Soft Minnows & Jerkbaits

Soft Plastic Minnows work excellent for smallmouth bass. There are so many good ones to choose from that give anglers a chance to target bass shallow with a weightless rig, deep with a drop shot rig or around all types of cover with a shaky head jig.  Some of the best soft plastic minnows for smallmouth bass are in the 3 to 4 inch range, but don’t be afraid to go bigger.  At times, some of the soft plastic minnow baits in the 5 to 7 inch range will actually work great for targeting bigger smallmouth bass.

Best Rigs for Soft Jerkbaits

Weightless Texas Rig

The weightless Texas rig is one of the best rigs for fishing with soft plastic jerkbaits.  Most anglers would go with the weightless Texas rig and fish it in the shallows around all types of cover.

Shaky Head Jig

The shaky head jig works with jerkbaits.  Fish it slowly with a hop and pause technique to mimic an injured minnow dying on the bottom and you will get plenty of bites.

Swimbait Hooks

A swimbait hook is a great way to rig a soft plastic jerkbait.  The gliding action that the swimbait hook adds to this bait makes it very appealing after a quick hop.  Hop it, pause it, hop it, pause it, repeat and hang on.


An underspin can be a very effective way to rig a soft plastic jerkbait.  It may not seem like an ideal way to rig it because they don’t have a great swimming action on an underspin, but you don’t need a great swimming action to get bit with an underspin.  The spinner will attract the bass and the soft plastic jerkbait will make the bait appear more like an actual minnow or bait fish.

Best Rigs for Soft Minnow Baits

Scrounger Jighead

A scrounger jighead and smaller soft plastic minnow bait is an amazing combination for making a swimbait.  These scroungers work great in shallow water and you can fish them deeper too.

Shaky Head Jig

A shaky head jig and some soft plastic minnows work well together to make a great combination for targeting smallmouth bass along the bottom.

Drop Shot Rig

The drop shot rig is probably the best rig for smaller minnow-style baits.  You can rig the bigger jerkbait minnows too on a drop shot rig, but there are better rigs for those baits. With the smaller minnows, you will see some incredible action with these on a drop shot rig.

Soft Plastic Minnows

Gulp Minnows Shop Gulp Minnows
Berkley Power Minnows Shop Berkley Power Minnows
Gambler Shakey Shad Shop Gambler Shakey Shad
Lunkerhunt Bento Baits Shop Lunkerhunt Bento Baits
Uncle Josh Bait Meat Minnow

Soft Jerkbaits

Zoom Super Fluke Shop Zoom Super Fluke
Kalin’s Jerk Minnow Shop Kalin’s Jerk Minnow
Zoom Fluke Stick Shop Zoom Fluke Stick
Gambler Flapp’n Shad Shop Gambler Flapp’n Shad