Swimbaits

Swimbaits

Swimbaits

Categories:

1. Big paddle tail swimbaits

2. Big vortex tail swimbaits

3. Glidebaits

4.Multi jointed swimbaits

5. Small swimbaits

A swimbait is perhaps the most natural appearing bait you can use to catch a bass. Swimbaits come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. There is most likely a swimbait for every type of baitfish in the lake you plan on fishing. So before going and spending a ton of money on swimbaits do some research and find out what’s in the lake you plan on fishing. Once you know what your lake consist’s of then try to anticipate what times of the year the bass will be feeding on those baitfish. The more you know about the baitfish types and behaviors in that lake then the closer you can get to those bass. Then that’s when you pick up a swimbait.


 

 



Big paddle tail swimbaits

A paddle tail swimbait is characterized by its “paddle” style tail. Paddle tail swimbaits come in all colors and sizes. Their round shaped tails create a big wide side<–to–>side swimming action. This wide side to side action means that the bait will be moving a lot of water with every swipe of the tail. Knowing this helps determine when you want to use this type of swimbait over others. A big paddle tail swimbait generally ranges from 8 – 12 inches in length. These big baits are no joke and can do a lot of damage to your wallet, rods, and competitor’s heads after they see what you caught. You may not think that everything down to the formation of the cast is critical with big swimbaits until you experience the difference of having no bass in the boat to having a potentially excellent limit.

Where to use a big paddle tail swimbait:

  • Fish ports (where fish farms stock the fishery with fish)

  • Inlets (deltas) / outlets
  • Deep cover (submerged bushes, trees )
  • Largemouth beds, smaller sizes on smallmouth beds
  • crawling on bottom across deep or shallow points

Why use a big paddle tail swimbait there:

  • Throw paddle tail swimbaits on beds to trigger a defensive strike from bass. Bass are always protective of their beds especially when others get close to their eggs

  • Fish the submerged brush and trees because often times these places hold the largest bass of the lake,  big bass will eat big baits

When to use a big paddle tail swimbait:

  •  fish will begin to have more side to side movement when temperatures rise. Knowing that a big paddle tail swimbait will have a lot of side to side action its best to use one in warmer months.

  • Whenever the water clarity is low or there is current then a paddle tail swimbait dominates over other swimbaits because its movements move more water side with every side to side action which may help the bass locate the bait easier than others
  • Low pressure/ overcast days are perfect for fishing big paddle tail swimbaits away from the cover and more out in open water ( above the cover ) the bass will be on the hunt out of their normal comfort zone on these days

How to fish a big paddle tail swimbait:

Retrieve Styles: ( for all big swimbaits )
  • “Chuck and wind” retrieve which is just a steady retrieve
  •  crawl it along the bottom
  • twitch – pause retrieve (like a subtle jerkbait)
Casting: ( for all big swimbaits )
  • Don’t hold back then quickly snap the rod forward to cast heavy baits because you can break the rod doing this
  • Hold rod back, to the upper / side at a 45 – 90 degree angle and then ease into the cast with increasing force, follow through with the cast

What gear to use:

  • Rod: anywhere from a heavy to extra heavy rod that has good flex throughout the rod, not just at the tip. A longer rod is usually preferred 7’ 6” to 8” rod. With a moderate to fast action

  • Reel: this ranges depending on the technique you will be applying ( for slow retrieves use a 5:4:1 to 6:4:1 gear ratio reel and with faster retrieves use a 7:1:1 to 7:5:1 gear ratio reel )
  • Line: 40 lb braid to 15 – 20 lb fluorocarbon leader, or straight 40 lb braid

What colors to use and when:

Try to match the hatch. This means finding out what baitfish, fish are in your lake that bass may feed on. Then depending on what the bass are currently feeding on imitate that specific baitfish. For times that you are testing to see what works then use natural shad, pan fish, trout colors especially when the water clarity is good. When the water is murky or muddy then switch to brighter, flashier colors like yellows, whites, silvers. During the bluegill spawn try and using a paddle tail bluegill near their beds which is what bass are targeting. When the fish farms dump trout in the lakes then use a trout colored paddle tail swimbait in those areas.






