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The Swim bait post that was in the General Discusion does cover the topic well and you should read that before reading this, so I don't need to cover it again.
The big presentation technique to keep in mind is swim baits and cranks baits are different. Crank baits by design are intended to produce a quick reaction bite from active bass. Cranks make a lot of noise with there hooks swinging and rattles is some lures, plus the finish is flashy to further intice the bass to make a quick bite at the fleeing bait fish or crawdad. Your crank bait retrieve should be erratic to give the bass little time to think about the lure, just react to it and get hooked by one of the several hook points flying around.
Swim baits are designed to look like a real bait fish an easy target. Swim baits are realistic in appearance with life like silhouette and coloring and usually have one hook or added stinger hooks. Some hard jointed swim baits may have multiple treble hooks, like a musky lure and this type of swim bait is really a big crank bait, fished slower.
The swim bait presentation is usually a slow steady retrieve with occasion change of direction and speed to give the bass a chance to commit to eating the lure rather than striking at it. Unlike a crank bait, you want the bass to engulf the lure and hold onto to it like a plastic worm. The best way to get the bass to commit to eating the lure is convincing the bass that this is a real bait fish. If the bass does not fully commit to eating the lure, it may nip at it or bump it to check out this possible bait fish and then may lose interest in it. To make the bass eat the lure after a casual bump, the trick is to make the bait fish try to escape by swimming faster and if possible toward the surface. I have had bass grab my swim bait 3 feet from the rod tip, like a musky!
Because most soft swim baits are manufactured with one hook or one hook hanger, some experts will add stinger hooks to the larger swim baits. Please keep in mind that this may make the lure illegal for IGFA records. I use Sevenstrand Sevalon 40# coated wire and A3 size crimp sleeves to add a stinger hook. If the stinger hook is attached to the top hook and goes through the swim bait to the belly or tail area, you can make a hole through the lure using a Strike Master 1/16 diameter bait threader. The other trick that I will sometimes do is add high lights to the fin edges with pearl worm paint available from Barlows Tackle. Always lubricate soft plastic swim baits with fish attractant to help the lure slip in the basses mouth when you set the hook. I put mine in a plastic bag, add attractant like Hot Sauce, and shake it.
Keep your retrieves slow and slightly up hill when possible by casting out, letting the lure sink and retrieve back and if you feel a bump, crank faster. Once the bass has grabbed the lure, give the bass time to turn with the lure before setting the hook, unless it freight trains it. Good luck, these are great lures for big bass.
Tom
Ps; Bill Siemantel's Big Bass Zone is a good book for swimbait fisherman to read, just apply what you need.
Note: The Megabiat LA Slider is available, see http;//www.tackletuor.com/megablaslider.html These are a good product sold with separate weighted hooks the "slide" into the soft plastic body, they are inexpensive and work well at various speeds. and come in 5", 6" & 71/2" sizes. They are a good starter lure.
 

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Hey, good post, Tom. I am thinking about throwing some swimbaits this year. Here's a ? for you that oughta get the bait monkey stirred up. What swimbaits do you consider to be the best, and why? I have looked seriously at several different brands, and the Lobina slider jack stands out in my mind as something really special, along with the huddleston deluxe and the Mattlures Sunfish. These things ain't cheap, so let's say you wanted to spend 100-150 on swimbaits. What would you get, and where and how would you use them? :eek: :D I know your from CA, so you are on the cutting edge on this. ;) Thank you for your help.
 

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If you look back at the swim bait post in General Discussion, look at Megabait LA Slider series and Castaic soft baits Platinum series. Both Mega Bait and Castaic Soft Baits make good products that are not trout shaped that should work well for you.
http;//www.castaicsoftbait.com/platinumseriesnew.php
http;//www.megabait.net/
Bluegill, Gizzard shad, Hitch, Baby bass, golden shinner, etc..
Tom
 
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Tom, good info.

One thing I want to mention is that you post allot of URL's and just about always list them wrong ;D It is not http; it is http: Also the url you posted for the tackletour is all messed up. So I assume this is the correct url: http://www.tackletour.com/reviewmegablasliderpg2.html
Here is the url for Castaic: http://www.castaicsoftbait.com/platinumSeriesNew.php
Here is the url for Megabait: www.megabait.net

Just thought I would help folks find this info.

Now back to our regularily scheduled swimbait show. I might have to give the L.A. Slider a shot. Although they all look like Trout and not Shad. I think they look close to a Shiner out here which is what our big bass like to eat. But they don't have a golden shiner color. They have a brown shad color. That might be close enough???
 

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KeithsCatch said:
Tom, good info.

One thing I want to mention is that you post allot of URL's and just about always list them wrong ;D It is not http; it is http: Also the url you posted for the tackletour is all messed up. So I assume this is the correct url: http://www.tackletour.com/reviewmegablasliderpg2.html
Here is the url for Castaic: http://www.castaicsoftbait.com/platinumSeriesNew.php
Here is the url for Megabait: www.megabait.net

Just thought I would help folks find this info.

Now back to our regularily scheduled swimbait show. I might have to give the L.A. Slider a shot. Although they all look like Trout and not Shad. I think they look close to a Shiner out here which is what our big bass like to eat. But they don't have a golden shiner color. They have a brown shad color. That might be close enough???
Thanks for correcting my errors! Mega Bait LA Slider;Try white and use a plastic worm marker or their shad color. The slider comes with separate weights or pre-rigged with weight, suggest buying the spare pack of 2 each and weights separately.
Tom
 

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:victory: :cheers: :boing: That Megabait slider is SUH-WEEET. The Castaic lures are awesomelooking, too, but they fail to list the sizes on the order page. I'm not sure if the sunfish is 4" or 6". If they would put that info on the page, I would be twice as likely to buy one.
 

