“Big Swimbaits catch Big Fish.”
Have you ever heard a fisherman say those words before? Typically those words are following by either a day with no fish at all or giant.
While it is true that bigger lures will generate bigger fish it is a little more complicated than just casting a lure and retrieving it.
For that reason, I have put together a few tips to help you succeed when swimbait fishing….
How to fish a swimbait?
Before we get into the details on how to retrieve a swimbait and under what conditions to throw a swimbait, let’s take a look at some helpful swimbait fishing tips.
Position yourself to succeed. Before making the first cast with a swimbait is important to talk about positioning. The reason this is important is because bass tend to follow a swimbait for quite a while before hitting it. Having that in mind you want to position yourself so that you give the bass the maximum amount of time to look at lure and to follow it. The more time they have to follow it, the better chances of the lure getting a bite.
Another reason this is important is because of the size of the lures. Swimbaits are huge! Along with the size comes a huge amount of noise when they enter the water. This noise can spook the fish and thus limit your chances of catching fish.
With those points in mind let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you have found some fish on your fish finder and would like to target that certain area. I would recommend that you position yourself in a way that you can overcast the target area perhaps by as much as 20 feet. This distance will allow your lure’s splash not to spook the fish, it will allow your lure enough time to get down to the desired depth and the bass will have plenty of time to have a good look at your presentation.
Don’t forget to inspect. There is nothing more frustrating than having fished all day only to realize at the end of the day your lure hasn’t been running true. Since this action is so vital to your generating strikes it is important before putting your line into the water to take a few minutes to inspect your lure.
Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to throw your swimbait in the water right in front of the boat to make sure it is swimming just the way you like it. This is also a great opportunity to sharpen the hooks and make any other small modifications.
One such small modification that many fishermen like to do is change the location of the hooks. If you plan on fishing the bottom of the lake you don’t want your hooks to be located on the bottom of the lure. Relocating them to the top can allow you to fish more areas and catch more fish.
Remember that when fishing with swimbaits you reduce drastically reduce the amount of bites you will get in a day. With that in mind do whatever you need to do to make sure that every bite counts.
Don’t forget the net. I know it may sound obvious, but when fishing with a swimbait is it essential to bring and use a net. Remembe,r the reason we are fishing a swimbait in the first place is to catch big bass. You don’t want to lose a trophy bass by making a silly mistake and try to flip it into the boat.
How to retrieve a swimbait?
Now that we have ourselves positioned correctly and we have made a few modifications to our lure it is now time to fish. How should a swimbait be retrieved? While there are a variety of different swimbaits on the market, let’s take a look at two very popular types of swimbaits.
A very popular swimbait amongst bass fishermen is the PowerBait Slim Shad Swimbait. This is a 6 inch paddle tail type swimbait. This bait is huge, but don’t let that discourage your from fishing with you. Remember huge baits yield huge fish.
The best way to retrieve this type of swimbait is very slowly. This swimbait was designed to be fished on the bottom to mimic a baitfish feeding. With that in mind when fishing with the lure we want to retrieve it slowly. Allow the head of the lure to bump into rocks, logs or whatever else it may encounter. Many times as it bumps into different things it can generate a strike.
To see this lure in action check out the following video:
On the otherhand the very popular BBZ1 Swimbait is designed to fished a little differently.
As you can see with the treble hooks on the bottom of the body, this lure isn’t designed to be fished on the bottom. It is designed to be fished in the middle to lower section of the water column. A nice slow and steady retrieve can get fish to follow your lure and produce a strike.
If you see a lot of followers, but you are having a hard time getting the fish to commit you may need to vary your retrieve. For example, you could once in a while give the lure pop and pause retrieve. This retrieve can be deadly as it imitates a dying baitfish.
Some hardbody swimbaits such as JackAll Gantarel Swimbait the are designed in a way that a quick pop with your swimbait fishing rod can cause the swimbait to do 90 degree turn and look the bass right in the eyes. Bass cannot stand this and won’t hesitate to bite.
When to throw a swimbait?
Once of my favorite things about swimbaits is they produce fish year round. You can fish them summer, spring winter and fall and still catch fish.
As we mentioned early the key to fishing with a swimbait is that the fish be able to clearly see the bait and see that deadly “S” swim motion. For that reason, swimbaits typically do much better in clear to mildly stained water, however because of their large profile they can produce fish in muddy water so well.
There is no doubt about it, swimbaits will catch big fish. However, I must warn you it does require dedication.
On a typical day fishing with a crankbait you may be used to getting bit several times and catching several fish. On the otherhand fishing all day long with a swimbait may yield only one bite ( at least let’s hope it was a bite) and no fish.
So part of being successful fishing with swimbaits comes back on us as the fishermen. If you choose to fish with a swimbait you need to be dedicated and stick with it. Yes, you may not get that many bites, but be prepared to possibly catch the biggest fish of your life.
There you have it: How to fish a swimbait? Having any tips you would like to share? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.