Soft Minnows & Jerkbaits

Soft Plastic Minnows work excellent for largemouth 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 largemouth bass are in the 3 to 4 inch range, but don’t be afraid to go bigger because the 5 to 6 inch range will give you a chance to catch bigger bass on average.

Popular Fishing Techniques

Jerkbait Retrieve

Soft minnow baits look great with a jerkbait retrieve.  Use some of the bigger minnows in the 5 to 7 inch range and work them with an erratic jerkbait retrieve to target largemouth bass.

Go Vertical

You can definitely vertically jig them or use a drop shot rig to give them action while fishing deeper water.  The smaller minnows are more popular for jigging, however, you will usually catch smaller bass with the smaller minnows.  Upsize to the 4 to 6 inch range for more quality bites.

Hop Them Along the Bottom

You can us a jighead or drop shot rig to hop these baits along the bottom as well.  Just work them along with some pauses and you can catch some largemouth bass this way too.

Popular Fishing Rigs

Carolina Rig

The Carolina Rig can be super effective for fishing soft plastic jerkbaits and the smaller minnow-style baits slowly along the bottom with a jerk and pause retrieve.

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.


A simple jighead will get the job done too.  Rig your favorite minnow bait on a jighead and you are all set as long as you’re not fishing around too heavy of cover.

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.

Standup Jighead

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 Hook

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.

Weightless Rig

The weightless 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.