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Real Swimbaits Vs Paddletails

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Outside of California - where I guess most trophy bass are immune to anything other than the super-realistic baits - which type of bait do you find catching more trophy bass? By trophy bass, I mean the biggest bass in the lake, or close to that. I have my own theories, but I'd like to hear from the more experienced anglers who hunt for big trophy bass.

Also, do you catch more/ better fish on paddletails than you do on cranks and blade baits (any fast/ medium speed baits really)?

Paddletails: RI skinny dippers, big Ez, EZ shad, basstrix etc. the traditional fare.

A mattlures original bluegill has a paddletail, but I'm sure that's not all. Apart from the realistic profile, Matt must have put a lot of work to make it swim like a fish actually does.

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I dont catch the numbers on Paddletails (skinny dippers, LFT Live Magic Shad), but I catch better quality fish. I catch 75% of my fish on crankbaits, but my bigger fish seem to come on paddletails AND spinnerbaits. Spinnerbaits produce bigger bites than cranks and about the same as a paddletail.

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I'm catching fish with my hard baits that I couldn't catch by other means. Some are bigger, but all in all, it's like it's a different type of fish altogether. Fatter, smaller head, football shaped.

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Even David Fritts will tell you that crankbaits are numbers baits not size.that's why I use them alot . when I go hog hunting I use 1/2 ounce jigs .when the grass gets right I use paddle tails get good quality bites but its real conditional on my home lake guntersville :)

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Even David Fritts will tell you that crankbaits are numbers baits

Do you really believe that a 6"+ swimbait is a numbers bait?

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i mostly fish a large 15 acre pond in North Bergen New Jersey and most of my large fish have been on 7 inch or longer worms. With a few of them on the large Zara Spook top water.

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Once again, a hog or a pig or a sow or a big bass is NOT a trophy bass.. I'd really love to hear from guys like Fish Chris, Matt (Servant), Randall and other "trophy" hunters. Idk if people like Butch Brown, Bill Siemantel or Matt Allen are BR members.

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Butch has been known to lurk here, not sure if he's a member though. I can tell you that if you watch his vid's on U tube, you'll see that he catches some monster's on the 8" Hudd's, they also sponsor him, plus he's a great fisherman. Mike Long is another Big Bass guy here in so. Cali. he uses several types of baits. IMHO, if I were to have to choose just 1 bait, i.e. swimbait, it would be a 8" Hudd in trout ROF 5. Just my 4 cents.

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The paddletail baits (Bastrix and their knockoffs) are kind of like a compromise. They tend to catch bigger fish then most guys are used to catching so guys are satisfied with them. They also occasionaly catch a trophy fish as all baits occasionaly do. Also "real" swimbaits do catch small fish wich gives fuel to the argument that paddletails work just as good. However if you could take he average size of bass caught on real trophy producing swimbaits and compare it to the average fish caught on paddletails or any other bait, the real swimbait would by far have the highest average. It is not uncommon to catch an 8-10lber on a real swimbait. I would classify paddletail type baits as kicker fish baits. "Real" swimbaits are harder to define then they used to be. It doesnt take a huge bait to make it a proven trophy catcher. It takes cacthing trophies with it. With all the "swimbaits" out there there are only a few that are proven producers of trophy bass. The Hudd is probably the all time trophy producing swimbait and I have no doubt that since it came to market, in that same time, it hase produced more trophy bass then any other bait including jigs and woms etc. I also think That my gills (soft and hard) are high up on the list of trophy producing baits. There are several others to, that just seem to have the IT factor. Big bass like to eat small fish. That is always there main forrage if given the choice. Many guys will say you dont need "real swimbaits" to cacth big bass. That the paddletails work just fine because they catch plenty of big fish with them. The difference is guys Like Butch and Mike and Fish Chris arent fishing for 10 lbers in lakes that have 20lbers. They are targeting the biggest fish in thier lakes. They are using the baits they feel give them the best odds at catching that upper 1%. There are guys doing this all over the country and world with the same "real" swimbaits. The biggest fish in thier lakes may be 10lbs and thats what they are targeting not just a bigger class. The Jappanese throw huge baits at those monster bass. When I target trophy bass I want a bait that matches what I think they want to eat. I want the right size, color, and action. I want a guy standing 20ft away from me to not be able to tell that my bait is not a real fish. If it will fool a human, it will fool a fish. I can spot a paddletail from 100+ ft. Swimbaits are not always the best choice but alot of times they are. I still fish plastics and jigs and I know Mike does to but most of the time its "real" swimbaits. Oh and BTW paddletail baits can be alot of fun. They are just a different tool that produce different results.

