Companies are constantly researching and trying to develop new lures that will catch fish. The industry goes through different waves and with each development supposedly comes the next best bait that is guaranteed to land you more fish.
There are, however, a few baits that have and always will catch fish. In freshwater, spinner baits can catch almost every type of fish and will work in all types of water. In freshwater, poppers are guaranteed to land fish every time you use them.
Soft plastics have taken the industry by storm over the last few decades and for good reason. They’re continually proving themselves in their abilities to catch fish. They’ve proven to catch saltwater fish like Redfish, trout and even Snook.
Be sure to add soft plastic paddle tail baits to your tackle box for your next Snook mission. They’ll land you quite a few fish are a lot of fun to use!
The Bass Assassin Saltwater Sea Shad may be one of the most saltwater soft plastic baits. It’s going to catch you every fish that’s looking to eat a smaller bait fish. These are only around 4 inches long and you can find them in over 10 colors.
A bag of 10 will only cost you $10 so they’re a great affordable bait that is going to catch fish.
Gulp! baits are legendary in the world of fishing. Fresh and saltwater anglers all have likely used a Gulp! bait in their years of angling. The beauty of Gulp! baits is that they’re heavily scented. In saltwater fishing, scent is important.
By giving off a strong smell, Snook will be more attracted to these baits. These are great to use if nothing else is hitting and you want to make as strong of a presence in the water as you possibly can. You can attach this to a jig just like you would any other soft plastic.
You’ll find these in just about every color you would like. A pack of five of these baits is going to cost you around $6.
The Ripple Mullet is a great choice to use on the days you’re fishing stained water. The darker colors are going to attract the attention of the fish, but the ripples in the side of the bait are the separating factor.
The ripples are going to move more water than a traditional swim bait. If you’re fishing in tough conditions and need some help, tie one of these on and you’ll have plenty of success. A pack of five of these baits will cost your around $7.
Most saltwater anglers are quite familiar with the Yum Money Minnow. This bait has been around for years and continues to show its value every time you use it! It’s tail is quite active and will always entice curious fish.
The belly slot has a nice hook hiding feature that will allow this bait to have a natural appearance. You can find these in a variety of colors and a pack of five will cost you $10.
Yes, this does have the word Redfish in the title, but this bait is proven to be successful for Snook as well. It has a larger tail than most swim baits so on the days you’re searching for more movement, tie on the Magic Glass Minnow.
You’ll find these in a variety of colors and they are proven to be more durable than many other swim baits. You can purchase a pack of five for only $5.
Offshore Angler Saltwater Sally
The Saltwater Sally is a nice representation of a mullet! It’s an extremely versatile swimbait that is going to work for a variety of saltwater fish. You’ll find this lure in almost 10 different colors and is a bit larger.
These are a great durable option looking to get quite a bit of use out of their soft plastic baits.
If you’re after large Snook, the Saltwater Sally is going to be one of the better paddle tail options you can use. You can find a pack of five of these baits for around $5.
How to fish with Paddle Tails
There are a few ways to fish with paddle tail baits. First and foremost, you need to attach these to the properly weighted jig head. The most common and effective weights are ⅛ and ¼ once. Once it is rigged, you have a few options with how to fish it.
Since these are used to imitate a baitfish, you need to make sure it does! If you’re trying to imitate a wounded Shad, which is a great technique, you need to try and bounce the jig off of the bottom.
Do short twitches with your rod to get the jig off of the bottom and let it fall. Depending on how active the Snook are, you may need to increase or decrease your twitches. Snook will often hit these Shad as they fall. Be prepared for the take and reel into the hook set. This is a great method to use if you’re fishing in water with vegetation. It makes the bait much more noticeable.
You can also use the paddle tail and just drag it along the bottom. If it’s rocky or sandy, slowly drag it along the bottom. This technique isn’t always going to work, but it can be effective if the Snook are looking to feed directly off of the bottom. Remember, Snook are going to naturally look up or sideways so you should be confident that they’re bottom feeding before you choose to use one.
One other technique you can use when you’re fishing with paddle tails is to use it as a true swimbait. If you choose this method, use a lighter jig head. You don’t want to be weighed down too heavily when you use it as a swim bait. This technique is going to work well when you need to cover a variety of water.
A final technique that is not often utilized is using a paddle tail as a topwater bait. If you see bait circles in shallow water, the paddle tail is a great lure to throw. Burn this across the surface on a light jig and see what happens. If the Snook are hungry, they’re going to feast on the topwater paddle tail!
If you’re unaware of how the fish are feeding, retrieve these paddle tails slowly towards yourself and see what happens. They’re a great search bait if anything! You can use them in almost every type of water.
When to Use Paddle Tail Swim Baits
Paddle Tails will be successful year round, but it’s going to work especially well as the winter comes to a close and the water temperatures begin to warm. This is when the fish are hungriest and looking for baitfish imitations.
Tie on one of these and you’ll catch plenty of fish. Remember, experiment with the retrieval methods. It takes a bit of time to see how the fish want them, but it’s well worth the time! Once you know, you’re in for a great day of fishing.