How to Fish a Swimbait

There are days when swimbaits will be the most effective lure you can use for catching big bass. If you fish them correctly, swimbaits can be a powerful tool for catching monster fish. If you’re looking to up your swimbait game, here we will cover a few tips and techniques to use swimbaits more successfully.

What is a Swimbait?

Swimbaits are a type of fishing lure that is designed to mimic fish. These days swimbaits come in a variety of different styles and are made from a different range of materials.

Types of Swimbaits

Hard Body Swimbaits

Hard body swimbaits are incredibly lifelike and can come in a variety of different styles. There are single jointed, multi-jointed, and glide baits that fall under the hard body category. Usually hard body swimbaits have treble hooks and are best for fishing in lighter grass.

Soft Body Swimbaits

Soft bodied swimbaits feel more lifelike which gives you more time to set the hook. The rubber typically allows the lure to withstand heavy thrashing from a fighting bass.

Paddle Tail Swimbaits

This kind of swimbait is very similar to soft bodied swimbaits except they are a little smaller and do not have a hook in them, so typically you have to rig them on your own. If you’re fishing a heavily weeded area these are the ideal type of swimbait to use because you can rig them to be weedless if needed.

How to Rig a Swimbait

Some swimbaits come pre-rigged, so you can ignore this advice if the ones you are using are already rigged. If you need to rig your swimbaits there are three common methods you will want to use depending on your situation.

The first method is the treble hook method. To rig a swimbait with a treble hook, place the hook at the bottom half of the swimbait and use a screw lock to keep the hook in place.

The second method is the weedless method. To rig your swimbait this way, take your hook and push it through the top of your bait all the way through the back of the swimbait. Make sure to push your hook deep enough so that the hook is pointing against the back of your swimbait.

The final method is the exposed hook method. You rig this one the same as the weedless method, except the hook isn’t pushed as deep and should be sticking out the back.

Obviously there is a number of other ways to rig swimbaits too. The method you choose will be determined in part by the type of swimbait you are using and the area you are fishing in.

How to Use a Swimbait

The first thing you want to do when fishing a swimbait is to cast a long way past the area you think the fishing are holding in. Swimbaits are quite large, and when they land and splash it can spook the fish away. That’s why you need to cast it a long-distance and retrieve it through the zone the fish are in.

After you have your swimbait in the strike zone, you can begin working it. Each swimbait has a different rate of fall (how fast the swimbait will sink after it is cast). You have to know the rate of fall for your swimbait so you can understand how to work it through the strike zone. Twitch it, pause, or let it fall in an effort to get a strike. Try experimenting with different tempos of retrieve to see what gets the best response from the fish.

Where to Fish Swimbaits

Swimbaits can be an effective lure in many different areas. If you are targeting bass, you can fish swimbaits effectively near docks, in open water, and around vegetation like grass, pads, or even wood. They typically work best in waters that are less than 50 feet deep.

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