Choosing the Perfect Swimbait for Bass Fishing

Choosing the Perfect Swimbait


Paul from @Burly Fishing breaks down how he picks the right swimbait based on where he lives and how you can do the same in today’s video! Let us know what style of swimbaits you prefer to fish!

Video transcript:

Speaker 1:
What's going on, everyone? Welcome back to the Monster Bass channel. I got Paul here with Burly Fishing, and I'm here to talk to you about swim baits, some plastic swim baits. Before I get to that, I want to say thank you so much for checking out the channel. Thank you for subscribing, smashing the like button, ringing the notification bell so you can see when we post the next video. Now, when you're picking swim baits, it can get a little bit tricky. Right now it's a great time to run swim baits. It's a great time to run some bigger soft plastic swim baits, too. The water temperature is about 50 degrees, 45-50 degrees. It is still April here in Michigan. So those larger fish are going to be looking to feed still. Now they're getting fat pre-spawn, so that's great. So that's what we want to see.

Speaker 1:
Now, how do you make your selections? I'm going to walk you through a quick, three step process for how I do it. And again, one thing to call out is just it's a little bit different for every part of the country and every piece of water. It's a little bit different, but this is a good do it all process, a good approach for picking your soft plastic swim bait. Now, what I like to do is, I like to start a little bit on the larger side. So this is larger for me. Larger, again, I'm in Michigan. So this is about a six inch swim bait, and it's very natural, you'll notice. So I like to start on the large side and I like to start on the natural side. Now, natural could mean very light silver, or it could mean something that's somewhere in between. This is a nice do it all. You can see that it's got a little bit of a light belly, darker on top. It's got a lot of detail. So it is more what I would call natural.

Speaker 1:
Now, what do I go from there? After that, what I'll try and do is go with something that's a little bit natural, but I'll try and add some color. So this is a Keitech I think this is a five inch, it's green pumpkin but you can see there's a little bit of chartreuse on it. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to start messing with the color before I start messing with the size. So if I'm not catching any fish on the larger natural, I'll stay large and I'll start mixing it up with the color. And I might even go to a chartreuse, but then after that, I'm probably going to go white. So usually I'll go something dark or natural, then I'll go something a little bit crazy, chartreuse, green pumpkin, and then I will go usually white. White or silver.

Speaker 1:
Then after that, what am I going to do? I'm going to start to downsize. Here's a cool downsize option. This is a new one for me. This is the Thirdeye Samurai Swimmer. You can see it's got a little samurai sword there on the paddle tail. Pretty darn cool. And it's very ribbed, right? So you're going to get a totally different action. So then I'm going to start messing with the downsize. And then I'll go through the same thing with the color all over again. I'll start mixing in some different colors, seeing what might be working. I may even at this point, start mixing in some purples, pinks, just anything that's different than what I've been throwing. Again, I'm trying to mix it up. I'm trying to understand one, is it the size that they're looking for? Is it the paddle tail that they're looking for, specifically some different type of paddle tail action or disturbance in the water? And as you can see, I'm also going to mix in some different textures right there. You're getting a little bit of a different body style, too. So start mixing that up.

Speaker 1:
And then I'm going to downsize even further. So this is a... What are these, four inch, 3.75 inch. This is the Nikko Baits Winnow 95. Awesome bait, super stretchy, super durable. But then I'm going to start messing with that. And I can keep going all the way down to a one inch, very small bait. You never know what those even larger fish or smaller fish are going to start feeding on. Here's what usually happens. I'll figure out the size first. So I'll figure out the size first, I'll start downsizing, downsizing. Then I'll start catching fish. As soon as I start catching fish, I stop downsizing. And then I start messing around with color. So if I get them on a white, I might try something silver. Then I might start adding things like a willow blade. I might start adding an underspin. I might put it on a small chatter bait. I might start putting them on anything that's going to add some flash, right?

Speaker 1:
And then I'm going to start messing with color. So chartreuse, purples, pinks, greens, whatever it happens to be that I think might work for that day or whatever I've got in the bag, to be honest with you. And eventually what's going to happen is you're going to get to a point where like, oh, look, I have nailed the combo. It's the dark color swim bait. It's got to have a heavy paddle tail, but it can only be two inches long. And it really helps to maybe have a WillowVibe on it. So we'll see what happens today. I'm going to start with big baits, I'm going to work my way down. I'm going to start messing with color. And hopefully I get dialed in on pattern. Now, fingers crossed we get into the big fish, but I make no promises, but I can promise you this, we will have some fun. So let's get after the fishing.

Speaker 1:
You want a monster? White or whatever this insane watermelon is. They should call it instead of ultra.

Speaker 2:
Yeah. Yes.

Speaker 1:
Well, now you have to throw it. Oh, no. You almost got to the [inaudible 00:05:09]

Speaker 1:
All right. A little paddle tail here, we're doing some green, pumpkin, purple and gold. Just something totally different than what we were doing before. We'll zero in on a pattern. Just trying something a little bit different. Still going with that willow, though. I love that. Dude, honestly, though, you know what really infuriates me?

