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Soft Swim Baits

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Looking for some guidance as I get into swim baits. I'm looking to start throwing the soft kind (but not the hollow ones. I already dabble in that arena).

Can I get some suggestions for central Fl.? Looking for specific baits (feel free to throw in size and color as well if you fish central fl. waters...:) )

Probably only gonna throw baits under 3 ounces, and in reality probably two and under.

Thanks for any and all help.

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you can try the 6in huddleston or the 68 special huddleston. heard these work the best. you could also try mattlures tournament series.

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https://www.bittersbaitandtackle.com/naked-swimmer.html

All you need. T-rig on a 3/0 EWG either weightless or with a 1/8 pegged bullet.

Watermellon shad is my favorite.

Oh, and hang on, they don't nibble on this bait.

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I've done well with the 7" Rago BVD in a Light Hitch color and I also like the Real Prey Alewife.

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Zoom Swimmin' Super Fluke in Houdini Shad, I live and fish here too.

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I've been using Reaction Innovations "Skinny Dipper". I screw it onto a light 1/8 oz. weighted swimbait hook and it does just fine! Just use a light wire leader if there are any toothy critters in the waters you fish. They love this bait!

I tried the Lake Fork "Live Magic Shad", but I just can't turn a fish with it, for whatever reason? Great looking bait in the water too. But, you have to be careful you don't cast it too hard. Last two I used I cast the tails off! :)

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I've pretty much used em all. I favor the Rago Robo Mini BV3D Inline Swimbait. Its the same bait Brian Velvick won with on Clear Lake. Its awesome. The fish just inhale that thing and the hook up ratio is really good. For a smaller profile I like the RI Skinny Dipper and LFT Live Magic Shad.

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6" Huddleston Deluxe or Matt's U2 bluegill

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https://www.bittersbaitandtackle.com/naked-swimmer.html

All you need. T-rig on a 3/0 EWG either weightless or with a 1/8 pegged bullet.

Watermellon shad is my favorite.

Oh, and hang on, they don't nibble on this bait.

At least they could have come up with a more original name lol.

OP, 6" hudds, hudd 68s, weedless hudds, 6" baitsmiths, 6" and 7" Osprey Talons, matt's bluegills and tournament series baits, 316 mission fish and K-9 are some of my favorites, and they all work great. Take your pick. Matt's baits, especially, have a lot of profiles and colors for you to choose from and match the forage.

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Get the Lake Fork Magic Shad. I buy them by the dozen. Excellent bait that catches big fish.

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OP, 6" hudds, hudd 68s, weedless hudds, 6" baitsmiths, 6" and 7" Osprey Talons, matt's bluegills and tournament series baits, 316 mission fish and K-9 are some of my favorites, and they all work great. Take your pick. Matt's baits, especially, have a lot of profiles and colors for you to choose from and match the forage.

I have never thrown the Rago BVD so I cant really comment on it. But one that I would have to add to this list is the Little Creeper Trash Fish. It is a very versatile bait along with the mission fish, but you can't go wrong with any bait listed here.

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Try the 6inch weedless Huddleston deluxe in gold shiner.You can throw this bait in the thick stuff; and being from down here,you know how good wild shiners are.Tennsopher

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Swim Senko. Rig it however you want. Costly yes, it's a Senko, but they catch fish! Any shade of green, watermelon and black have worked great for me.

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I love the shadalicious swimbaits, 4.5 or 6 inch.

If I need to go small... REAL small, Tabu Tackle makes a neat bait called the Tiny Tim. It has a hole behind the head, you thread your hook through, then clamp a split shot inside that hole onto the hook shank. That thing is ALL tail and is like M&M's to bass... They will never resist it, you pick up some small guys with it, but it almost always catches the big ones too, especially when the water gets colder.

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in florida, you do not need those big expensive swimbaits. yes they work, and they will catch hogs, but skinny dippers and big ez's are the best swimbaits for florida. all of the others mentioned are good, but the dipper and ez's are inexpensive and highly effective. i have a couple of matt's lures and i have caught fish with them, but it sure does suck when you catch a 3 pounder and it destroys the bait that costs $25. jmo

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in florida, you do not need those big expensive swimbaits. yes they work, and they will catch hogs, but skinny dippers and big ez's are the best swimbaits for florida. all of the others mentioned are good, but the dipper and ez's are inexpensive and highly effective. i have a couple of matt's lures and i have caught fish with them, but it sure does suck when you catch a 3 pounder and it destroys the bait that costs $25. jmo

Hey, that's what I said. Except you used words and stuff and actually made reasonable arguments for.

Good job there professor Bruce. ;)

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No doubt the ez and skinny dipper do catch fish. But there is a lot more to just chucking and winding when swimbaiting. Things like the speed at which a bait performs, its rate of fall, the way it falls, profile and water displacement are just a few things that scratch at the surface of the swimbait world.

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No doubt the ez and skinny dipper do catch fish. But there is a lot more to just chucking and winding when swimbaiting. Things like the speed at which a bait performs, its rate of fall, the way it falls, profile and water displacement are just a few things that scratch at the surface of the swimbait world.

X2

Those paddletails can catch big fish, as can spinnerbaits and cranks. I wonder, though, how many true trophies those baits have produced, compared to real swimbaits, big worms, jigs, and live bait. I like to believe that a true trophy fish (size of trophy fish changes not only from state to state, but probably from lake to lake) is intently tuned to its environment. It not going to bite your lure simply because it's in front of her. All artificial lures give off negative cues; well, because it's "artificial". Some more, some less. Our task, as trophy anglers, would be to minimize the "negative cues", by shutting off the trolling motor, making less noise, etc, and of course, by using more realistic lures. Using the right "tool" (the right bait) is only part of the puzzle of catching a true trophy fish, of course. We can throw traditional lures all day, and catch a mess of "good" bass, or spend all day in one spot, with the right lure - like Bill Murphy did - waiting for the trophy fish to feed.

