How to work a swimbait

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How to work a swimbait

Post  Andy Macfarlane on Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:13 am

Was on another site and someone asked how to fish with shads and swimbaits. I thought I'd copy it for in here.

Shads are my favourite deep-water piking lures. In Winter, small shads and swimbaits around the 4" mark are my first line of attack but they'll work at other times of the year, when the pike are lying up, staying low, avoiding bright sunshine or basically just having a snooze. In the warmer months, I'll use larger swimbaits to reflect their larger diet intake. Fishing them is much the same though. Here are 5 ways to get you started. I'm working on what I believe to be a completely new lure fishing method but that's for another time. I'm going piking in the morning, instead of just talking about it!!...LOL!
1: The first way I fish them is to simply cast them out and let the hit the bottom, counting down as I go. Take a second or two off your count and you'll be fishing close to the bottom. Simply wind your bait in, varying your speed as you go, adding a little dart, hang or pause but basically, it's a straight retrieve. Dead easy.
2: If that doesn't work, I'll get my lure down same as before but this time, I want to fish the lure sink and draw style. Allowing the bait to rise and fall in the water column, gives you a good chance of attracting the attentions of a fish, no matter what depth they're sitting at, so try to make that lure seen at all depths and remember to throw those odd little moves into the retrieve.
3: If I'm absolutely sure the fish are hard on the bottom, I'll take the belly treble off altogether and gang the treble onto the back single or/and use a stinger arrangement. This allows me to put my bait right on the bottom without too much fear of finding a snag. Once you've cast out, hold the rod up high, tighten up and simply give your reel handle a crank, two cranks or 3 cranks and let it hit the bottom again. Keep a tight line all the time, as pike will often flare their gills and literally inhale your lure right off the bottom while it's motionless. You can allow your bait to pause for a few seconds. repeat the cranking action again and basically what you're trying to do is hop your bait along the bottom, kicking up muck, detritus and hopefully create a little sound too.
4: If you're drifting over deep water, you can jig swimbaits along the bottom, using the drift of the boat to provide the lure's forward motion. All you're doing is giving the lure it's up and down motion. This is probably the laziest action but it can be very effective.
5: By taking the weight or jig-head off your bait, you can fish shads and similar lures in the same way as a wobbled bait. the only weight is the lure itself. What you're trying to do this time, is mimic the action of an injured fish, perhaps with swim-bladder problems. A lot of folk go to a lot of bother trying to get unweighted shads to keep an even keel but I think that's defeating the point. Fish with buoyancy problems can't keep an even keel. That's why they're on the pike's menu. Cast the lure, let it sink to the desired depth, again keeping a tight line and then start to add little glimmers of 'life'. You've seen the last throws of life, when a fish is really struggling. That's exactly what you want. Be vigilant when doing this as pike will often watch injured prey, just waiting for the perfect moment to launch their attack. Very often it'll come right under your feet.
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Re: How to work a swimbait

Post  Slidze on Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:18 am

Thanks for this mate Wink ....gonna try some shads tomorrow.

.....as always, really well written and gives some really understandable advice Cool

.....I'll be fishing with Macfarlane advice tomorrow bounce
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Re: How to work a swimbait

Post  Andy Webster on Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:51 pm

Hi Andy

You may have gathered that I am becoming more interested in lure fishing and I have it all to learn. Can you show us a picture of the types of lure you are referring to please.

Also, what rod / reel setup do you use for this type of fishing. Lure rods of around 6 feet long are popular now. What is the advantage in using such a short rod. Well it seems short when you are used to using 12/13 footers for bait casting.

Regards

Andy Webster

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Re: How to work a swimbait

Post  Andy Macfarlane on Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:11 pm

Lure rods are generally shorter to give you control over the lure. That's the short answer...lol
You also have to remember that lure fishing is a rod-in-hand application. You could work many lures with a 12 foot rod and once upon a time, many people did but that rod will be in use all day long and you could cast that rod several hundred times in a single session. A cast with a bait rod is followed by placement in the rests or a pod and the weight isn't an issue until you actually have a fish on.
Short, poker-stiff pool-cues (as the uninitiated often call them) give you control, castability, action, leverage, room to move and in all, they're simply the right tools for the job in hand.
Reels are a different subject. Now you can buy some very good lure rods that are better suited to the traditional fixed-spool anglers but in reality, you are limiting yourself to the types of lures you can use. A fixed-spool will allow you to use a wide range of lures but you cannot expect to throw something the size of bulldawg or a large jerkbait and work with any degree of success. Bail-arms are great devices for collecting line but they cannot stand up to the rigours of lure-fishing and that is why multipliers are simply the reels of choice for the serious piker. Fixed-spools are fine for many species and lure types but if you really want to right gear for pike fishing and the use of a wide range of lures, think bait-casting outfit.

Jigs come in all shapes and sizes. Some come pre-rigged and weighted, some require and additional weighted jig-head but the principle is the same.



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