Speaker 2:
What?

Speaker 1:
You know the Tactical Bassin'?

Speaker 2:
Yeah.

Speaker 1:
All their videos of those fish catches, they never set the hook. They'll take, the fish will take the lure, and they'll never set the hook. And I'm always waiting for the hook set, and it never comes. And it makes me actually upset. Like it'd be fine if they... I mean, I get it. If they're just tournament practicing and you don't want to actually hook the fish, but like at some point, pull the bait out or something.

Speaker 1:
Fish. Oh, good one. Oh, a pike. Yes. Pike, pike, pike, pike, pike, pike, pike, pike, toothy. Toothy critter. Bass in disguise. Come here, you guy. Come here, you guy, guy, guy. Oh no. Oh no. He's so strong. Why is he so strong? I don't know. Hey, it's a good one. Are you hungry for dinner?

Speaker 1:
All right. That is awesome. I'm so happy right now. All right. So we know that that is working. It got ambushed on the fricking first cast. So willow blade, a little bit darker, green pumpkin. And what did we get for our troubles? Oh God, we got bit. All right. Oh, Hey Jeff. Woohoo. Your boy. Going back in the water. See you, dude. Willow blade, in the wind, shallow water, green pumpkin. Let's go. Jeff over here is literally throwing a Megatron bait. The most insane transformer bait of all time, catches on the first cast. Un-freaking believable.

Speaker 1:
It's unreal. Oh, I love it.

Speaker 2:
Oh, this [inaudible 00:07:31]

Speaker 1:
You're going to tell me that I'm wrong?

Speaker 2:
Tell me that I'm wrong.

Speaker 1:
That's incredible.

Speaker 2:
It fucking worked.

Speaker 1:
That's incredible.

Speaker 2:
Just that natty look.

Speaker 1:
Dude, that is insane.

Speaker 2:
[inaudible 00:07:45] Stupid thing.

Speaker 1:
Hold on, I got to... This will go on that. This will go on the vid. Oh, I got to show you guys. Jeff over here is fishing some things. I guarantee, I'm not going to guarantee you, but I'm going to promise you probably haven't seen this. There's a good chance you have not seen anything like this.

Speaker 2:
[inaudible 00:07:59] brought up. There we go. Check that out.

Speaker 1:
See man, MiniMax chatterbait with a dojo, with like a Ned worm and a little willow on the back.

Speaker 2:
First bass catch.

Speaker 1:
Oh my gosh. Get out of here. What in the world? Well, I'm sticking with my very normal bait.

Speaker 2:
No, no, no.

Speaker 1:
No, no, no.

Speaker 2:
That's where you're wrong.

Speaker 1:
That's where you're wrong, coach. Gotcha. All right. So we're going with a whole Z-Man vibe here. We got the WillowVibe. It's basically a little chatterbait with a willow blade instead of a normal chatterbait blade. Then I've got the smelt. I think this is a three inch, something like that. Three and a half inch. This is going to be a pretty sweet and also really indestructible rig. You really can't go wrong with these. They're a little, they can be tricky to rig. So I'm going to show you a little trick. So once you get to that hook keeper, because it's so stretchy instead of pushing the bait on, which should kind of push it up to that point, I actually grab the back of the hook here and I actually pull, I actually pull it over. It makes a huge difference. But look how clean that is, very natural.

Speaker 1:
I wish I had a... I know they make a gold version of that. I don't have one, but I wish I had one. That would be... Oh, that would be heck of fantastic. I'm also running this on a little bit lighter rig, six foot seven. This is a medium light, extra fast. So we'll see how this runs. This should cast a very long ways, and hopefully this will help me stay nice and natural and get some fish.

Speaker 1:
That's a fish. Not a big one, but I got him. Oh, a rock bass. What the heckin' heckin' heck, something funky going on with his tail, too. Poor guy never knew what hit him. Well, there's a WillowVibe doing work for you. Holy smokes.

Speaker 1:
Got him. No. How did I lose that? Got him. There he is. Oh, I thought I lost him. And it is a bass. Look at that. No way. Look at me catching the fish on the paddle tail that I said I would. So there, downsized and not a giant, but we're catching fish, and that's all that matters because I wasn't getting any bites on those other ones. So later, nerd. Staying downsized, green pumpkin, darker seems to be the ticket with some kind of flash. That's the move. I would love to get some size up in here, but geez man, it's been tough.

Speaker 1:
Got him. Come on. I don't know if I have him real good. Little guy.

Speaker 2:
Nice.

Speaker 1:
Little, little, little, little. Super little. Still, they're biting it. Green pumpkin. Got it. Check. And that's how you whittle it down, you guys. You got to just keep trying different things until you get some consistency. And now, I mean you could try and upsize, but I don't know if I'm quite ready to do that yet. This is working. If little fish will hit it, the big fish will, you might have to sift through, but that's okay. It's okay to sift through. Especially if you finally find... Oh, oh, I almost beheaded myself. I did just about behead myself there. That was fun. Who doesn't like to almost die? Who among us?