P.S. JM $0.02. Not trying to step on any toes.

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For use in central Florida, the 'soft' paddletail minnow will rival any lure.

We've fished both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ swimbaits, but our best success has been with "soft” swimbaits.

The reason is obvious, soft swimbaits are 'weedless' and can be fished smack in the best cover.

They're also cheaper than hard swimbaits, which is a welcome bonus.

For my own curiosity, I rated a small cross-section of different paddletail brands, based on

the 3 paddletail properties I feel are most important: Low-Speed Action - Tail Vibration - Body Stability

Low-Speed Action

Low-speed action is arguably the most important property, because slow-rolling and swimbaits go hand-in-hand.

The best paddletails remain active to a virtual standstill, and IMO those with tail lobes

that stall-out at low speeds belong in the dumpster :)

Tail Vibration

Generally speaking, the greater the area of the tail-lobe the greater the throb and vibration.

Thump and vibes are very important even in clear water,

because underwater visibility is sharply reduced in dense vegetation.

Body Stability

Although tail-action is desirable, body-action is not. Excessive body action might appeal to the angler,

but looks unnatural to the predator. The bugbear of the soft paddletail is "lateral instability", better known

as "Tail-Wagging-The-Dog". .Axial rotation is also unnatural, but is not as noticeable as sideward wagging.

In the shootout below, the 3 lure properties above are rated from 1 to 4:

4 = Excellent (12 = Perfect Total Score)

3 = Good

2 = Fair

1 = Poor

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

.............................................SWIM MINNOW SHOOTOUT

BIG EZ (Gambler)

Low-Speed Action..........4........Excellent.....(Tail-action persists to a virtual standstill)

Tail Vibration..............,....4........Excellent.....(Very large tail lobe)

Body Stability..................4........Excellent.....(Stability is further enhanced by flank-rigging)

TOTAL SCORE............12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SKINNY DIPPER (Reaction Innovations)

Low-Speed Action.........4........Excellent.....(Tail-action persists to near standstill)

Tail Vibration..................3........Good..........(Medium-sized tail-lobe)

Body Stability.................4........Excellent....(Some axial rotation)

TOTAL SCORE............11

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SPLIT-BELLY SWIMBAIT (Berkley)

Low-Speed Action.........3........Good............(Tail quits a tad before standstill)

Tail Vibration..................4........Excellent......(Big vibes)

Body Stability.................3........Good............(Noticeable lateral shimmy)

TOTAL SCORE............10

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PADDLETAIL SWIMBAIT (Basstrix)

Low-Speed Action..........2........Fair..............(Tail-action fizzle is the downfall of the Basstrix)

Tail Vibration..................4........Excellent......(Big vibes)

Body Stability..................4........Excellent......(Debatably the most stable soft paddletail minnow)

TOTAL SCORE............10

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOLLOW-BELLY SWIMBAIT (Berkley)

Low-Speed Action..........2........Fair..............(Tail quits too soon)

Tail Vibration...................4........Excellent......(Our top producer in 2009)

Body Stability..................3........Good............(Slight 'tail-wagging-the-dog' at high speeds)

TOTAL SCORE.............9

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EZ SHAD (Roboworm)

Low-Speed Action..........2........Fair..............(Tail quits too soon)

Tail Vibration...................4........Excellent......(Great throb)

Body Stability..................3........Good............(Unstable at high speeds)

TOTAL SCORE.............9

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BASS MAGIC (Lucky "E" Strike)

Low-Speed Action..........2........Fair..............(Tail quits too soon)

Tail Vibration...................4........Excellent......(Big vibes)

Body Stability..................1........Poor.............(Seriously "unstable")

TOTAL SCORE.............7

Roger

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Roger, what do you mean by ' flank-rigging'?

When using the standard 'Upright' rigging or 'Inverted" rigging (180 flip)

the hook is buried in the "width" of the minnow.

However, "flank-rigging" only skewers the "thickness" of the minnow.

Even though the hook-point is completely embedded in plastic,

the extra space in the hook-gap results in a better hook-up ratio.

Flank-rigging also transfers sideways-shimmy into the vertical plane,

where it gets lost in the shuffle. In addition, I believe that the slightly different attitude

of a side-rigged minnow is something that every bass hasn't seen.

The only time I rig in the conventional manner is to extend the life of the swim minnow.

That is to say, by rotating the bait 90-degrees, you can get up to 4 riggings :)

Roger

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When using the standard 'Upright' rigging or 'Inverted" rigging (180 flip)

the hook is buried in the "width" of the minnow.

However, "flank-rigging" only skewers the "thickness" of the minnow.

Even though the hook-point is completely embedded in plastic,

the extra space in the hook-gap results in a better hook-up ratio.

Flank-rigging also transfers sideways-shimmy into the vertical plane,

where it gets lost in the shuffle. In addition, I believe that the slightly different attitude

of a side-rigged minnow is something that every bass hasn't seen.

The only time I rig in the conventional manner is to extend the life of the swim minnow.

That is to say, by rotating the bait 90-degrees, you can get up to 4 riggings :)

Roger

So your turning the bait on its side and rigging it?

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