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Just wondering if anyone has had any luck with swimbaits in and around the spawn ( pre-spawn/ post-spawn ). Finally added some to my arsenal and have yet to throw one. What does everyone think about using them on opener this year? Also, what is the best rod to use? Just spooled up 17lb flourocarbon on a 7ft med/heavy loomis baitcaster. I bought the 5" split belly one's with 5/o weighted hooks. What do you guys think?

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I used YUM and Shadalicious. I love the shadalicious. It is one of my search baits. Used it on Lake Demontreville last year on opener and that was all that worked for me there that day. I cast it to the shallows or shore and work it in. I rig it weedless so I can cast it on top of the thick stuff too. These also work really well for northerns too.

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I've used 5" Hollow Bellies quite a bit on the last several openers. I throw them on a 7' M rod and 15lb mono. Sometimes rigged with a treble and sometimes with a weighted hook. When rigged with a treble you hardly even need to set the hook, it's just a gentle sweep like you'd do with with a crankbait.

I usually throw swimbaits in lakes where the cover is more sparse, or where the bass don't hit spinnerbaits very well. Swimbaits are really great fish catchers, but the northerns sure do love to tear em up.

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Hiya -

I have a love/hate relationship with soft swimbaits. They can work, but they can frustrate you too.

Fishing them shallow around cover with a Texas rigged single hook, they catch fish, but frankly I don't think they do any better than a spinnerbait - or better yet a swim jig - and they have lousy hooking percentages by comparison, plus there's a lot more rigging to mess with.

For more open water, I've had better hooking percentages with exposed hooks. You can do the line through the nose with a tube (the little plastic tubes from bobber stops work really well actually) with a bullet weight and a small treble hook, but I don't think that works any better than a jighead, and a jighead is a lot less monkeying around.

Actually, the most success I've had with swimbaits is on a football head, of all things.

I started doing it pitching around docks with a light (1/4 or 3/8 oz) football head with a light wire hook and a fluke, then tried small (3 to 3.5") thumper tail swimbaits and it worked even better. Around sand and gravel bottom docks, the football head and swimbait scoots along and looks like a little minnow doing whatever it is minnows are doing digging around in the sand.

I also use bigger 4 and 5" swimbaits on heavier (1/2 to 3/4 oz) football heads in deeper water. Bomb them out, and just keep them stumbling and bumbling along the bottom. Great way to cover big clean rock/gravel/sand flats in 10 to 20 FOW for both largemouths and smallmouths. Funny thing is when largemouths hit them it's pretty subtle, but smallies crush it.

As far as gear, if I'm fishing them shallow around cover, I basically use the same rod I use for spinnerbaits - A Hvy fast with 17# mono. For open water with a jighead I use spinning. A 7' MH rod and either 14# Fireline or 20# braid, with a 15# fluoro leader (and a short, 4" tieable steel leader if I'm in muskie country). Can cast a mile and really cover water, and with an exposed hook and braid, you don't miss many fish. Shallow football heads I use the same spinning gear. For deep football heads, I use a 7'6" MH - XF with 17# fluoro.



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In the past I've used YUM, Hardnose swimbaits and Strike King Shadlicious. My biggest concern about the YUM's were $9 for 3 and it tears off too easily. The Shadlicious were ok but it didn't swim right. Love the Hardnose, it stays on and you can catch 30-40 bass before it starts coming apart. Only thing I didn't like about them is they crack and it just looks ugly.

I found the perfect swimbaits that suited my need. The 5" EZ Shad made by roboworm and 3.5" berkley split belly. Some days the fish likes the 5" and somedays the smaller profile. I fish right through shallow weeds, grass and pads. Something my spinnerbait couldn't do. Owner's hook and 1/8 oz worked best for me.

I have one rod dedicated to swimbaits. Weight is an issue for me so I went with a shorter rod, 7'2" MH, Fast Action with 40# PP braid.

Another rod is dedicated to a spinnerbait. This one is a 6'6" MH, Fast action with 40# PP Braid. When I'm not pitching and the fishes are aggressive. I like to hover the spinnerbait over weeds, around docks and weed edges.

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I used YUM and Shadalicious. I love the shadalicious.

I like the shadalicious also. Along with RK you have a lot of fish grab the tail but not get the hook. At least you know there is a fish in the area.

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I have good success with the skinny dipper(I use the bitters baits naked swimmer it's a less expensive copy). They are solid body. I have not had the same success with hollow body's. No idea why but I have used them both in the same area the same time and the naked swimmer caught fish while the bass tricks did not produce.

Good Fishing!

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