Larry's Fishing Hole


Swim Baits are typically a soft plastic shad-type body with thumping tail that can really fool and catch fish when all else fails. They can be cast and retrieved at varying speeds with occasional pause or change in speed to duplicate an injured baitfish.
We were introduced to these shad imposters about 12 years ago as mainly a striper or white bass lure. Since then we find these baits to be deadly for all species of fish that chase and feed on shad. Since shad are a major part of most game fish diet, they are a sure fire bait and even more so when used with our moon times as an indicator.
Swim baits are rigged by threading onto a jighead, on a swim jigs, and make great trailers for spinnerbaits too.
Jig weight will depend on fish depth and current or we have even used very little weight or no weight for suspended fish or when shad are found near the surface.
We had the opportunity to try the great Double Action Grubs by Charlie Brewer’s Slider Co. This bait has the vibra-tail action on the whole back section due to the unique design that allows it create good wave action even at slow retrieve speed. To achieve this realistic action with other baits, you would need to cut bits of the plastic off in front of the tail to relax it.
As far as colors, a good rule of thumb to follow is dark conditions = dark colors, light conditions = light colors. For size, we have good success with 3 – 4 inch baits which seem to match most forage. Some 5 inch baits have proved ok too but remember, down-sized swim baits are great when fishing cold front conditions or pressured waters.
As the name implies, you can swim these baits along cover where predator fish hold waiting to ambush prey but during spring when the weather is unstable, fish will hold real tight to that cover. After the spawn and before the thermocline gets set, many fish will be found off shore near bottom and around structure as summer hits. Other than during the spawning period, look for the creek or river channels, humps near the channel, along main lake points and also look for fish along breaks and rocky banks. During summer and fall when shad are being pushed onto flats, stay back, make a long cast and slowly swim through the commotion keeping your rod at about 10 o’clock position when retrieving to make the bait run high and for a better feel of the bite.
Although we call these swim baits, they can be fished many different ways. If fish are holding on the bottom, you can just drag the lure similar to a Carolina rig. When fish are just off the bottom, a hopping or pumping retrieve allows the bait to get within the fishes level. Weed edges and gradual sloping points are great spots to wiggle or twitch the bait along.
Experimenting and trying new things is crucial in fishing until you find what works then continue to hone your skill and knowledge while boosting your confidence all that plays a major role in fishing.
These swim baits are extremely effective for catching most all species of fish that feed on other fish and even if you don't get a strike, any fish down there certainly has notice this lure. So make room in your tackle box for these irresistible shad or minnow imitators this spring and see for yourself.
PRODUCTS: Our latest product test is of Hamm’s Fish Fry Breading Mix that may be the best breading mix around for that Home-Made taste that compliments the flavor of fish. We highly recommend you give Hamm's Fish Fry Breading Mix a try this year and visit their website for other great mixes at and be sure to read our full review of this mix on our Product Test page under MICS or for latest fishing reports and more at


Click to return