How to Fish a Swimbait?
What is a Swimbait?
Swimbait is a type of big bass lures that can carry fish ten pounds or more. I hope you have patience because swimbait fishing is an all-day commitment. Don’t switch your bait and rod, wait it out. That’s how you will catch a big bass. Big bass are smart, and don’t take a bite of just any bait. There are multiple sizes, but the most popular sizes are between 6” and 12” in length. Since it’s hard to catch bass, it’s good to know that a big lure will not intimidate the smaller bass; they will bite too. The realistic design of the swimbaits and effective swimming mimicry deceive the big bass.
How to Fish a Swimbait?
Find your happy place! Like I mentioned before, patience is essential to catching big bass. Besides patience, you will use a straight, fixed retrieve. You can always tug on the line every so often to get the basses attention. You know how, for the most part, the bigger you are, the slower you are. Well, it’s the same for large baitfish as they swim slower than smaller baitfish. When using bigger swimbaits, reel the slowest you can without stopping the active swimming.
The floating models do well when on top the water or just below it. When a baitfish is dying, they flutter just below the surface. This is a great technique to use because the large bass will target the easy prey. The best time for using swimbaits on top the water is in the morning, in the evening or when the water is calm.
Swimbaits that sink and dive are mainly for use in deep water where it can hide. A drop off with grass would be great, but don’t stress about knowing exactly where the “perfects spots” are to sink the bait. The fish will come!
If you want to know about shallow water tactics, check out Shallow Water Swimbait Tactics.
If you don’t have a boat or don’t want to take it out, no biggie! Cast out by a dock, bridge posts or weed line. Because you’re place the bait near cover, all you have to do is make sure the bait is in an active swimming motion and the bass will want to attack.
Types of Swimbaits:
In order to really trick bass, there are multiple colors, shapes and styles of swimbaits to mimic different species. Three main swimbaits are hard body, soft body and paddle tail swimbaits. swimbaits that fall under the three categories.
Hard body Swimbaits
Hard swimbaits are rigged with treble hooks. Don’t use this in an area with thick weeds because you don’t want to lose a lure.
Multi jointed swimbaits have three or more body sections thar connect through to create a wide yet smooth swimming motion once in the water.
Single-jointed swimbaits have two parts linked by a hinged segment located in the middle or by the tail.
Glide baits are similar to the single-jointed baits but longer, which gives the lure a wider, “S-shaped” swim motion.
Soft body Swimbaits
Soft swimbaits are made with high-quality solid-rubber. These lures are large and heavy with similar texture of a real fish. Since the line can attach at the nose or on the head of the bait, it appears more realistic to the bass.
Full body soft baits are similar to the hard body baits but the body isn’t divided. You may have to buy the hooks separately.
Line-through bait design is to protect the bait from getting ruined/thrown which also keeps the fish on the line. Put the line through the hold on its nose, then the line goes through the eyelet and comes out the top of the lure or the bottom; it depends on the type you buy. Attach the treble hooks to the line. The fish won’t be able to use its weight, since the bait can move easily on the line. Woohoo!
There is no surprise here that the hook will be placed at the top of the lures head, but the hook has an extended shank that goes in between the body and out the top. Don’t bring this bait in the weeds! It’s better for dragging near the bottom.
Paddle Tail Swimbaits
Paddle tail swimbaits are easy to notice; the tail looks like a paddle you would use to kayak! You will have to buy hooks for these baits too. These are great for fishing heavy weeds. Choose the hook best suited for the swimbaits shape. Three hooks can be used for paddle tail swimbaits: a swimbait hook, a straight shank hook or a jig head hook. Choosing which hook depends on the shape of the swimbait.
Hollow body paddle tail baits work best with swimbait hooks because the open space on the hook gives the large bait some extra room. The swimbait hooks can be unweighted or with “belly weight.” Because the hollow body swimbaits are softer, you don’t have to worry about the hook not staying the fish’s mouth. You'll get a big bite on this one.
Solid body paddle tail baits are usually paired with swimbait hooks, but you can also rig these lures as you a top hook swimbait with a straight shank hook or a jig head hook. This bait is very sturdy and stays on better than the hollow body, but its solid body does prevent it from having high hook up ratio.