This is article 4 in our Best Trout Lures of All Time series.
- Best Trout Lures of All Time: 5 Best Spoons
- Best Trout Lures of All Time: 5 Best Spinners
- Best Trout Lures of All Time: 5 Best Plug Baits
Once you’ve mastered the skill of catching small backcountry trout on spinners and spoons, it’s time for you to graduate to soft plastics. Although they are significantly harder to use effectively and to master, using soft plastics can be one of the most effective ways to fish for trout.
The difficulty of using soft plastics also makes it a lot more rewarding when you do land your first fish, and you will keep coming back to them time and time again once you get the ‘plastic bug’.
When putting together the following list of the five best soft plastics for backcountry trout fishing, I have considered a few different things. First, I have thought about ease of use and versatility. I have also considered how effective each soft plastic is when targeting backcountry trout and how much success I have had with them in the past.
1. Berkley PowerBait Power Worm
If you – like me – love using innovative new soft plastic baits which are designed to appeal to fish, then you will love the Berkley PowerBait Power Worm. The Power Worm is designed for use in relatively still water, and they are absolutely dynamite on hungry trout.
Embedded with Berkley’s legendary soft plastic scent, these soft plastic Power Worms are best used with either an unweighted hook or a tiny jig head. Rig your worm in your favorite way, cast it over a spot that you think will hold a trout or two, and slowly work it back towards you. The fluttering tail and PowerBait scent will do the rest.
With a range of colors and sizes to choose from, the Berkley PowerBait Power Worm is a great soft plastic to add to your tackle box before your next backcountry expedition. It is relatively simple to use, and it is therefore great for beginners without a lot of experience using soft plastics.
2. Mister Twister Micro Crawfish
Like many other soft plastics, the Mister Twister Micro Crawfish is designed to imitate the prey of trout and other popular predatory species. In this case, the Micro Crawfish is designed to look and swim like a (surprise surprise) crawfish. Since these are the natural prey of many backcountry trout, you should have good success with these plastics.
Although I haven’t used them personally, I really like the realistic shape and swimming motion of these plastics. They are relatively easy to use, and they should prove irresistible to most trout. Rig them with a tiny jig head and work them slowly over the rocks on the bottom of a stream. Fishing like this will appeal to any trout foraging in the area, and should result in a pretty good hook up rate if there’s hungry fish in the area.
3. Rapala Storm WildEye Live Minnow
The Rapala Storm WildEye Live Minnow is a perfect example of how realistic soft plastic lures can be. It is designed to look and swim just like a real baitfish and, in all honesty, it does just that.
Equipped with both a standard soft plastic hook through the top of the body and a treble hanging underneath, you this plastic is designed to help you hook up on better fish, more often. The lifelike eyes and reflective insides will draw trout in, while the vibrating tail will entice a strike in absolutely no time. I love using the WildEye Live Minnow, but it can be hard to master. Practice with it, and make sure that you experiment with different retrieval styles.
4. Berkley Rib Shad Soft Plastic
Although simple soft-plastics aren’t always the best, the Berkley Rib Shad is proof that simple often does work. When paired with the right jig head, the Rib Shad can be worked across grassy flats, used in deep streams, or even used to entice small trout in crystal clear pools.
Designed to vibrate with a tight, enticing action at even the slowest retrieval rate, the Rib Shad will draw in fish which simply won’t respond to other types of lures or even other soft plastics. The range of colors that are available means that you will find one to suit the water that you’re fishing in, and the fact that every Berkley Rib Shad has a uniquely designed scent and flavor means that fish will bite and hold on!
Soft plastics are relatively inexpensive when compared to most lures, which means that most people can afford to have a pretty decent sized tackle box full of plastics. Take advantage of this, and add some Berkley Rib Shads to your collection!
5. Mister Twister TwisterMite
The Mister Twister TwisterMite is designed to imitate a very popular trout prey species, the hellgrammite. At just 2.75 inches long, it is perfect for targeting small trout in backcountry streams and rivers.
I like to use the TwisterMite with a small jig head, but you can also fish it as a dropshot lure if you want to. When I use it, I like to cast across dark, still pools of water, where I then work the lure slowly back towards me along the bottom. Obviously this going to be difficult if you are fishing an area with a lot of snags, which is why I usually use the TwisterMite in clean streams and river pools.
The TwisterMite is easy to use, and it can add another tool to your arsenal. Fish can be fussy sometimes. If they aren’t responding to your plugs or spinners, it could be worth trying a soft plastic like this to see if you can entice a strike.
Although they can be frustrating to use and difficult to get the hang of, there is nothing quite like the feeling of catching your first backcountry trout on a soft plastic. Plastics come in a range of shapes and sizes, so make sure that you have a few different styles handy for those days when it’s hard to entice the fish to bite. The plastics above are some of my favorites, but do your own research and make sure that you fill your tackle box with a range of different lures!