It’s time to put down that drop shot rod and pick up something a little heftier. Fishing big, heavy swimbaits has been all the craze these past few years, and it’s only gaining more attention worldwide. While the bites are few and far between, when you do get a bite it’s most likely a toad. Here’s everything you need to introduce yourself to the big bait world and find out the best swimbaits for bass fishing.
First you have to think about where you’re fishing and the structure you have to deal with. Are you in an area with a lot of rock structure, bluff walls, docks, or wood? Is the area thick with grass or rather bare? Other important aspects to consider include the time of year that you’re fishing. Is it the colder months where topwater is not as effective and a slower presentation would be better, or the warmer season where a faster, more active presence will draw the fish? Once you’ve taken a few moments to consider these key points, it’s time for the fun part!
Best Swimbaits For Bass Fishing
It’s not only about where you’re fishing, but also how you want to fish. Are you searching for that explosive topwater strike that will get your blood pumping or are you willing to slow-crawl that bait over structure, waiting for a bass to inhale it? Or do you want to be able to impart more action on the bait, giving it twitches and pops every so often? Luckily there’s a swimbait for every aspect.
M.S. (MIKE SHAW) SLAMMER
One of the older, more popular wooden wakebaits. These things pack a punch! With sizes up to 12” these baits will surely draw fish from the deep. Built out of cedar wood, the Slammer creates a satisfying clacking noise as it is retrieved. You can also walk-the-dog with this bait, keeping it in the strike zone much longer. Definitely a big bait to try if you want to step up your topwater game, and you’re sure to create some big fish memories with the Slammer.
Black Dog Bait Co. Wood Lunker Punker 8″
This classic topwater walking bait is one you must try. The good old Punker has countless big fish to its name, and for good reason, too. The bigger profile has proven to draw fish from deeper water, and it’s also a staple for many striper fishermen! The Lunker Punker is known for its wide-walking action, gliding nice and far on every twitch. The explosive, big-fish bites you’ll get with this is something you just have to see for yourself.
Huddleston Deluxe 8”
Definitely one of the most widely-used swimbaits around the globe. The Huddleston, or “Hudd” looks and swims so lifelike it’s hard to imagine how you’re not catching fish with it sometimes. This bait shines during a slow-crawl retrieve. The body rocks back and forth ever so slightly as the big, unique paddle tail thumps perfectly. You can practically crawl these baits around anywhere as they come in top-hook, weedless, and custom rigging options.
Huddleston Deluxe 68 Special
This bait was created by a few secretive anglers who would cut off their 8” Hudd tails at home and glue them onto the back on the 6” one, creating a bait with an enormous thumping action. Eventually the secret was out, and it was such a hit that Ken Huddleston himself started manufacturing what is now known as the “68 Special.” If you’re looking for a smaller-profiled swimbait that still creates some commotion, this is the one for you.
River2Sea S-Waver 168/200
The S-Waver truly pioneered the whole “glide bait” industry. A glide bait is any hard lure that has a single joint, causing a wide, side-to-side swimming action that bass just can’t resist. The S-Waver is one of the cheaper (if not cheapest) high-quality glide baits that you can buy, and it truly lives up to its name. On a slow retrieve this bait creates a huge side-to-side action, but can also whip around quickly on a hard twitch, causing a sudden reaction strike. There are now hundreds of glide baits like the S-Waver, but for the killer price and amazing action straight out of the box, it stands out amongst the competition.
Deps Slide Swimmer 175/250
A true Japanese legend. If you have a bit more dough, definitely try this one out. The Deps Slide Swimmer has been another record-setter in the big bass industry. The customization options of this bait is what makes it so appealing to anglers. Slide the plastic skin off the body and a whole range of modifications can be made to fit different fishing conditions. The new injected versions also contains a spring inside which cause subtle vibrations on the pause. Overall a very neat bait!
Roman Made Mother/Negotiator
A Japanese hand-crafted masterpiece. Manabu Kurita caught a world-record bass with the Mother at Lake Biwa and the craze has blown up ever since. These lures are expensive, but it sure feels good to own a limited, hand-carved piece of art. Not to mention that big bass absolutely inhale these things!
Little Creeper Trash Fish 6″
At only 6 inches the Trash Fish is not really a big swimbait at all, but it catches the big ones nonetheless! I love the softness of the plastic as it allows it to kick hard with a side-to-side wobble action yet is durable enough to last a few fish. This bait is fairly well-rounded in all aspects. Its super realistic profile looks absolutely delicious, and the action is killer. Definitely a staple in my swimbait box.
There’s a time and place for everything, and luckily big swimbait fishing for bass happens to be productive almost year-round. The most important thing is to not get stuck on one lure! Sure, if it’s catching big ones keep at it, but it’s always important to learn how to fish other baits as well, whether it be a different type of swimbait or traditional bass lures. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck in your big bait journey and hope you stick some pigs.