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Just what I wanted to hear Matt. I wish you or Butch Brown or Mike Long would write a book or at least an article sometime, not just on catching trophy bass- Bill Murphy's book is pretty exhaustive on that subject- but on why certain baits/ approaches are more likely to fool a trophy fish into biting. That I believe would open up swimbaits to a whole new world of bass anglers. Siemantel's book sort of does that in a way.

P.S. I don't know how I could forget to mention Mike Long or Byron Velvick. My apologies to them, and several others of the same trophy-hunting caliber.

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Even David Fritts will tell you that crankbaits are numbers baits not size.that's why I use them alot . when I go hog hunting I use 1/2 ounce jigs .when the grass gets right I use paddle tails get good quality bites but its real conditional on my home lake guntersville :)

I caught a 7 pounder out of Guntersville my first and only trip there! Of course i caught him on Saturday practicing for the Sunday Tournament. We caught 11.5 pounds on tourney day but that beast on Saturday was the highlight of the day.

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Awesome response Matt... thanks for the education.

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Paddletails versus "real" swimbaits....different tools for different jobs, IMO.

No doubt a huddleston type swimbait will be much more realistic in a clear, open water environment. In South Florida, everyone throws the soft paddletails, in the slop. The ultimate goal (no matter what bait you're throwing) is to present a bait in the most realistic way possible. IMO, there is almost no artificial bait setup that is more realistic than a keel-weighted skinny dipper slithering thru eel grass/kissimmee grass. That bait literally revolutionized fishing on Okeechobee. Granted, I take that skinny dipper and throw it on a weedless flat and it doesn't get hit. The hard swimbait will undoubtedly outfish the paddletail in this condition. Different tools for a different job....

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Paddletails versus "real" swimbaits....different tools for different jobs, IMO.

No doubt a huddleston type swimbait will be much more realistic in a clear, open water environment. In South Florida, everyone throws the soft paddletails, in the slop. The ultimate goal (no matter what bait you're throwing) is to present a bait in the most realistic way possible. IMO, there is almost no artificial bait setup that is more realistic than a keel-weighted skinny dipper slithering thru eel grass/kissimmee grass. That bait literally revolutionized fishing on Okeechobee. Granted, I take that skinny dipper and throw it on a weedless flat and it doesn't get hit. The hard swimbait will undoubtedly outfish the paddletail in this condition. Different tools for a different job....

Good post.

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Its all about what I call negative and positive actions on a swimbait. Nobody so far makes a larger paddletail type bait free of movements that turn off the larger fish or have enough trigger action to make them bite on a consistant basis. I can modify and rig some of them to perform better to catch more and bigger fish but I am still not looking at a true high precentage trophy bait with any paddletail style bait on the market I have seen. There are also many true swimbaits that you can buy that don't have "it" eithier and catch no more big fish than a paddletail.

On top of that you have fish on certain bodies of water that prefer a certain bait or movement in a bait. All forage doesn't move the same and fish are conditioned to react to different movements. I fish one lake where it feels almost imposible to get a big bite on a Huddleston even though I consider it one of the very best trophy producing swimbaits. I can throw an Osprey or Matt's paddletail type baits instead and they will choke them. It's just a different movement the big fish are keyed in on there. I can switch to another lake and the results are reversed.

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Even David Fritts will tell you that crankbaits are numbers baits not size.that's why I use them alot . when I go hog hunting I use 1/2 ounce jigs .when the grass gets right I use paddle tails get good quality bites but its real conditional on my home lake guntersville :)

Given the choice to get a 10lb plus bass I will take the crankbait over the paddletail. The reason is that crankbaits have strong erratic triggering movements when they change direction that cause reaction bites when ripped out of grass, ripped through trees etc. I have caught many over ten on crankbaits but never caught one on a paddletail. I will take the jig over both of them though.

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I will take the jig over both of them though.

LOL, I love cranking, and swimbaits - paddle or not - but I agree 100%. The jig is just a really easy tool to get into bigger fish. Now the biggest fish...I defer to Matt, Randall, etc.

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Has anyone been using a paddletail as a jig trailer (i.e. *.com) and does that more closely approach the trophy results of "real" swimbaits? I am just hesitant to throw an open hook "real" swimbait in the wooded lakes of east Texas.

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Has anyone been using a paddletail as a jig trailer (i.e. *.com) and does that more closely approach the trophy results of "real" swimbaits? I am just hesitant to throw an open hook "real" swimbait in the wooded lakes of east Texas.

check your PM.

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