Editor’s Note: Greg Hackney, 47 years old of Gonzales, Louisiana, has fished his entire life and fished professionally for 19 years. On www.bassfan.com Hackney is ranked 28 in the world and also has been B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year, the FLW Angler of the Year and the Major League Fishing (MLF) World Champion. (https://www.facebook.com/pg/greghackneyfishing/about/?ref=page_internal)
I like big-jointed swim baits because they’re so versatile. You can crank wood with these like you’ll fish a crankbait around stumps, logs and trees in the water. Or, you can fish them in open water for suspended bass or schooling bass. You can fish them like a jerkbait, or you can wake it on the surface.
But I like a swimbait that’s not super big – preferably about the size of a threadfin shad. A good swimbait will catch bass in really-cold water. The depth of water that I’ll be fishing the swimbait dictates the size of line I’ll be using. If I want to keep the lure near or on top of the water, I’ll use 65-pound-test braided line, hold my rod tip high and wake the lure on the surface. If I want to get the bait down in the water, or if I want to crank the bait in wood cover, I’ll use 20-pound-test fluorocarbon line. I like the fluorocarbon because it’s more forgiving than the braided and will work through wood better. If I want to fish deep water, I’ll use fluorocarbon. If I want to fish a swimbait shallow, I’ll fish with braided line.
Most people fish a swimbait on the surface or just under the surface, but with some swimbaits you can burn them through the water. If you reel a swimbait fast enough that the bass doesn’t get a good look at it, you can surprise the fish by running that lure right in front of it. The fish doesn’t have time to study a swimbait but has to make an instant decision. Since a bass is a natural predator, the fish’s instincts tell it to attack when a bait’s in sight. That’s the reaction strike that will catch you a fish when the fish aren’t biting.
To learn more about bass fishing, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “Winning Strategies of the Bass Pros” at https://amzn.to/2XJrz3k, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions.
Tomorrow: Knowing Wintertime Bass Tips for Fishing Swimbaits