Two Must Have Soft Plastics For Inshore Saltwater Fishing

We all love those explosive topwater strikes and feeding frenzies that make fish reckless but the fish aren’t always out for blood. Sometimes, a more subtle and technical approach is required to move the needle. Calm days with scattered bait and little action can leave anglers wondering what will get the job done. Taking a technical approach with soft baits is one great way to move the needle when the big lures and aggressive gear simply won’t work.

It’s About More than Convenience

Why not fish live bait? Live bait certainly remains an excellent option but soft baits do carry several advantages. They are convenient, cost-effective, and always ready to fish. Modern soft baits do an excellent job of imitating the real thing with integrated scents and life-like designs that profile the natural.

The SaltNative Skelly Swim and Skelly Shrimp are two examples of specificity in soft bait designs. The Skelly Swim utilized a paddle tail and multiple color options to imitate a wide range of baitfish. No need to lose live bait and struggle keeping a livewell running all day. The Skelly Swim looks and acts like a fleeing baitfish while the Skelly Shrimp is jointed to ride and swim just like a real shrimp. Bass swimbaits like the BioSpawn Exoswim have also proven to be deadly for inshore species like redfish, trout, and tarpon.

Working the Flats and Shallows With Inshore Swimbaits

Fish are spooky as they hunt and feed across saltwater flats and shallow zones. Redfish tailing on grass flats are easily blown out and bonefish, permit, and tarpon are wary about danger from above. Soft baits offer flexible rigging options to land softly in the shallows. Rigging a bait without weight is a great approach to finesse fishing in the shallows.

Another approach to fishing shallow water involves anticipating the movements of fish. If a flat is frequented by fish, try casting well ahead of their travel pathways. Using a weighted soft bait like the Skelly Shrimp will get the bait down quickly. Let it sit then make a retrieve only when it’s visible to a fish. They are never spooked by the bait landing and are more likely to strike.

Fishing Inshore Soft Plastic Shrimps Down Deep

Soft baits aren’t only effective in the shallows. Rigging for deeper water is also common and very effective when the bite is difficult. Rig for deeper water by adding weight and use a jig style approach by dropping right off the boat or pier. Look for structures where fish congregate and keep your bait in the zone, working right over the fish.

Current is the biggest factor when fishing down deep. Calm waters call for less weight and only a few ounces can get your bait down. When the wind is blowing the water is moving, more weight is necessary to cut through the current and reach the structures where fish congregate. 

Soft baits are excellent for flats, shallows, structure, and general inshore waters. Learning the depths of the areas you fish will influence the way you fish soft baits. Add and subtract weight based on the preferred retrieve speed and experiment until you find the right combination of finesse and presentation. When the fishing gets technical, break out the soft baits and turn the tides in your favor.

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