Finesse Swim Baits Are Hot
Finesse swim baits have become a really hot technique on the professional bass tours for good reason. They catch fish! Let’s tell you why so you can get in on the action too.
What are finesse swim baits?
Swim baits are minnow shaped soft plastic fishing lures with a boot tail on the back that kicks when retrieved. A finesse version is one that is 4” long or less. The bait in this category that I have caught hundreds and hundreds of fish on is the Missile Baits Shockwave 3.5. It is 3 1/2” long and kicks with just a minimal amount of speed being pulled through the water.
How do you rig them?
Finesse swim baits are smaller lures so line size can affect the action of the bait. Spinning tackle gets my nod for finesse swim baits. I like to start with a 7’3” Cashion medium action spinning rod and a Daiwa Tatula LT 3000 spinning reel. I keep 12 pound Sunline X-Plasma braided line on the reel and attach a 16 to 20 foot leader of 7 or 8 pound Sunline Sniper FC. The finesse swim bait will be attached to a jig head. I use a 3/16 ounce size jig head the most. I will also fish a 1/8 ounce when I want the bait to stay shallower. When needing to get a little deeper, I will go up to a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce size. My jig head of choice is a Gamakatsu Round 26 model.
Where do you fish it?
The finesse swim bait imitates a small minnow swimming through the water. All species of bass will eat the snack sized soft plastic lure. Spotted bass and smallmouth bass really love the finesse swim bait because they are both open water feeders on baitfish. Largemouth bass will not pass up a little minnow action as well. You will also find out that about any predator fish will eat the finesse swim bait. Using the Shockwave 3.5, I have caught walleye, perch, bluegill, catfish, drum, trout, and even sea trout!
With the finesse swim baits being smaller, they really excel in clearer water where other lures get passed up. I have caught fish in ponds and small rivers but also love to use them on giant waters like the Great Lakes. Anywhere you have clear water and bass, you are subject to catch fish on the finesse swim bait.
How do you fish it?
The finesse swim bait is a simple technique to fish. You can just throw it out and reel it in to catch bass. It is not complicated, and it covers a lot of water on each cast. After casting, you can also wait for the jig head to sink part or all the way to the bottom to show the lure to fish further down in the water column. I find that a steady retrieve is very effective most of the time. Occasionally stopping the retrieve and letting the Shockwave 3.5 kick on the fall can get a few extra strikes but too much starting and stopping will not be effective. The jig head size can help you achieve the depth AND speed you are after. The 1/8 or 3/16 ounce sizes are best from 1 to about 8 or 10 feet deep. The 1/4 ounce is great from 4 to about 15 feet deep. The 3/8 ounce is best from 10 to 30-35 feet deep. You can fish a 1/8 ounce head down in 30 feet of water but you will have to reel it so slow, you are not effective. Matching the right size head to the right depth will help you fish more efficient.
What are you waiting on?
Finesse swim baits are easy to fish and are very effective at catching numbers and big bass. They work basically year-round. They are great in the winter, good in the late spring, awesome all summer, and amazing in the fall. Finesse swim baits have a high bite to landing ratio because of the single hook and open water bite. Go get you some finesse swim baits, jig heads, and start catching more bass.