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martintheduck

Where To Start With Soft Plastic Swimbaits?

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I have been spending the past 2 seasons gaining confidence in the baits I am least confident in... so far it has been successful. NOW - I have reached the dreaded soft plastic swimbait. All I really know is how to rig one up on a hook. What time of year do I fish it? How do I work it? Bounce off the bottom? Drag through grass? What are some good starting points for a guy who has no clue how to use one?

 

 

Cheers!

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I like a slow and steady retrieve, especially through grass.

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It all depends on the day and how they want it. In grass hopping it up out of it or jerking it works well. If it is more open adding pauses and some quick turns of the handle work great. You can also just drag them along the bottom. There is really no wrong way to fish them.

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Is a fluke a swimbait? If so, weightless is my favorite, casted to cover. What a deadly action! At initial drop of after a rod movement, it glides and softly sinks, but in various directions... just a deadly combo looking like a wounded baitfish I guess. The Zoom brand is a good price and they are soft, allowing good hookup ratio when setting the hook. It's just a deadly bait, I have caught numerous crappie and bream on it while bass fishing. My favorite color is watermelon red.

 

I also like a shakey head jig with a Strike King Elaztech worm.

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All basstrix and kietech swimbaits work great for that.

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Is a fluke a swimbait? If so, weightless is my favorite, casted to cover. What a deadly action! At initial drop of after a rod movement, it glides and softly sinks, but in various directions... just a deadly combo looking like a wounded baitfish I guess. The Zoom brand is a good price and they are soft, allowing good hookup ratio when setting the hook. It's just a deadly bait, I have caught numerous crappie and bream on it while bass fishing. My favorite color is watermelon red.

 

I also like a shakey head jig with a Strike King Elaztech worm.

 Flukes aren't a swimbait. Theyre a jerkbait. Flukes are definitely one of my confidence baits during many times of the year. 

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I struggled with these until I got confidence and then I began using them more and here are some things I observed. The first thing is the non-ribbed Keitech Easy Shiner, Gene Larew sweet swimmer, and The KVD Swim-n-shiner type of baits have been really good in cold water, 48 and up and they seem to work well in lightly stained to clear water. I also use this type all summer as a trailer on a Northern style swim jig (1/4oz 40 strand skirt with light wire hook) and it does better than other types of trailers I use. Right now in the waters I fish, the bass are coming up and getting ready to spawn, this is when I like the Hollow Belly, Basstrix, or the Bass Magic hollow plastic swim baits, you will get better numbers with a spinnerbait but the bigger fish will hit the swim bait consistently. For shallow weedy areas I rig the hollow plastic baits with a Gamakatsu weighted superline hook in 5/0 for the 5" and 4/0 for the smaller version and I slowly swim it just above the weeds in 1' to 3' of water. I will also fish them on a 1/2oz J-Will swim bait head when I need to fish deeper than 5' and I will actually let it fall and then slowly reel it along the bottom, this have paid off in the post spawn period. The rig for the solid plastic swim baits for me is either a 1/8oz jig head with a 3/0 medium wire hook for 3.5" to 4" baits when I'm fishing in 5' of less, and 1/4oz with a 3/0 medium wire hook for fishing down to 8' and that is as deep as I use the small solid plastic baits as any deeper I feel the hollow ones do better as they  move more water. In cold water the Easy Shiner type of swim baits are really effective fishing them like a tube or hair jig, and that is basically letting them hit the bottom and just giving them a slight drag, maybe 6" if the water is really cold, or a foot if the water is in the 48 to 50 degree zone. Once the water gets above 60 degrees I'll swim them most of the time and for the hollow versions I'll either reel slow along the bottom or slow and steady in shallow water, I tried but never had much success jigging those.

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