Glide bait fishing is a show stopping, heart pumping, exhilarating way to fish for big bass. For those who have taken the plunge into this niche technique, a bass annihilating a glide bait just beneath the water’s surface can create some of the most lasting and impactful memories of any fish catch.
Many anglers, however, are still a little intimidated by this technique, or they’re unaware they can fish this way throughout most of the year. Even in the heat of the summer. But Alex Epperson (better known as Oklahoma’s Worst Angler) hopes to help alleviate some of these concerns.
“I was just doing it last weekend,” said OWA. “I caught 6 or 7 and dumped a 6- pounder at the boat.”
Epperson explains that this is not only a great technique for summertime fishing, but he also wants to make sure that potential newcomers to the technique don’t shy away from it. Glide bait fishing isn’t anything to be intimidated by.
Though he has some fairly large glide baits in the 12” range, Epperson primarily sticks with the 6- to 9- inch size range. A 7- inch glide bait can appear to be rather large and intimidating to an angler who has never thrown one, but in the water, the profile isn’t really that much bigger than a half-ounce spinnerbait.
“I like a taller profile glide rather than the slender ones. I like those because I can work them slow or I can work them really twitchy.”
OWA explains that the slender glide baits have a wide, slow glide, which is good, but they can’t be worked fast like the taller baits.
“I want something that has a lazy, wide glide but then I can tighten it up really quick. ”Epperson utilizes this transition from a wide sweeping, side-to-side glide to an erratic fast twitch to trigger a strike whenever he is coming by a piece of cover or when he has a bass stalking a bait. This sudden change in action leads the bass to believe the bait is injured or fleeing and it typically reacts.
“A lot of times I’ll do reel chops, working it erratic. And then kill it, whether it be a slow sink or slow float, just something to imitate that fish dying. And if that doesn’t work, I will go back to a slower, more steady glide.”
Though many anglers relate a glide bait to fall bass fishing, the pre-spawn or the early post-spawn, Epperson loves glide baiting throughout the summer as well.
“I want it to be the heat of the day. I want to find cover like patches of grass and hard grass lines. I’ll try to weave them around standing timber as well. But I’m primarily a grass fisherman.”
This is a target oriented, shade related pattern for Epperson in the summer. He’s looking for pieces of cover that are usually holding individual fish and then using the glide bait to draw a strike as he brings the bait close to the pickoff point.
“Throwing a glide bait most of the time represents an easy big meal to them.”
Epperson relates bass to people. He points out that humans typically want the biggest reward possible for the least amount of effort, especially when it’s hot. And bass are no different, particularly in the summer.
“They see something they don’t really have to run down. The only energy they feel they’re going to really have to expel is the hit.”
On the strike, a bass tries to do the most damage possible to a glide bait. A bass sees a glide bait as a big meal, but the size of the bait also threatens the bass a bit. So the strike is often ferocious in an attempt to minimize any possibility of this presumed large prey hurting the bass.
Epperson wanted to point out as well that it’s not necessary for a beginner to dump a bunch of money into specific rods and reels or high dollar glide baits if he or she is wanting to give this a try.
“There’s a lot of 7’ 6” to 7’ 11”, heavy to extra heavy rods out there. Anything that’s rated up to 2- ounces, cause most of your beginner glide baits are going to be right in there. And I’ve got a 7’ 11” that’s rated for 2- ounces that I’ve thrown 6- ounce baits on. It’s not recommended, but I’m a big proponent that you don’t have to get a 300 size reel and you don’t need a dedicated swimbait rod. I’ve got them, but I didn’t start off with them.”
Another point of emphasis for OWA is that he recommends beginner glide bait fishermen use 20- pound monofilament...even though he throws his glide baits on 20- pound fluorocarbon most of the time.
There’s a little more stretch with monofilament and the added stretch will help prevent an angler from snatching the bait away from a bass or tearing through one on the fight. And monofilament also floats, which is important and something Epperson points out that an angler should focus on when picking out a starter glide bait.
“Especially for beginner and bank anglers, try to find a glide that is a slow float. When you get into the swimbait game, if you drop $15 to $20 on a bait and then lose it, that hurts.”
There are a couple ways a novice swimbait fisherman can lose a glide bait. One, there’s a tendency when learning how to lob one of these baits for the line to cinch down in the reel and the line to snap, sending your bait sailing through the air. With a slow floating bait, you can simply retrieve your bait off the surface.
“Or even if you’re on the bank, you make a cast and the reel backlashes and that bait sinks, then you’ve got to work it back up off the bottom really fast and you may hit that brush pile you never even knew about.”
Epperson has a couple glide baits that he’s particularly fond of at the moment, a GFB Glide and Imakatsu Bassroid. Both are close to 7- inches in length and around 3- to 4- ounces. But for a beginner, he recommends the River2Sea S-Waver as one of the best starter glide baits on the market.
Ultimately, fishing is about having fun while trying to trick a bass into believing that the artificial lure you’re presenting it with is actually live prey. Glide bait fishing gives an angler an exciting way to do this with a super realistic presentation that’s bigger than your average bait, which typically leads to a bigger than average bite.
So if you haven’t tried out glide bait fishing yet, now’s the time to give it a shot. Remember not to shy away from throwing one of these baits even in the heat of the summer, but be sure to focus on targets. Then make sure you have the bait rigged on at least somewhat heavy gear that can handle it, and just go have fun. This is an interactive style of fishing and you’ll no doubt at least have some followers reveal themselves fairly quickly.
Check out OWA's FAVE baits!