Finesse Swimbaits

aowens1By Andrew Owens

Fishing from the back can be difficult at times and all co-anglers together have the same goal in mind-get five keeper bites. A limit goes a long way from the back of the boat and one of the best ways to fill a limit is through finesse techniques. One technique that I use often is finesse swimbaiting. A swimbait can be thrown all across the country from the super clear waters to the Deep Ledge lakes of the TVA system. You can attack all levels of the water column very effectively, and most of all, cover water.

aowens2

Jackall Glossy Shad (top) and Keitech Swing Impact (bottom)

In the clear bodies of water, my setup is going to be very light. Swim baits work well year around in clear water but it works especially well when the fish are in a pre-spawn stage and are set up on points, suspended on bluffs, and suspending around standing timber or brush. Many times, a pro will be throwing a jerk bait around these same areas. You do not want to be throwing the same bait as your pro all day so by giving the bass a different, more finesse presentation, you can get the bites your pro may not have been able to get. I will tie on one of two baits for this clear water application. The first being a Jackall Glossy Shad in the color silver shad. This is a very natural translucent color that I like for clear water. My second choice will be a Kietech Swing Impact in the color silver flash. I will alternate between the two baits depending on how the fish are biting. They may favor one over the other on a given day. Both swim baits are rigged the same. I use a Zorro baits weed less swim bait head. Depending on the depth I am targeting I stick with either a 3/16oz or 1/4oz. Line size is crucial being that the water is clear so I recommend to never go above 12lb fluorocarbon. My rod setup will be a G-Loomis GLX 852C paired up with a Shimano Curado in the 6.3:1 gear ratio. You will be making long casts with this setup so I like to go with a medium action rod and medium speed reel so that you can reel into the fish and use a sweeping hook set to penetrate the light wire hook. My retrieve is very simple, make a long cast and retrieve it with a slow steady crank all the way back to the boat giving slight twitches to the rod occasionally to make the bait hop as it swims. Always experiment with different depths of the water column to see if the fish are suspending higher or relating more to the bottom.

aowens31

Basstrix Hollow Body (top) and Keitech 3.8 Fat Impact (bottom)

During the summer months when fish get out deep on ledges in the TVA system, swimbaits play a huge role in some big bags. Throughout the summer, fish will see many 6 inch hollow bodies and downsizing can get you the bites that you need. During this time of year when the bite gets tough, I stick to two main baits again. The first being a 4 inch Basstrix hollow body, and the second being a Keitech 3.8 Fat Impact. Keeping my colors simple, I almost exclusively throw Tennessee shad in both baits. These baits will be glued onto a homemade 1/2oz – 3/4oz head. Since I am using this technique fishing the deep ledges and the water is not as clear, I do not use super light tackle. My rod will be a GLX 853C paired up with a Shimano Curado in the 6.3:1 gear ratio spooled up with a 15-17lb fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon is still a necessity due to it being heavier than water and will help keep your swim bait on the bottom. The retrieve is very simple when throwing this bait. Similar to throwing the swim bait for the suspended fish in clear water, you will make a long cast and have a constant slow wind back to the boat. The main difference is you want to let this bait sink to the bottom before you start your retrieve. Once on the bottom, you want to slowly wind the swim bait back to the boat keeping it close to the bottom and in the strike zone for the longest period of time.

I hope these tips can help you as much as they have helped me in the back of the boat!

Bio:

Circuits Fished: FLW Tour

Years Co: 2 years, 2 FWC qualifications

Favorite Technique: Shallow Grass Fishing

Hobbies Aside from Fishing: Hunting, Baseball, and almost any other sport

Sponsors: Zorro Bait Co, Shimano, G-Loomis, Power Pro, Jackall, Blackwater Sports Center