Tossing big swimbaits has been a tactic for trophy hunting bass fisherman on the west coast since the baits were introduced to the market. Now gaining more popularity world wide, however, is chucking a “glide bait” in waters loaded with big bluegill or stocked with trout. When the bluegill spawn is on, you’re even more likely to hammer a fatboy bass on a glide bait. Here’s how to do it:
Glide Bait Fishing 101
Glide baits were given their name due to their unique action. When you tug the rod one way or another they, believe it or not, “glide” from side to side. Their slender, single jointed body can move in the water unlike a crankbait or even a swimbait, and this unique action often triggers bass to strike. Since most anglers agree if you are throwing a glide bait you should be throwing a jumbo glide bait, it’s go big or go home time and you should expect only beef-mommas to come biting after it. It may not produce bites all day long, but it truly weeds out the small ones better than most baits.
The action on a glide bait doesn’t come as much from the steady retrieve, but lies in the anglers use of rod movement or quick, sharp turns of the reel. Mixing and matching, as always, will cover you the most until you figure out what works, but it’s important to remember fishing a glide bait is less about twitching and more about snapping. I like to retrieve steadily, pause, wait for slack line, and then snap the rod tip to the side while giving my reel ½ turn. This causes an erratic glide, and is often when bass strike. In the summer months it pays off to burn it in 6 feet or less of water, but often works best about 10 feet deep, just over patches of vegetation.
Glide Bait Gear
It’s also important to fish a glide bait with heavy gear, you’ll need some extra backbone to win this fight. Since they usually hit it while moving, glide baits are common victims of losing fish, even with the stickiest hooks. The jointed body helps you with action, but also helps a bass in its effort to flee and jump off.
I’ve found there’s no messing around when fighting a fish on these baits. Get the rod tip down and crank that reel as hard as you can to get it to the net. This is how you can go from “the one that got away” to “winner winner chicken dinner” on tournament day!
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