Speaker 1:
Wait, what's the opposite of that? Oh, expensive. Got it. Come on. Move, move, move, move. Move. Oh no. Did I lose him? Did I lose him? I lost him. I lost him. I was trying to move. How did I lose that fish? He swam right at me. Shoot. Barely gave it a pause. He's just gone. It's got to be moving it right when it hits the water. Oh, all I watched it get bitten off. I watched it get bitten off. Son of a dude. Oh, I just got torched. That just got smacked, bit clean off. Never had a shot.

Speaker 1:
Got him. I got him. Yes. Jet ski yourself in here, my friend. Well, no giants today, guys. I apologize for the no giants game, but you know what? A fish is a fish is a fish, and I'm always happy to catch one. So thank you so much, sir. And the rebuttal catch after losing a bait is that much sweeter. Ah, man, not the fish, but still there was one back there and we coaxed him into eating with this swim bait. It's just the dark color, man. It doesn't even matter what size it is. If you don't have a dark color, you're not getting a fish.

Speaker 1:
God dang, dude. It's actually raining now. I wish I could stay out of nowhere, but that would be a lie. Oh, holy crap. Dude, it is pouring out there. Absolutely pouring. So I did pull the plug on the day. So here's the deal, folks. I'll show you what I went through today and what we worked through. All right. So like we talked about in the intro, the deal was I wanted to start larger. So I started with baits like this. Longer profiles. I actually slowed them down quite a bit. This one you can tell, just has a belly hook with a screw lock. No weight, though. Weight less. So great place to start. Got absolutely no look and no love for this whatsoever.

Speaker 1:
So then I started downsizing, and I went to paddle tails kind of like this one right here. I started messing with the color, I got a little crazy and started switching it up. What I found was that the green pumpkin, in this case brown with some flake in it, that turned out to be the key. That was a huge differentiator for these fish, and really started turning them on and I started getting bites. You'll also notice I downsized quite a bit, quite a bit, not only in the profile, like the belly and everything, but also just in the length. I went down to about three and a quarter inches. I did throw a few things chartreuse-like in between there too.

Speaker 1:
Now, I tried a couple of different things in addition to that to get fish going. I noticed that when I ran just the naked swim bait, it really wasn't hitting. So I started throwing in some baits like this. This is, Zee Bait Co makes these, this one has a willow. I was also throwing a Colorado blade, but basically it's a belly weighted hook. You get the screw lock in the front, nice sharp hook. But then you get the added benefit of the underspin. The underspin really did really well for me. The other thing that proved to be very effective was the WillowVibe from Z-Man. I think I actually have one of those. So that is the WillowVibe. It's basically a naked chatterbait, no skirt with a willow blade instead of your standard. I think this one is maybe three eights, half an ounce. This worked really well. I did catch a few fish on it, but got a lot of interest, got bit constantly before I actually broke off, which was really sad.

Speaker 1:
The other bait was the Okashira Screwhead. Screw lock, I don't even remember what these are technically called. It's an awesome little jig. And it's got this spinning blade right at the front. That was a fantastic bait for the day. Probably the one that I caught the most fish on. And it was also the smallest profile. I was throwing very small plastics on that bait.

Speaker 1:
One other thing that I did that I am surprised did not catch a ton of fish, we were fishing a lot of shallow water. I think I mentioned a lot of these fish ended up being more shallow than I thought they were. I actually threw a Tokyo Rig at them. This one's a half ounce, I believe, two quarter ounces. Yeah, so I threw a half ounce at them quite a bit today. It was awesome. You could tell it's weedless, it's everything shy of a jig, right? Short of actually moving to the jig, this was it. And I thought about throwing a swim jig, to be honest with you, but I wanted the slimmer profile, and this really is a tiny, slim profile.

Speaker 1:
What's great about the T Rig mixed with a swim bait is that you can keep this just off the bottom, just off the bottom, completely weedless, and you can still take advantage of the paddle tail without knowing that like if you peg this with a Texas rig, go straight lying on the bottom, this can lie just off the bottom. I'm really surprised this wasn't getting bit. I tried a lot of different options with this setup. Didn't get bit, but I really thought it looked good.

Speaker 1:
So all in all moral, the story is, I'm in the middle of filming something and Jeff's coming in.

Speaker 2:
It's raining.

Speaker 1:
And it's raining. Moral of the story is, start big, work your way down smaller, and then mix up your colors as you go. Once you start getting that pattern dialed, stay on it and make small tweaks until you really start to refine it. Don't be afraid to change, but that's a great rule of thumb. And hopefully that is a good tip for you for your body of water. Thank you so much for watching this video. Thank you for, I know you already subscribed and smashed the like button. I'm hoping you rang the notification bell like four different times. So thanks for doing that, and we will catch you out on the next video.

 

 

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