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hi steel basser said:
:victory: :cheers: :boing: That Megabait slider is SUH-WEEET. The Castaic lures are awesomelooking, too, but they fail to list the sizes on the order page. I'm not sure if the sunfish is 4" or 6". If they would put that info on the page, I would be twice as likely to buy one.
The pan fish bluegill is 5", look at the platinum series as they are new and very flexible, giving you a light weight lure to cast and it folds up easy in the basses mouth. I think they sell around $15
Tom
 

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Just watched the Clear lake 2007 BASS Elite series tournament and reminded me of this post. The winning angler, Steve Kennedy with a 122+ lbs., was impressive how he kept his cool and continued to fish his Huddleston Deluxe at the proper slow pace needed to entice strikes. Slow and steady is the key with these baits. California's law with snagging* bass outside the mouth almost lost the tournament for Kennedy as he had to release several big bass due to being hook on the outside lip. Actually those bass were originally hooked on the inside lip and the treble hook Kennedy was using twisted out , leaving the outside barb holding the bass, therefor not snagging the bass. Kennedy also had his biggest bass twist the treble hook off the lure and lost that bass. This is why most experienced big swim bait fisherman use a wire to fasten the belly treble hook to the hook hanger. The wire is about 1 1/2 inches long and crimped to the hook and hook hanger**. This moves the belly hook back to the anal fin area and prevents the treble hook being leveraged out by the swim bait body when the bass is trying to shake it loose.
Tom
http://www.huddlestondeluxe.com take a look at the Butch Brown video and Ken's history information, very interesting stuff.
* The snagging law was enacted to prevent snagging salmon when they moved into smaller tributary streams off the main rivers. Anglers would tie several treble hooks with a heavy weight on the end of the line a snag salmon. The IGFA rules also doesn't allow fouled hook or trap hooked fish to become records.
** If the lure is not manufactured with a belly hook hanger, adding a hook(s) using a wire is considered a trap hook.
 

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I thought an update on this topic would be of interest.
Some of you may know the name Bill Murphy from his book; In Pursuit of Giant Bass. What most bass fisher don't know is Bill may have created the first modern swim bait that was designed to swim like a trout. Bill modified a CD18 Rapala, cut in half and added a soft plastic back half that the Bill molded from a trout and colored the lure to look like a real trout. He than quietly slow trolled lake San Vincente for 72 lb, 5 bass, state record limit back in 1975. Fingers were pointed that the catch was made illegally on live trout. Bill was in hot pursuit of the next world record and choose not to disclose his lure. He finally did to quite the critics and because he trolled to catch his bass, the main stream bass fishing community didn't take notice of Bill's swim bait. The lure was designed to be trolled and didn't work well when cast and retrieved.
Todays swimbaits can be cast and retrieved effectively and because they closely represent a real live bait fish big bass mistake them as an easy meal. The key to being a successful swimbait fisherman is making a slow natural presentation and not trying to retrieve the lure like a crank bait for a reaction bite. The natural swimming action doesn't give the bass any negative responses to alarm the bass. Select a swim bait that closely looks like the real prey fish in size and color for the lake you fish and patiently cast and slowly retrieve the lure to be successful.
Tom
 
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The dilemma I have is that it seems only California is a hot bed for swimbait lures. Sure a fish here and there is caught on them in other states but nothing like what goes on in California. Even Texas stocks Trout in some public waterways that has bass in them Yet Swimbaits just don't produce like they do in California. Why do you think that is Tom?

In Florida, I have caught a few fish on swimbaits and I have tried allot. I have used Matt's lures in Bluegill and baby bass to no avail. I have used other smaller swimbaits with marginal success. My own handmade lure is a woodbait that basically is a swimbait and I have caught 10 bass on it. So that has worked to some degree. But larger soft plastic ones just don't get bit for me. Like I said others I know have tried them and keep trying them and the success just doesn't mirror what goes on out there in California.

I can read post after post on all forums and people are smacking bass left and right on large swimbaits. Never read that from any other state so I know it isn't just me. Does anyone really know why this stuff works so well in California yet not near as well in any other area?
 

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The biggest reasons are they require a slow steady retrieve and must look like a real bait fish to the bass. In Florida the bait fish that big bass seem to eat on a regular basis are golden shiners. Golden shiners tend to hold tight to grass bed edges, so thats what I would suggest trying to imitate. Use a surface or a swimbait that goes about 2 feet under water and just swim it along and over weed breaks or cast it into a grass channel and slowly retrieve it back.
Trout are open water fish and the bass are used to seeing them in deep water, so that why the trout type baits work well when retrieved over deep water to shallow water to trigger strikes. The blurgill swimbaits on the market are weighted to be used in bed fishing. You need a bream profile and color swimbait that can be used to swim along the weed line breaks, like the golden shiner presentation, because that is where the bass normally finds that type of bait fish. It's difficult to cast and retrieve these lure slowly with and occasion burst of speed when you feel a slight bump, but thats how these lures work best.
Tom
 
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Ok thanks Tom. I doubt I will be able to do this anytime soon. Just got word from the mechanic that my motor is done. Blew the power head. Options right now look like a new one or a new engine. Both of which are not real options for me right now.

Oh well, this stinks.
 
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