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osbornj2

Swimbait Smallies

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Went out on Fri with Stu and caught a couple of nice 'uns on swimbaits! Stu caught a couple of real pigs, but I'll let him post pics if he wants.

In addition to these that were landed, we must have had 2 dozen "encounters" - i.e. follows, swipes, flashes, chases that end at the boat, bumps (we watched a couple come up and hit the bait from the side, I guess to "stun" it, but then wouldn't commit to eating), etc.

I love it when our buddies think we're crazy for targeting smallies with such "big" baits :respect-059:

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post-6412-0-68432800-1335114573_thumb.jp

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Very cool. I want to get up to some smallies and see if I can catch some on a swimbait

NGaHB

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What kind of swimbaits are you using? If you are getting a lot of follows on any bait, it usually means that something is just not quite right. Size up, size down, change color, speed. Something will work.

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I started fishing swim baits last year for smallies. I learned through numerous missed fish that for some reason they short strike alot. I was using a 4.5 soft swim bait. I figured out if i felt or saw the hit to stop my retrieve, let the bait fall wait for the pressure then set the hook. My catch ratio went up drastically. I even got my personal best on a swim bait last year.

All of my smallies on swim baits came in 3 to 12 feet of water on the river.

Good luck!

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Crest and Crooked - excellent points you both make! Thanks for the advice.

Stu pretty much stayed with the 6" Hudd all day, and that's what he had all of his action on. We kinda figured out that the "bigger" fish were not thumping the bait, rather they were just coming up behind it and sucking it in! All of the pigs were solidly hooked, with the hook perfectly placed in the roof of their throats, with most of the bait sill in their mouths. The "smaller" fish, which we think were coming up to it, swiping, thumping, flashing...whatever...then if you felt the thump, you would "kill" the bait and let it flutter/sink for a sec, then they would turn around on it. Most often, these fish were hooked in the lips or jaw. Note: we both use the standard, stock, single hook (i.e. no "stinger" trebles, and no hook on the bottom of the bait either).

I switched around a little bit, between the 6" Hudd and the Mattlures BabyBass, which is 5". Whereas the Hudd is a "swimmer", I usually retrieve the BB like an overgrown jig...dragging it through rocks, through grass, over laydowns and roots, etc. Maybe because it has a single hook on top, and it is a little smaller bait, but I rarely get thumped without hooking up. I think that the bass will get over top of it (and this is just my imagination, mind you...so please just fancy me for a moment :) ), and as you would imagine that they would do to a crawdad, they just suck it in! Not to say that I don't miss fish with it...but it doesn't seem to happen real often unless I am swimming it along.

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I found a swimbait bite on a river but the hoolow body swimbaits don't work well unless you use a 3/8oz jighead as the current really grabs them but I found that a Storm 4" wild eye swim shad is great for slow swimming in current. The neat thing on the swimbait bite when it comes to smallies is the attention, unlike a spinnerbait that gets mudered the swimbait makes the smallies follow but sometimes they fully commit and just bash it and other times they leave it alone but they do show themselves.

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Osbornj2 - Have you tried the 8" Hudd? I think it has a better action and balance than the 6" myself. Only thing is, bites, hits or bumps will be farther and fewer between, obviously. It certainly is not too big though.

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I found a swimbait bite on a river but the hoolow body swimbaits don't work well unless you use a 3/8oz jighead as the current really grabs them but I found that a Storm 4" wild eye swim shad is great for slow swimming in current. The neat thing on the swimbait bite when it comes to smallies is the attention, unlike a spinnerbait that gets mudered the swimbait makes the smallies follow but sometimes they fully commit and just bash it and other times they leave it alone but they do show themselves.

Smalljaw,

Good point to bring up about the hollow bodied swimbaits. I actually use a Gamakatsu weighted hook. I like the wable it gives the bait. I usually would use an 1/8 oz hook it seemed to handle the current and the depth pretty good.

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Do u like your st croix. rage? I was thinking about getting one, and would appreciate your feedback.

Thanks!

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smallies - ABSOLUTELY Yes! I really like this new Rage! I have been a St Croix fan for many years, so I figured that I would like this...but, ya never know, right? But, once I got a reel on it and cast it...it is great. Was never really convinced about the micro-guides, but now that I have used it, it does seem to increase accuracy and distance (maybe I'm "wishfully thinking" ;) ). I'm also a bit of a traditionalist about cork handles, but I allowed the salesman to "convince" me that the handle was nice, and even gets better when wet. Well, I haven't had it out in the rain yet, but I can say that it does have a nice feel; it is sensitive; and what little bit of water has splashed up on it definitely has seemed to enhance the grip and feel.

Crest - funny that you mention the 8" :). Stu and I have been talking about that here of late, and we're def committed to throwing them. Don't mean to "make excuses", but I'm wondering if we ought to wait until the late summer / fall bite to throw such a (realtively) bigger bait. What are your thoughts? The lake we really like to fish stocks fingerlings in the spring, which accounts for a lot of our success ( I think) with the 6"'ers. My logic, flawed as it may be, is that we stick with the "smaller" baits from early spring through mid-summer, then transition to the 8" for the fall and early winter bite.

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I'll tell you this much, if a smallie sees an 8" offering instead of it's normal 6" fare....he's going to take the 8"! :)

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I'll tell you this much, if a smallie sees an 8" offering instead of it's normal 6" fare....he's going to take the 8"! :)

:) :)...you make a great point! Hard to argue logic like that, esp if you know of the smallies' nature!

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What kind of swimbaits are you using? If you are getting a lot of follows on any bait, it usually means that something is just not quite right. Size up, size down, change color, speed. Something will work.

I thought I'd chime in here.....I think getting thumped on swimbaits is just part of the game. I have that on good authority from the man himself, Ken Huddleston. I believe I could have sized down and caught a lot of small fish but I didn't go all the way there to play my scrubs....I put my best player in the game....he produced pretty well. Not sure if changing baits was the answer but that's my two cents. We had an awesome day no matter what went right and what didn't.

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Preach it, Brother Stuart ! :)

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