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Big Swimbait Fishing in the Midewest.

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Hey Everyone! I live I'm Minnesota. I'm very interested in learning more about large Swimbait fishing in the Midwest. 

the kind of swimbaits I mean are the ones originating in the Western US and Japan, and European Pike fishing market, (Deps, Huddleston, Savage Gear, etc.) I hope this will expand so other anglers like myself can learn from each other. 

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It's pretty popular in your area already. Big glide baits and especially big wake baits like Slammers and rats seem to be very popular (relatively speaking), in that area. It's a lot like muskie fishing, you're throwing a large bait in hopes for a couple bites a day most of the time. I get pretty excited when I get fish to follow, because I know I'm doing something right. If you're going to do it, buy the gear to handle the baits, don't try to make a flipping stick work. You can get a pretty decent swimbait setup for a pretty reasonable price. I wouldn't bury yourself too deep in baits right away either, but just the nature of the beast, you're going to have to spend a little money to get good quality baits. For glide baits, Savage Gear Shine Glide 185 is my personal favorite. The River2Sea SWaver 168 is popular as well. Deps 175 is a good bait but I liked the glide of the Shine Glide a lot better and the price is obviously way better. Soft baits, the Hudd 68 top hook or weedless is a good bait to start with. Savage Gear has some good boot tail trout baits and their line thru baits are great, especially if you're going to be dealing with pike and muskie as well. Wake baits are one of the funniest baits to fish IMO. A 7" or 9" Slammer is a must have and probably the priciest bait I feel like a beginner needs to own. A Spro Rat 50 is another solid option. 

 

Don't do like a lot of people do and try to buy the smallest sizes of everything hoping for more bites. It completely defeats the purpose of throwing swimbaits and loses a lot of their action and appeal when you downsize. I catch plenty of 1lb fish on 7" baits still, just not all the time like if I was fishing a Senko. I've also caught bigger bass than I've ever caught out of lakes that have reputations of never giving up bigger fish, so it's made a believer of me. 

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I got into glidebait fishing a few years ago. I caught my second biggest fish on the Savage Gear Shine Glide (smaller size). 

 

Personally, I recommend you start off trying it with some smaller swimbaits (even the smaller full-body swimbaits are big compared to other lures). Investing lots of time into a few trophy bites sounded great in theory, but on the water it took a lot more patience then I expected. The bigger baits hardly ever caught fish in my waters, and when they did they were just average size. I fish smaller baits to try to get a balance of quantity and quality. 

 

With glidebaits, I cannot ever get strikes on a straight retrieve, it took me a long time of little success to realize this. In my experience, to get bass to commit on glidebaits, you have to glide them back and forth with short turns of your reel. Almost like a slow motion jerkbait. This is why I highly recommend the Savage Gear Shine Glide. It doesn’t have the nicest looking action on a straight retrieve, but it’s tall, narrow body allows you to work it back and forth faster without becoming unstable and turning over. Many glidebaits cannot be fished very aggressively without becoming unstable, so you are limited to slower and more steady retrieves. Good luck!

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understand as well that you will miss and lose a fair share, goes with the territory...and prepared to sacrifice them if not using some kind of leader material to pike, costly losses a pop...

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Don't forget, up north here it takes an awful long time for a bass to reach "trophy" size. Like 2 - 3 times longer than in more temperate climes. Consequently, the further north you go, fishing these large baits and targeting/finding trophy bass has a much less ROI than more conventional methods. 

 

Our state record here in MA is 15 pounds (30+ years ago)! Think about that for a second. MA fishermen may take one or two 7 - 8 pound fish per season across the state. A 10 is extremely rare these days. That is certainly not high percentage fishing. The cost is exponentially much higher as well when you factor in the extra cost of lures and equipment to toss them with. But, if it's your thing and you've got a bunch of loose change to part with, it may be worth a shot. :) 

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I'm from the cities and just started throwing big baits this past year. Right now I own 2 S-waver 168s, 2 Ospreys and a Megabass Magdraft. Looking to pick up a 7" Slammer as well. All have produced fish for me just no giants. This year, spring and fall were the best time to throw them since a lot of the lakes around here have milfoil, if you're going for largies. I had smallies on Mille Lacs take swipes at my Osprey multiple times this year so definitely worth a shot for smallies as well. 

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8 hours ago, JackKlassen said:

I'm from the cities and just started throwing big baits this past year. Right now I own 2 S-waver 168s, 2 Ospreys and a Megabass Magdraft. Looking to pick up a 7" Slammer as well. All have produced fish for me just no giants. This year, spring and fall were the best time to throw them since a lot of the lakes around here have milfoil, if you're going for largies. I had smallies on Mille Lacs take swipes at my Osprey multiple times this year so definitely worth a shot for smallies as well. 

Smallies will hit big swimbaits with everything they've got. The 185 Shine Glide and a Bull Shad are my favorites for smallies, and our smallies don't get nearly as big as they do up there.

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If you have trouble with fish shaking off hard body swimbaits you should look at Decoy X-s21 hooks. They are sticky sharp and keep fish pinned very well with the added point. 

 

They don’t work for everything though and they do add a little extra weight. 

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Muskie fishermen often catch big bass as bycatch so you can always fish muskie lures and catch big bass that way.

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Forgot I made this account to combat that cabin fever. Never responded. For a few months now i've been fishing the big baits. I'm limited to shore and can't catch a thing. Not so much as a follow. I'll spend a whole day casting a swimbait and treating each cast like its the one. But I just can't seem to catch a thing. 

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If you're bank fishing, I figure you have a limited number of spots to fish from. It's difficult to catch fish using only one technique in that situation and adding big swim baits to the equation is asking for a lot of frustration.  The thing about catching big fish is knowing where they hang out and then choosing the right presentation. I think you're striking out on both.

What I'd suggest is hold off on throwing the swim bait until you find fish with another presentation with a similar profile, depth range and retrieve speed. Then break out the big gun and see if grandma is out there with the kids.

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On 8/12/2019 at 10:36 PM, MN_UrbanBassFishing said:

Forgot I made this account to combat that cabin fever. Never responded. For a few months now i've been fishing the big baits. I'm limited to shore and can't catch a thing. Not so much as a follow. I'll spend a whole day casting a swimbait and treating each cast like its the one. But I just can't seem to catch a thing. 

What are you throwing? Where are you throwing it? When are you throwing it.

 

Swimbait fishing is can be a very frustrating and discouraging way to fish. But there’s a reason guys dump the money they do on the gear, the baits, and spend the amount of time they do getting skunked. 

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8 hours ago, Smalls said:

What are you throwing? Where are you throwing it? When are you throwing it.

 

Swimbait fishing is can be a very frustrating and discouraging way to fish. But there’s a reason guys dump the money they do on the gear, the baits, and spend the amount of time they do getting skunked. 

Aee you certain there are fish in the areas you are using your swimbaits? Are they high percentage areas?

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