I’ve always believed that many anglers make their soft plastic selection process much more difficult than it needs to be. We’ll sit there for several minutes, just staring at dozens of bags as if we’re awaiting a miraculous epiphany of some sort. This wastes a bunch of time and overcomplicates a fairly simple decision.
For this very reason, I make an effort to use versatile baits. If a soft plastic can serve multiple purposes throughout the year, I’m all over it. I want to maximize my fishing time and minimize complication to the best of my ability.
I’ve been fishing with the NetBait Mad Paca for a long time and it has quickly become a major staple in my boat. I’ve rigged it and fished it every way imaginable and it continues to produce, even on tough days of fishing.
There are four noteworthy aspects that are certainly worth discussing.
- No wasted appendages
It gives you options
I have a lot “history”, I guess you’d call it, with the NetBait Mad Paca. I’ve used it in every condition throughout each month of the year and have learned that it’s much more than a big creature bait. There are several tweaks you can make in order to adjust its size and profile to match the current conditions.
Flipping and pitchingâ This is probably the most popular application for the Mad Paca. It’s a fairly big bait, but I’ve found it to be an excellent choice for slowly dissecting laydowns and docks. My home lake is full of 12-inch bass and the large, bulky profile of this bait has been quite effective at eliminating the smaller bass and allowing me to specifically target larger fish. It can hold a 5/0 hook, it moves a bunch of water and it stays intact after several fish catches. Not to mention, it skips surprisingly well for a bait with so many large appendages.
Football or flipping jig trailerâ I’ve been using the Mad Paca as a jig trailer quite a bit recently. I’ll bite off the head section right beneath the arms and thread it onto the hook just as I would a normal jig trailer. Then I’ll pinch off the large, ribbon-tail “tentacles” in order to achieve a very compact and streamline profile. It comes through cover without any problems whatsoever and it’s thick enough to stay on the hook and last for several fish catches. I’ve done a lot of tinkering with it in clear, shallow water and whether you drag it, hop it or shake it, the pincers remain at an elevated position as serve as an outstanding imitation of a threatened crawfish. The pincers don’t catch much water as it skips, which makes it one of my favorite trailers for skipping docks.
Swim jig trailerâ Whether you prefer using a traditional swim jig or a bladed swim jig, this bait is a killer addition to it. Now, it’s important to understandâit creates a really big profile that may not catch quantity, but the bites it gets will be the “right” ones. I’ll bite off the head of it just like normal, but this time I’ll leave the long tentacles for some extra bulk, especially in stained water. You can burn your jig or just bulge it beneath the surface and the pincers kick like crazy and make a ton of commotion. To be honest, I was very surprised to see the water displacement of this setup. You can be sure this rig will be on my front deck this upcoming weekend.
Carolina rigâ I’ve never really enjoyed fishing the Carolina rig, but I’m slowly coming around. Much to my surprise, I have one rigged up fairly often these days. And I’ve found the Mad Paca to be a solid choice for it. It’s a relatively buoyant bait, so it sinks very slowly. When you pair this slow-sinking action with a longer, monofilament leader, it’s a sexy-looking setup. As you drag your rig across the bottom, the bait hovers off of the bottom nicely, which particularly appeals to inactive bass.
I’m not a big fan of fragile baits, especially soft plastics. Of course it’s irritating to constantly re-rig after just a few bites, but there’s another reasonâI like a clean boat. And I can’t stand to have my carpet littered with ripped up baits and appendages. I know it’s weird but it drives me crazy.
Fortunately, I’ve found the Mad Paca to be very durable. I can skip it for several hours without readjusting and it’s not uncommon to catch 10 bass on a single bait. Even the tentacles and pincers seem to hold up very well, which saves a tremendous amount of time throughout a day of fishing.
No wasted plastic
Yea, I know. That’s a weird title for this section, but hear me out. All too often, you’ll run across soft plastics that look like someone just glued a bunch of random appendages to it. They’ll look more like a toy you’d give your teething baby than a bass fishing bait. And these little pieces of plastic don’t do much. But they seem to catch a lot of anglers.
I really like how every single appendage moves on the Mad Paca. They all have a reason and a “job” to do while you’re fishing. The ribbon-tails flutter with the smallest shake of your rod tip, the pincers kick and remain elevated on the pause and even the tiny “arms” located near the head of the bait undulate as you drag the bait across the bottom. The plastic is also quite soft and responds very well to subtle rod movements.
No need to sell your firstborn
This doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out explanation. Let’s just be realâ everybody likes affordable things. It doesn’t matter if it’s gas, milk, food or fishing tackle. We all like to save money wherever we can.
The Mad Paca is priced at $3.59 per 8-pack. Now let’s just be conservative here and assume you’ll catch 5 bass on each bait. That means each pack has the potential to catch 40 bass. With the help of my iPhone calculator, each catch “costs” under 9 cents. That’s a strange way to think about it, but it’s simply an attempt to quantify the value of these specific baits. Or maybe I just look like a giant nerd now.
If you’re looking to expand your soft plastics collection, I think the Mad Paca is a solid addition. It doesn’t rip to shreds after a single catch, it looks good and it gives you a bunch of very simple customization options without emptying your wallet.