Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Big Bite Swimbait Tactics By: Scott Petersen



For this Big Bite News Letter we are going to switch up how we bring you the News Letter a little this time. This months Big Bite’s News Letter is about swimbaits, looking at the Big Bite catalog we have multiple offerings in the category, too many to cover so we are going to give you a general insight of how to rig and fish swimbaits. This will cover the majority of all the swimbaits that Big Bite has to offer, so grab a fishing rod and your life jacket we are going to go swimbait fishing today Big Bite style.

Looking at a swimbait it resembles a minnow or shad that swims in the waters that we fish. Over all swimbaits can be used in both fresh and saltwater as the majority of the game fish that live in these waters key in on minnows, shad or other game fish as a food source. This is at the heart of what the swimbait is imitating when we tie it onto the ends of our lines.

What swimbait we pick to use will mimic the bait in our lakes and rivers that we are trying to imitate and get the bass or other species to bite. How we rig these baits will differ from time to time and some of this may have to do with what conditions that we are facing when fishing your swimbait.

Let’s look at the three Big Bite options that we are going to talk about in this newsletter. For this month I have picked the Big Bite Real Deal Shad, Cane Thumper, and the BB Kicker.  The BB Kicker is the newest swimbait that Big Bite has come out with that was introduced last summer. Looking at each bait they have a different look and have different ways of how they excel in different waters and conditions, but when it all comes down to it they are all swimbaits.

Big Bite Swimbait Tactics

By: Scott Petersen

How you fish these swimbaits will have a lot to do with how they are rigged.  Let’s start with the Real Deal Shad this little kicking buddy has an action that you could say is not the action of a traditional longer bodied swimbaits. It has a smaller profile than other swimbaits and will mimic a smaller shad or bluegill in the water, the Real Deal Shad is right on in this application. The Real Deal Shad is best when fished on a jig head. I fish it either on a weedless jig head or an open hook jig head depending on the cover I am fishing.

The Cane Thumper is fished two main ways either on the back of a jig or a vibrating jig as a trailer or it can be rigged on a weighted swimbait hook or Texas rigged as many like to use it. Either way fished as a trailer on something, or fished alone on a weighted hook or Texas rigged the Cane Thumper can flat out catch bass or other fish when called upon.

The newest kid on the block you could say is the BB Kicker. This is a bigger bait that has a bigger profile in the water and will attract fish from a distance away. This bait will excel in shallow water but will thrive in deep water situations where a bigger profile bait is needed by the bass to be found. If you are looking to fish off shore structure the BB Kicker is the bait that you need rigged on the end of your line.

The BB Kicker can be rigged on a jig head or on a weighted swimbait hook as the two main ways to rig this bait. One of the best ways I can describe about fishing a BB Kicker is any where you can fish a spinnerbait you can fish a BB Kicker and sometimes even better. I mainly rig the BB Kicker on a weedless jig head, I prefer a bullet head jig for this presentation. I match the size of the head to the conditions that I am fishing and go to work. I have caught bass on this bait from shallow to deep in fact the BB Kicker has fast become the only deepwater swimbait that I fish, hands down number one in my book!!!

How to fish a swimbait and catch fish; that is the key. When I first started to fish a hollow bodied swimbait, I did not have a lot of confidence in the bait. I was fishing the bait many times on a weighted swimbait hook. To tell you the truth my hook up ratio was 50/50 at best, I was losing as many fish as I was getting back to the boat. I tried different hooks; different baits no matter what combination I tried it came out to be the same results. This ratio was ok when fun fishing, but would not fly when it came to fishing tournaments.

One thing that I did to improve my hooking percentage was to add a treble hook to the mix this move helped my hook percentage, but seem to limit where I could fish the swimbait then. All in all it still was not a good mix. Then I started playing with a weedless jig head on my swimbaits and my hooking percentage seem to sky rocket and I was not limited as to where I could fish the bait either. I can say this now, the swimbait for me has become a viable bait when it comes to tournaments. Any where I can fish a spinnerbait I can fish a swimbait and sometimes even better. That is a pretty strong statement.

Much to the credit of the swimbait power is how it is rigged and how it is fished. I am a stickler about fishing a swimbait on braided line when fishing around cover and fishing it on fluorocarbon line when I am fishing it in open water conditions.

First let’s start with fishing a swimbait shallow. Pads, weeds around structure, fish a swimbait in these areas and it will excel. When rigged on a jig head or weighted swimbait hook you can pretty much fish the swimbait through any cover you can dish out. In fact you can fish a swimbait through more areas that you can fish a spinnerbait. Key when fishing the shallows, make long casts, reel slowly, and cover water.

My general equipment setup for fishing a swimbait is a 7’6” flippin stick teamed with a matching baitcaster reel that is spooled with either 30lb to 50lb Sunline SX1 or FX2 according to lbs size. If I feel that the bass are line shy I will switch to a 20lb Sunline Shooter or Sniper line option.

Flats and mid-depth weeds. Once again a swimbait is a wise choice when you need to cover water to locate fish. I prefer to use a Real Deal Shad rigged on a weedless jig head when fishing in mid-depth weeds and will rig it on an open jig head with no weed guard if I am fishing open rocky areas. This is also an area where the Cane Thumper will shine fished as a trailer on a vibrating jig, swim jig, or rigged on a weighted swimbait hook. Again as for equipment I use the same and try to fish braid if the weeds are thick and fluorocarbon if the bass are line shy.

In the last few years swimbaits have become a viable choice for fishing off water structure like ledges and rocks. Once I have taken all the active bass with a crankbait it is nothing for me to grab a swimbait especially a BB Kicker rigged on an open hook and go to work. Make your cast let the swimbait settle to the bottom, you will notice your line go slack. Reel up the slack and start your retrieve, the two retrieve options that I use most of the time is a slow retrieve to keep the swimbait close to or on the bottom making contact every now and then.

Or I will use a lift and drop retrieve, lift the rod tip and follow the bait with the rod tip as the bait falls back to the bottom. Make sure you watch your line as the bait falls for signs of a bite, many times you will just see the line jump. When you pick up the bait pay extra attention if you feel weight, set the hook.

When fishing this open water technique I will fish a 7’6” to 7’10” cranking rod, teamed with a baitcaster that is spooled with Sunline 16lb to 20lb Sniper line. I want that little extra give and length of the rod to drive the hook home but also allow me to fight the fish alongside the boat.

If you have not made swimbaits part of your fishing plans, please take the time this year to give them a good try, Big Bite makes many different swimbaits that will fill all your swimbait needs. From shallow to deep Big Bite has a swimbait for you in its lineup. If you have a special swimbait rigging or tactic that you would like to share; hop onto the Big Bite Facebook page and let the other Big Bite fans in on your tactic. To see all the swimbaits and other bait options that Big Bite has to offer please log onto

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