Soft plastic crayfish work very well for smallmouth bass. Most anglers will go with smaller crayfish than what they would use for largemouth bass, however, you can still catch some nice smallmouth bass on the larger soft plastic crayfish too. Work these baits along the rocky bottoms that smallmouth bass love to roam and you’ll have success.
Hopping Along the Bottom
Most anglers will hop these baits along rocky bottoms with some pauses mixed in. Most of your bites will come on the pause.
Dragging Along the Bottom
Some anglers have good success just slowly dragging these baits along the bottom.
Best Rigs for Crayfish Baits
Bass Jig & Crayfish
A bass jig and a crayfish bait is one of the best ways to fish a bass jig. Finding the right combination is key. The smaller 3 to 4″ crayfish baits are great trailers for catching lots of quality bass.
Carolina rigs are usually used for targeting smallmouth bass in deeper water. Hop or crawl your favorite crayfish bait over some rocks and you’ll find some hungry smallmouth bass.
Drop Shot Rig
The drop shot rig is not one of the most popular rigs that anglers choose when using crayfish baits, but this rig does work well, especially in deeper water on top of the rocks.
Florida / Texas Rig
The bigger crayfish baits work well on a Texas rig. Add the appropriate weight or fish them weightless in the shallows.
Jighead (Smaller Jighead)
The smaller jigheads are great for the smaller crayfish baits. When smallmouth bass are up in the shallows, the smaller profile jighead can sometimes get you some bites over the heavier jigheads.
Jighead (Longer Shank)
A longer shank jighead is key for getting better hook sets while fishing with a jighead. The smaller jigheads work fine with the smaller crayfish baits, but if you can fit a longer shank jighead onto your crayfish bait, it will usually work better than the smaller jigheads.
The standup jighead is another great rig for fishing with crayfish baits. By rigging it weedless, you can fish it around all types of cover just like the Texas rig and the standup jig allows you to keep the legs of the bait up off the bottom when you pause the bait. It’s very appealing and helps draw a lot of strikes.
A swimbait hook works great with crayfish baits. Fish it similar to how you would a texas rig and you’ll catch plenty of bass. Most anglers think of swimbait hooks as the preferred rig to use for swimbaits. While some crayfish actually do look good with a swimming motion, it’s not the recommended way to fish them to consistently catch quality bass. Fish them slow around all types of cover and try experimenting with a more violent jerk then a 5 to 10 second pause. The swimbait hook gives the bait a gliding action down to the bottom. This helps with reaction strikes.