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Bassguytom

Dragging Swimbaits

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We have been dragging Keitech swimbaits along the bottom here is PA and have been doing well. This is the only time of year we do this and it is very effective. We landed 57 smallmouth up to 20 inches with this technique yesterday so I thought I'd share it in case anyone wanted to try it. We just cast it out and slowly drag the bait until we feel weight and set the hook. Tight lines!

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We have been dragging Kietech swimbaits along the bottom here is PA and have been doing well. This is the only time of year we do this and it is very effective. We landed 57 smallmouth up to 20 inches with this technique yesterday so I thought I'd share it in case anyone wanted to try it. We just cast it out and slowly drag the bait until we feel weight and set the hook. Tight lines!

 

Very Nice ~  I have a few questions if you're willing to share . . . .

 

What type of structure (flat, hole, hump, drop-off) are you finding most of the fish ?

 

Is there cover (wood, rock, man made) in or around the area ?

 

What was the general water temps and clarity ?

 

Are you using a jighead or a weighted swimbait hook & what type/kind ?

 

Finally, how did you discover this ?

 

Thanks in advance

 

A-Jay

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We are using 4" inch Keitech easy shiners on a jig head. We have a better hook up rate with these. We lose some baits due to snags but these work better then the belly hooks. In rivers we drag them off ledges into holes up to 9 feet or casting up to the bank and let them slide into the current. On lakes we drag them over humps that rise up to 12 feet or so and usually get hit on the down side of the hump. The river water temp is 52 and slightly stained. The lakes are a little higher at 57 and clear. Dragging over rocks and sometimes just letting it sit. This is a pattern a friend showed me that works this time of year just before the cold water hits. Hope this helps put you on some fish. I will be dragging again tomorrow.

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We are using 4" inch Keitech easy shiners on a jig head. We have a better hook up rate with these. We lose some baits due to snags but these work better then the belly hooks. In rivers we are drag them off ledges into holes up to 9 feet or casting up to the bank and let them slide into the current. On lakes we drag them over humps that rise up to 12 feet or so and usually get hit on the down side of the hump. The river water temp is 52 a slightly stained. The lakes are a little higher at 57 and clear. Dragging over rocks and sometimes just letting it sit. This is a pattern a friend showed me that works this time of year just before the cold water hits. Hope this helps put you on some fish. I will be dragging again tomorrow.

 

Perfect ~

 

Thank You very much.

 

A-Jay

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@Bassguytom ~ FYI

It works quite well in summer as well.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Nice! Thanks for letting me know. I love fishing this way. 

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On 11/19/2015 at 9:46 PM, A-Jay said:

Are you using a jighead or a weighted swimbait hook & what type/kind ?

We use open hook football heads for this exact same bait and technique up here.  The FB head gives the bait a nice kick when it hits a rock.

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When did a kick tail worm become a swimbait? The answer probably is when A-rigs became popular and everyone marketed the 3"-4" kick tails as swimbaits, it is what it is.

It's harder to reply to swimbait threads, good info about jig fishing with a small swimmer. I would also think a craw worm would also work well when the smallies are targeting craws using exactly the same technique.

peace,

Tom

 

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25 minutes ago, WRB said:

I would also think a craw worm would also work well when the smallies are targeting craws using exactly the same technique.

It definitely works, Tom.  Especially a high actin craw like a Ragetail Craw.    Sometimes smallies are keyed in on craws, but more and more, they are keyed in on baitfish.  This is often true on our glacial Finger Lakes, which I'm guessing is a similar to the OP's waters.

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On the great lakes things changed with the introduction of Gobies to the Eco system as I believe about 20 years ago and prior to that craw dads would have been the primary target of smallies throughout most of the season though their are times pelagic fish would be a primary target as well. Since the introduction of Gobies which are easier for the smallies to capture they have taken up a large part the smallies attention when they are foraging throughout the season and since they tend to hover toward the bottom of the water column it is no surprise that baitfish imitators fished toward the bottom have proven to be very effective when targeting smallmouth. 

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1 minute ago, Primus said:

On the great lakes things changed with the introduction of Gobies to the Eco system as I believe about 20 years ago and prior to that craw dads would have been the primary target of smallies throughout most of the season though at times pelagic fish would be a primary part of the forage base. Since the introduction of Gobies which are easier for the smallies to capture they have taken up a large part the smallies attention when they are foraging throughout the season and since they tend to hover toward the bottom of the water column it is no surprise that baitfish imatators fished toward the bottom have proven to be very effective whaen targeting smallmouth. 

You are 100% correct.  In the 80s and 90s, you anchored up in 17'-20', dropped a softshell over the side, and had 100+ fish days.  You could walk across the boats in front of most harbors and bays.  Now it's a ghost town.  Gobies, the resurgence of Cisco, and the increased water clarity due to zebra mussels have totally changed the game.  Bass no longer travel the depth alleys in wolf packs.  They're scattered, and deeper, well fed on fatty bait fish, and bigger.  Also, more difficult to find.  I know that when I find carpets of bait, I will find bass.  Often it's in 30'+, and it takes some driving around.

 

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