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Tactics for Swimbaits

By Dale Meddock

Tackle and Tactics for Hunting giant Bass.

Fishing Rods

Rod selection is a good place to start. There is no one size fits all. Each rod should be selected on the weight of the swimbait you will be using. Swimbaits range in weights from 1 oz. to 6 oz. choose a few lighter weights to start. If you plan on making a few dollars throwing swimbaits, get yourself two maybe three rods of different weights. Now this is not an endorsement for one brand of rod, but any of these are top of the line and i recommend Dobyns Rod, Powell Rods, Byron Velvic Rods or Shimano Crucial Rods. Start out with a Med. Heavy Weight, at least 7 1/2 foot to 8 foot. The Shimano Curcial is a good starter rod, priced around 150.00 to 180.00 dollars.

Big swimbait bass
Big swimbait bass.

Fishing Reels and Line

You can use any reel except high speed, you will be slow rolling your swimbait for the most part. Line weight can be any brand of Mono in the 20 lb. to 30 lb weight. Choose your line accordingly to where you will be throwing your swimbait. If you are in heavy cover 25 or 30 works fine, open water 20 to 25 will get it done.


Now you will need to practice your casting, it takes a while to get your cast control set just right so you are not back lashing on every cast. This is easy to do just tie your swimbait on, reel your swimbait up to within a foot of your rod tip. Push to cast, keeping pressure on the spool with your thumb. This will keep you from back lashing, now tighten up on your cast control to really slow the fall of your swimbait. Do this several times, now start your first cast with a very light underhand pitch. As you cast for more distance, keep adjusting until you can make long casts without back lashing.


Lets go fishing, springtime is a great time of year to really get your feet wet. Bass are getting ready for the spawn and many are staging in different places in your local waters at this time of year. They are really putting on the feed bag at this time, clearing out any intruders, guarding their bedding area or making short trips into their spawning area. This just means that there is fish all over the waters at this time of year. Now at this time there are several ways to catch bass on swimbaits, just make it easy for them to get at your swimbait.

Shallow Bass

First lets talk about bass up shallow, i want to really be stealth in my approach. Having a push pole is always a plus. I want my swimbait to hardly make a ripple on the water. I make a few short cast to the area where i think bass would be, no takers i move on. But sometimes there is action, fish on. Sometimes you may have stalkers, these are giants that just like to follow your bait all the way back to the boat. Now you can catch these but you have to give them some time to think about that easy meal they let get away. Just come back later and give them a different look from different angle, with a different offering. Sometimes they need a few hours to think about their mistake.

Bass on Points

The next place you want to key on with your swimbaits is open water on main lake points. This is where i make lots of noise, when my swimbait touches down. I want a big splash, every bass within earshot will know something just splashed on the surface. They will be looking up, and here comes gliding down ever so slowly this easy meal. Some bass just can`t wait for it to get to them, they will crash it right on the surface. Others are hiding in the cover below, waiting for just the right moment, some will wait until it has started up to the surface. But rest assured they are stalking it the whole time, just waiting for the right moment to strike. Back to the cast, make long cast letting it fall on slack line reeling just enough to keep your swimbait from rolling over. Let your swimbait fall as close to the bottom as you can without getting snagged in the cover. If mister big is down there he will see it coming, pay close attention to what your rod is doing. Anyone will know they have a fish on when the rod gets jerked out of their hands, but it is the subtle bites that are so hard to detect.

The Bite

This is just a couple of the bites to watch for, first you are close to the bottom, bass is hiding in cover, your are reeling not thinking about much when all of a sudden your rod just starts to load up. Set the hook, a bass has just inhaled your swimbait. He did not have to go far, just closed his mouth on your swimbait. No need to run off, he is all alone just wanting to get back in the cover and wait for another easy meal to come by. Second bite, you have just hit the cover with your swimbait no takers, your swimbait is rising to the surface just as your swimbait gets close to the boat your line goes slack and your rod unloads. Set the hook your Giant Bass is pushing your swimbait toward you. That is why your rod and line went limp. One lesson you will surely remember is always pay very close attention to the way your rod and line are loaded up. By this i mean as you are reeling there is a certain amount of tension on your rod tip, when this changes set the hook. There is no other reason for your line to go slack or come forward...FISH ON!!