Franklin County Times
What is swimbait?
It's only one of the hottest new lures on the bass fishing tournament trails. A swimbait is a 2-inch to 1- inch plastic lure that closely resembles and mimics a baitfish.
Swimbaits have been used for many years in California by anglers chasing the next world-record bass. Steve Kennedy, a professional angler from Auburn used a swimbait last year to catch 122 pounds of bass in a California tournament. Yes, he won the tournament and shattered the old record for the heaviest catch. His win helped to ignite the current rage for the swimbait. Since last year, nearly every lure company has introduced its version of this popular lure.
The swimbaits used in California look like a rainbow trout because lakes out west are stocked with trout as forage for bass, and are up to 12 inches long. Swimbaits used in Texas and Mexico resemble the tilapia, and those used around here should mimic shad or bream in lengths up to six inches.
Swimbaits should be fished like a spinnerbait, with a slow and steady retrieve. A swimbait, when retrieved properly, should have a steady wobble. If retrieved too fast, the bait will have a tendency to roll on its side.
Fish a swimbait in those places where you would a spinnerbait. It can be fished swallow or deep and around cover such as standing timber, brush piles and boat docks.
Use heavy tackle when fishing with a swimbait. You will need big hooks, at least 15-20 pounds of test line and a stiff rod. The bass will usually engulf a swimbait and mouth it for a while, so wait until you feel the weight of the fish and then set the hook.
Swimbaits perform best in clear water so they should be a perfect match for some of our local lakes. Why do they work so well? Because they look and feel like what bass naturally eat. If you are going to the lake and plan to try out a swimbait, I would suggest taking a net and a camera. You just might hook the biggest bass of your life.
In an earlier column I misstated the date of the Belgreen Bulldog tournament. The tournament will be held on Saturday, April 26 instead of April 19. Don't forget about the Vina tournament that will be held Saturday, April 5 at the Slick Rock boat ramp on Cedar Lake. I'm not aware of any tournaments this weekend and the crappie are biting, so it will be the perfect opportunity to take a kid fishing. Unfortunately, I will not be fishing this weekend because my wife said that we are having a yard sale.
Kevin Stone is branch manager and loan officer at Valley State Bank and can be reached at (256) 332-3600.