, I will lean toward throwing baits that are darker or chartreuse. The water color also plays a big factor in what plastic I will use. 

When the water is clear I will lean more to a natural or light colored soft plastic. If the water is muddy or stained, I find that using a darker color or chartreuse is my best option. Keep throwing different plastics at them until you zero in on what bait they want that particular day. When I am fishing with a partner I always throw a different style and color plastic than what they are throwing. This will allow you to key in on what the fish are biting that day. If your partner is getting bites and landing fish, don’t be stubborn; switch to what is working!

When fishing for Flounder, I like to keep it simple. A soft plastic white or pearl color does the trick for me. My favorite plastic to throw is the Matrix Vortex Shad in classic pearl and white, paired with the orange or pink Fathom Inshore jighead. This has been a great combo for me recently.

My go-to setup when fishing for speckled trout is a Z-Man Trout Trick in the Shrimp Po Boy color paired with a 3/16 oz. Trout Eye jighead. Visit Ralph Phillips Inshore to see a great video on the technique to use with this setup. If I find the fish to be negative, or I am learning a new area, this is a great combo to use. 

Tight Lines!

-Shane Flannigan