Steve ChaconasCaptain Steve brings 25 years of bass fishing experience on the Potomac River to columns featured in the BoatUS Trailering Magazine, Sportsman's Magazine, Woods & Waters, and The Old Town Crier. He has also written for the Free Lance Star newspaper, The Mount Vernon Gazette, The Mount Vernon Voice, The American Sportfishing Association and many others. Steve also hosted the National Bass Fishing Radio Show. Capt. Steve is also the BoatUS.com online fishing expert. A U.S. Coast Guard Captain, licensed by the Potomac River Fisheries Commission and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Steve has the opportunity to fish with anglers of all skill levels, including some of the biggest names in pro bass fishing. He is one of the top bass fishing guides in the country. Steve's been featured in local and national newspapers, magazines and on TV and radio: BASSMASTERS, BASS TIMES, BASSIN' Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Los Angeles Times, ESPN and others. He's been: emcee of the St. Jude Children's Hospital Tournament the past 11 years, a member of Boat US Speakers Bureau, the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association and a member of the American Sportfishing Association. Steve has been awarded an Excellence in Craft award from SEOPA and was the recipient of the Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce 2002 and 2003 Home-Based Business of the Year Award. Prior to fishing, Steve's careers included teaching high school algebra and sales of cars, computers and surgical products. He also hosted the longest running all-financial morning radio show in the country and is considered to be "The Father of Business Radio".
Hi, I am Captain Steve Chaconas with National Bass Guide Service. We have been talking about lures; we have been talking popping lures that hit the surface of the water, crankbaits that dive a little bit, all the way down to 15 feet deep, spinnerbaits that you can take through a variety of conditions, clear water, muddy water and choppy conditions, stow a spinnerbait, but the Soft Plastic is probably the most versatile of all fishing lures, yet it can be the most difficult for people to master. Lets start there again with a top-down approach. A soft plastic frog like this can be cast across the surface of the water; the legs kick, create a disturbance, giving you a topwater soft plastic. You can also go a little bit deeper in the water column by using what we call a soft plastic stick bait; again, rigging this bait weedless, Texas rig, and we will show you how to do that in just a second. This bait is so easy to use; you just cast it out and let it fall through the water column and just let it go to the bottom, twitch it, bring it back up and let it fall again. It falls horizontally and triggers reaction strikes from the fish. If we want to go a little bit deeper, we can use a big variety of baits. We can use baits that look like lizards, like crawfish. The other way that you can fish a soft plastic bait is to use it with a weight; you just simply attach the weight to the line, and now when you put a hook in this bait, it will sink to the bottom and you can hop it along through the water column; you can fish this bait anywhere from 6 inches to 16 inches, 26, all the way down to 60 feet deep if you want. So, thats another advantage of soft plastics is that one lure can be so versatile. You can also put an insert weight into a tube and have it glide a little bit better; but I am going to show you how to Texas rig a lure. What we are going to do is we are going to take this hook and we are going to insert it into the top of the soft plastic bait. We are going to use this lizard. So I am going to insert the hook through the nose of the bait about a quarter of an inch; I am going to come out of the bait, and I am going to slide the bait all the way up to that little arm. Now, to position the hook through the bait, I put my thumb right where the bend of the hook comes into contact with the bait; thats where I am going to take the hook, put it back through the soft plastic, and then gently pull the plastic up over the point, and now we have a Texas rig bait. You can rig this with a weight and you can rig it weightless; if you rig it with a weight, obviously you could go all the way to the bottom -- very flexible, you can fish at any depth, whether it is 6 inches, 16 feet, 26, 36, as deep as you want. The soft plastic bait is the most versatile lure that you can use.
Coming up next, we are going to tell you what to do if one of your fish has swallowed one of these and has got hooked. We will tell you how to get the hook out and save the fish at the same time.