Big vortex tail swimbaits

A big vortex style tail swimbait is just like a big paddle tail swimbait but with a different shaped tail. The “vortex” tail has more of a natural shaped tail.  The side to side wobble created is a much tighter wobble than a paddle tail swimbait. Making this the perfect cold water / bed swimbait.

Where to use a big vortex tail swimbait:

You can fish a vortex tail swimbait everywhere you can fish a paddletail swimbait. The only major differences is when you use a vortex tail swimbait

When to use a big vortex tail swimbait:

  • All fish have less general movement when temperatures drop. A big vortex tail swimbait will have a small amount of side to side action. Fish including bass and their prey have a tighter side to side action in the colder months, Whenever the water clarity is good is a good time to through a vortex tail swimbait.

  • Hi pressure/ sunny days are perfect for fishing big vortex tail swimbaits close to cover. The bass are usually more finicky on these days and with less commotion a vortex style swimbait may do the trick

What colors to use and when:

Just like a big paddle style swimbait: try to match the hatch. This means finding out what baitfish, fish are in your lake that bass may feed on. Then depending on what the bass are currently feeding on imitate that specific baitfish. For times that you are testing to see what works then use natural shad, pan fish, trout colors especially when the water clarity is good. When the water is murky or muddy then switch to brighter, flashier colors like yellows, whites.






Glidebaits

A glidebait is an animal of its own. A glidebait has the gift of drawing power and can just be unstoppable at times. Glidebaits are pretty much a large, fat jerkbait. Both baits have a similar purpose: to act like a wounded, or abnormal baitfish, and to catch bass.

Where to use a glidebait:

  • mostly open water at a variety of depths, wherever you see suspended bass

When:

  • All fish have less general movement when temperatures drop. So you will have to slow down your retrieve and have more pause time with a gidebait

  • Low pressure/ overcast days are perfect for fishing glidebaits away from the cover and more out in open water ( above the cover ) the bass will be on the hunt out of their normal comfort zone on these days. During these conditions you can fish the bait more aggressivly. also fishing a glidebait when you notice certain types of baitfish are dying off can be key to your success with it

How to fish a glidebait:

Retrieve Styles:
  • Retrieve with slow twitches and aggressive or non aggressive jerks
  • Retrieve with fast twitches and aggressive or non aggressive jerks
Casting:
  • Don’t hold back then quickly snap the rod forward to cast heavy baits because you can break the rod doing this
  • Hold rod back, to the upper / side at a 45 – 90 degree angle and then ease into the cast with increasing force

What gear to use:

  • Rod: anywhere from a heavy to extra heavy rod that has good flex throughout the rod, not just at the tip. A longer rod is usually preferred 7’ 6” to 8” rod. With a moderate to fast action

  • Reel: this ranges depending on the technique you will be applying ( for slow retrieves use a 5:4:1 to 6:4:1 gear ratio reel and with faster retrieves use a 7:1:1 to 7:5:1 gear ratio reel
  • Line: 30lb braid to 14-20lb fluorocarbon leader, or straight 25-30lb braid

What colors to use and when:

Try to match the hatch. This means finding out what baitfish, fish are in your lake that bass may feed on. Then depending on what the bass are currently feeding on imitate that specific baitfish. For times that you are testing to see what works then use natural shad, pan fish, trout colors especially when the water clarity is good. When the water is murky or muddy then switch to brighter, flashier colors like yellows, whites.






