Swimbaits work in the South!

Shhhh it?s a secret!........... Not any more??
By: Tom Branch, Jr.

Lake Sidney Lanier have an abundance of big spotted bass that have discovered the benefits of eating lots of blue back herrings and some swimbaits that resemble a blue back herring. For a big bass, she can do quite well eating just a dozen blue back herring per month. Using this knowledge, a serious bass hunter can take advantage of the fishes eating habits. You can catch large numbers of fish, but the ones you do hook will be in the 3+ pound range. So let's crank up that Nitro 901CDX and listen to that Mercury 200HP Optimax sing as we cross the lake headed to our first spot. Read More


Now let?s look at some of the tricks to making the swimbaits catch more fish for you. I firmly believe that you need a large diameter fluorocarbon or monofilament fishing line to catch big fish. I use Bass Pro Shops fluorocarbon on the soft and hard body swimbaits. The fluorocarbon is for the hard body baits like the new 4? Tru Life swimbaits (slow sink and fast sink models) from Tru Tungsten. The larger line will allow you to reel theses new small baits slower. Don?t waste your money on buying braided line, all you will do is tear up your equipment and baits will not run correctly, because the braided line floats.


You have to forget about the shoreline now and fish in the middle of the lake. Get away from the bank and look for the river channels, deep drop offs and isolated brush. If you can find humps near the channel, even if they're 40 to 50 feet deep, concentrate on those areas, the fish live here! So your baits need to be getting wet right there in that area. From early summer til late winter I like to use bait that is 4 to 5 inches long. When it gets hot the herring get in groups and that is when you need to using a swimbaits. Your arsenal must include a heavy rod (Bass Pro Shops ? Nitro series) with a big and wide reel. I like using the Oceanmaster 4000 from Bass Pro Shops, because of its wide spool it cast baits farther.


The winter months are my favorite time to use swimbaits because the blue back herring are in shallower water. When the sun is out it is like stocking day in the river near the local trout hatchery. All that big spotted bass wants to do is eat, eat and eat some more. During this time of year I keep several rods tied up with swimbaits. I'll definitely have the new 4 inch Tru Life Swimbait on one. All swimbaits have a different purpose and you'll find you will have to change your approach each day depending on the conditions.


When the big spotted bass are on the bed in the spring, just drop the bait close by and then slowly move it on top of the bed and be ready. Many times the really big fish will come unglued and just engulf the bait. At other times, they will just try to pick up the bait by the tail or head and move it out of the bed. If you use the 4 inch Tru Life swimbait you will not have this problem. Because the treble hooks will bite this fish hard and hook up really well.


Rod selection for swimbaits is crucial all year long. You are going to fight some big fish and many times in heavy cover. I never use anything less than 14-pound test line on the new 7-foot Bass Pro Shops Nitro Series rod on the swimbaits; you'll work yourself to death trying to throw the big swimbaits on a flippin stick. You need a rod that can handle the weight easily and has a long handle on it so you don?t over exert work yourself. The reel should be a very high-speed reel to keep up with the fish, or they will pick up the bait and run right at you. You have to catch up to the fish to get a solid hook set. Also a wide spool on the reel works very well when casting the big size line with bigger swimbaits.


If you are in a tournament situation I would go and get a limit of fish on that Tru Tungsten Stinger worm and then go looking for that one, two or three big bites with the new Tru Life 4 inch swim baits. I know that if I get five bites on the swimbait, I will finish at the top. Look for the new 4 inch Tru Life swimbaits in a retailer near you in December 2008.

So, don't think that swimbaits are only for one time of year. You can catch trophy-sized spotted bass (aka spotzilla?s) all year long.



About Tom Branch, Jr:

Tom, Jr. is a full time Lieutenant with the Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services in Georgia and the Prostaff Manager for Fish Harder Companies. He has fished all over the country. He and his wife Kim live outside of Atlanta, GA. Tom, Jr. is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops-Outdoor World in Atlanta, Ga, Tru Tungsten, Picasso Lures, Nitro Boats, Mercury Marine, Lowrance Electronics, Navionics, Keel Shield, Tuff Skinz, and Pro Line shoes.


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