Unknown Author - As winter loosens its grip here on the east coast we all start to feel a little better. Just knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that tunnel’s end is fast approaching has my mind racing and my body close behind. This spring, just like every spring, I plan on catching a trophy. I do know however that the best laid plans can sometimes fall apart at the last minute, but there are certain guidelines that if followed will increase my odds of being successful. The Last couple of years I have done well with swimbaits and I have accepted the fact that they are an important tool for my style of fishing. I am not after a five fish limit on shakey heads, but rather I seek a trophy that will push my adrenalin to the point of SHAKEY HANDS.
There is a terrible misconception that all swimbaits are a foot long piece of rubber that weighs a pound and only catch the monster bass that dwell in California. Bass are piscivores, meaning they eat fish no matter what coast or country they live in. Swimbaits, just like crankbaits, come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I have done well using the four to six in swimbaits in what I would deem to be “Natural” colors. I like the six inch Castaic Catch 22 in the threadfin shad or silver shiner patterns. All of the C-22 baits have an incredibly fluid action and have rightfully earned a top spot with most all big bass hunters. SPRO is unleashing a new six inch version of the BBZ-1 this year that is a must have item. The four inch BBZ-1 proved to be a highly productive lure and capable of fooling bass of all sizes even on highly pressured lakes. With the help of Bill Siemantel, who was recently inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame, SPRO’s line of swimbaits is lethal on the water and a lot of fun to use. Strike Kings Sexy Swimmer, King Kong, and King Shad may be what you would call “sleeper lures”. What I mean is they are right in front of you and you may just be over looking them. Don’t underestimate this line of baits and certainly don’t dismiss them as just more sexy what you may call it lures. I have logged days in my fishing journal when the King Shad was nothing short of awesome. The aforementioned Strike King lures range from four to eight inches and there’s a new edition to the family in the way of the three inch Baby King Shad. Wake up and tie one on, I know I did. While I am on the subject, I can’t forget where I came from. What I mean is I can’t forget the first tube style swimbaits that set the stage and made me a believer. I still use the Yum Money Minnow and have a great deal of confidence in its ability to put fish in the boat. I fish in and around a lot of cover and when the Money Minnow is rigged with a Gamakatsu Weighted Monster EWG hook, I can use this bait to venture where other swimbaits dare not enter. The tube style swimbait is versatile and can be used as a drop shop, Carolina or Texas rigged, and fished just like any soft plastic lure. Each of these baits has a time and place in which it will excel and possibly produce the fish of a lifetime. As with any lure in your tackle box though, you have to determine when and where to use it. Tying one on is the first and easiest step, but fishing one with not only confidence, but in such a manner as to maximize its productivity can be tricky.
It takes dedication and mental discipline to throw a swimbait knowing that you may only catch one fish that day or even go home after striking out completely. Personally I found it is easier to fish these baits by myself. The reason being is it is difficult to stay committed to a swimbait if the other guy in the boat is distracting you with pint size fish he is catching on a wacky rig. Boat position can be critical as well and often puts the non boater at a disadvantage which leads chronic complaining from “The Peanut Gallery”.
These types of infractions will prevent you from reaching the plateau or as some call it the B.B.Z. (Big Bass Zone) There is a whole other world out there that consists of fisherman that swear by the B.B.Z. Professional bass angler Rick Clunn was the first one that I can remember to ever speak of “The Zone” and described it as a heightened mental awareness that allowed him to fish beyond the constraints or parameters that often limit or binds us by rules and boundaries. Wow, that is a mouthful and much like an out of body experience when achieved. If all of this sounds like Voo Doo, it is certainly not meant to scare or deter anyone, nor are these baits restricted to pro’s or rocket scientists.
These baits are fun and simple to use. Just like top water baits or plastic worms, the more you use them the better results you will see. So with spring right around the corner why not put the odds in your favor of landing the fish you have always dreamed of? Look beyond the obvious, gain knowledge with each fish, and accept no boundaries.
After all, why settle when you can excel.