Multi Jointed Swimbaits

These swimbaits can be both a hard material (wood, plastic) and or a soft material (rubber). Multi jointed swimbaits really defines what the fish are like in the summer months. That is a full on swimming action. Tip: If you notice that you are having followers then you can make them commit by suddenly stopping your retrieve; the bait may take a drastic or even a slight right or left turn, that can cause a reaction strike in an instant

When to use a multi jointed swimbait:

  • Like many other swimbaits you may have better results during low pressure/ overcast days

How to fish a multi jointed swimbait:

Retrieve Styles:
  • Chuck and wind at a slow pace or a fast pace, randomly pause to slightly change the direction of travel
Casting:
  • Don’t hold back then quickly snap the rod forward to cast heavy baits because you can break the rod doing this
  • Hold rod back, to the upper / side at a 45 – 90 degree angle and then ease into the cast with increasing force

What gear to use:

  • Rod: Power: heavy, a rod that has good flex throughout the rod, not just at the tip. A longer rod is usually preferred like a 7’ 6”, with a moderate to fast action

  • Reel: this ranges depending on the technique you will be applying ( for slow retrieves use a 5:4:1 to 6:4:1 gear ratio reel and with faster retrieves use a 7:1:1 to 7:5:1 gear ratio reel
  • Line: 30lb braid to 14-20lb fluorocarbon leader, or straight 25-30lb braid

What colors to use and when:

Try to match the hatch. This means finding out what baitfish, fish are in your lake that bass may feed on. Then depending on what the bass are currently feeding on imitate that specific baitfish. For times that you are testing to see what works then use natural shad, pan fish, trout colors especially when the water clarity is good. When the water is murky or muddy then switch to brighter, flashier colors like yellows, whites







Small Soft Bodied Swimbaits

Pretty much all soft bodied swimbaits just smaller than 8” in length. Small swimbaits are just about as versatile as it gets. You can fish beds,  through grass, open water, humps, submerged objects, you name it and a small swimbait can most likely be used there

Where to use small soft bodied swimbaits:

  • Points / flats
  • above grass beds, next to grass lines, through sparse grass
  • Beds
  • edges of mats
  • Through pads (rigged weedless)

When to use small soft bodied swimbaits:

You can use a soft bodied small swimbaits anytime you want to and have a good chance at catching a bass. Though different situations require different colors and different retrieve styles

How to fish small soft bodied swimbaits:

One of the more common ways to rig a smaller swimbait is to rig it with a swimbait head and under spin. the best times to do this is either on sunny, clear water conditions to get a nice flash from the blade, or when you want the bait to stick out from a school of baitfish. Pairing this with some erratic retrieve styles can be a killer combination. Another great way to fish a small swimbait is to rig it weedless with a wide gap hook and burn it over lily pads, swim it sub surface to cover water in shallow areas with sparse grass, or fish it on weed edges

Retrieve Styles:
  • retrieve with slow or fast twitches / pumps to imitate the bait bouncing off objects
  • try a stop and go retrieve if the bass are not being aggressive

What gear to use:

  • Rod: Power: medium heavy rod. A 7’ to 7’ 4” rod is preferred. With a moderate to fast action

  • Reel: this ranges depending on the technique you will be applying ( for slow retrieves use a 5:4:1 to 6:4:1 gear ratio reel and with faster retrieves use a 7:1:1 to 7:5:1 gear ratio reel
  • Line: 20-30 lb braid to 10-15 lb fluorocarbon leader, or straight 10-15 lb fluorocarbon

What colors to use and when:

Just like any other swimbait I try to match the hatch. This means finding out what baitfish, fish are in your lake that bass may feed on. Then depending on what the bass are currently feeding on imitate that specific baitfish. For times that you are testing to see what works then use natural shad, pan fish, trout colors especially when the water clarity is good. When the water is murky or muddy then switch to brighter, flashier colors like yellows, whites

Luca Spagnolo

2 thoughts on “Swimbaits

  1. I am working to learn all I can to improve my fishing techniques and your articles are the best I have found – love your format – gives me exactly what I am looking for!

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