Finesse fishing has exploded with all sorts of specialty tackle readily available. Before there were rows upon rows of finesse style soft plastics there really wasn’t a choice but to cut bigger baits down to make them fit finesse applications. Even though there are plenty of options available on the market there are still some advantages to cutting larger baits down.
One of my favorite times to trim down a soft plastic is when I am fishing a spinnerbait. I like to cut down a Dewey tail dragger swimbait as a trailer especially when I am looking to downsize my presentation. Also, if I feel like I am getting short strikes due to the trailer being too far away from the hook then I will also choose to trim down the bait.
When the fishing gets super tough it is really hard to beat a finesse jig. These jigs can get you bit in times where nothing else seems to be getting it done. This is a really effective technique not only in lake but also in river systems when chasing down big smallies. Don’t be afraid to go to a larger soft plastic even though you are cutting it down because those larger baits have larger appendages and thus more action. The swimming craw is great example of this in that the it is oversized for a small jig but the action of the craw is tough to beat so cutting it down to fit as a trailer is killer.
If you are from the Midwest you know that we love our swim jigs. Our “northern” swim jigs are different in that it is a smaller more finesse jig then one that many of the southern anglers use. I will rarely go above a ¼ oz jig and love putting a tail dragger style of swimbait as a trailer. With a ¼ oz jig it gives you the ability to “float” the jig allowing it to flow with current naturally or in between lily pads or pockets in weeds. Because of this you don’t want a large paddle tail hanging from the jig and weighing it down too much not allowing for a natural presentation. Most of the forage around here is also smaller in nature so trimming a soft plastic down to allow the bait to match the hatch is important.
Written & Filmed by Dubro Fishing Team Member Matt Gibson