Herein, we report a new approach to rapidly actuate the plasmonic characteristics of thin gold films perforated with nanohole arrays that are coupled with arrays of gold nanoparticles. The near-field interaction between the localized and propagating surface plasmon modes supported by the structure was actively modulated by changing the distance between the nanoholes and nanoparticles and varying the refractive index symmetry of the structure. This approach was applied by using a thin responsive hydrogel cushion, which swelled and collapsed by a temperature stimulus. The detailed experimental study of the changes and interplay of localized and propagating surface plasmons was complemented by numerical simulations. We demonstrate that the interrogation and excitation of the optical resonance to these modes allow the label-free SPR observation of the binding of biomolecules, and is applicable for in situ SERS studies of low molecular weight molecules attached in the gap between the nanoholes and nanoparticles.