Creature Baits have become quite popular even though they don’t always mimic a natural food source for smallmouth bass. Many of the smaller creature baits in the 3 to 4 inch range will work great when rigged on a regular jighead or a drop shot rig for smallmouth bass. The bigger creature baits will also get bit by smallmouth bass, but the smaller baits tend to be get more bites.
Flipping & Pitching Around Cover
Flipping and pitching around cover is very effective when smallmouth bass move into the shallows during the spring. Fish the wood along the shorelines with this technique and you’ll have success. Later in the year, you need to find wood or docks in deeper water for this technique to work well.
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 Creature Baits
Bass Jig & Creature Baits
Some creature baits look great on the back of a bass jig. Fish them slow and around all types of cover and you’ll catch plenty of bass.
The Carolina rig works well with creature baits. Most anglers use this rig for fishing deeper water. A heavier weight will help give the bait more action as you pull it up through the water column and let it drop back down to the bottom. Drifting with a heavy wind or a slow troll can also be productive if the creature bait has good action on a steady swimming retrieve.
Drop Shot Rig
The drop shot rig works well with a lot of creature baits. There are so many different types of creatures out there, so you have to experiment to see which ones look better. Make sure you use a heavy enough weight to help give the baits more action.
Florida Rig / Texas Rig
The Texas rig is a great rig for creature baits. Rigged weedless, you can fish around all types of cover.
The smaller jigheads work fine with the smaller creature baits, but if you can fit a longer shank jighead onto your creature bait, it will usually work better than the smaller jigheads.
The shaky head jig is another great rig for fishing with creature baits. Some creatures look better than others on a shaky head jig, but most will look very good rigged this way. By rigging it weedless, you can fish it around all types of cover just like the Texas rig.
A swimbait hook works great with creature 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. You can swim some creature baits with a swimbait hook, but it works well when fished slowly around cover too. The swimbait hook gives the bait a gliding action down to the bottom and this makes some creatures look flat out awesome. This helps with reaction strikes.