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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Swim Jig vs. Swim Bait? #13530311 04/22/20 09:20 PM
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Rockfisherman Online Content OP
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I have always had a lot more confidence in a Swim Jig vs. a Swim Bait.


When would a swim bait be better to throw vs a swim jig?



PM me to let me know how it was!
Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Swim Jig vs. Swim Bait? [Re: Rockfisherman] #13530423 04/22/20 10:31 PM
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This is my opinion only, but you’re comparing apples to oranges. Right now I’m on a swim jig bite around bream beds and Shad spawn. I can throw that jig and skip it under places that can’t a swim bait. I use a swim bait more pre spawn and fall. I will throw I swim bait on a windy point or deeper through a big school of Shad. But both techniques in my opinion are complete opposite. Swim jig I can run it into a stump or rocks and kill it, fish like a jig for a second and then start swimming again. Lots of bites come soon as you start swimming it again. I thin the jig is way more versatile and is more in my confidence also. Again, just my opinions

Re: Swim Jig vs. Swim Bait? [Re: Rockfisherman] #13530511 04/22/20 11:23 PM
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In the crystal clear water at Alan Henry I have been catching good numbers on swim jigs in low light conditions. Once the sun is up high I have a lot of fish follow the swim jig but not take it. Been having better luck on a realistic looking swim bait from mid morning through late afternoon.

Been sticking with the swim jig if water is lightly stained or when fishing deeper.

Re: Swim Jig vs. Swim Bait? [Re: sprigsss] #13531184 04/23/20 01:54 PM
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ksalmon Offline
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Originally Posted by sprigsss
In the crystal clear water at Alan Henry I have been catching good numbers on swim jigs in low light conditions. Once the sun is up high I have a lot of fish follow the swim jig but not take it. Been having better luck on a realistic looking swim bait from mid morning through late afternoon.

Been sticking with the swim jig if water is lightly stained or when fishing deeper.


What colors are you having success with? Trailers? I know Pool has been doing well with a swim jig but I can’t get much of a bite with one.

Re: Swim Jig vs. Swim Bait? [Re: Rockfisherman] #13531511 04/23/20 05:28 PM
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I’ve been using green pumpkin/chartreuse Trying to mimic the green sunfish on the lake.

Using green pumpkin rage swimmers or keitech trailers.

Re: Swim Jig vs. Swim Bait? [Re: Rockfisherman] #13533196 04/24/20 08:40 PM
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rodiebob Offline
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Good topic.. I started throwing swim jigs and swim baits around 2008.. At the time i didnt get the way you could use them in connection with each other.. it was early as i think other than Storm and Yum, Sassy shad etc, not much in the way of boot tails .. First started throwing the shad jigs with double tail trailers and although they worked some, the real answer was the boot tails.. My experience is to convert from swim jigs(shad patterns) to swim baits after the spawn, but that is subject to the water color, and profile, (size as well) and if the fish will bounce to a traditional jig trailer after. The fish will tell you.

Color is interesting on trailers for swim jigs both simple and complex.. Shad patterns early suggest more ghost or silver white.. Then Watermelon variants as the water clears.. There are alot of choices now.. Experiment..Kaitech is hard to go wrong with but Strike king and Berkley making better colors now as well.. Dont forget size..its important..

Also the rule on the trailer say for bream patterns may be to convert to double tails after the spawn.. It really is dependent on the fishery..The trailer is always the reason you do or dont get bit.(Swimjig color or size). The size on swim jigs is variable prespawn however 1/2 ounce early, 3/8 to 1/4 during/after spawn converting to swimbaits as fish tell you..(Both can be effective at the same time due to conditions and forage)

One last myth im going to disclose..Shad pattern Swim jigs work extremely well in cooler stained or dirty water.. The reason swimjig works well is the boot tail, or the double tail and the action retrive you discover using it....Any other reasons you will have to discover for yourself..lol

Last season i threw a longer skinnier swimbait due to gizzard shad predominant in the lakes i was fishing..I have no idea why im telling you bums this..lol. They hit the bait starting in March and nailed it to winter.. Swim baits depending on where you are fishing them.. I use both a open hook jighead, and a screwdown hook to get the best performance weedless. Ball heads,, and jig heads are somewhat similar both are effective and size/detail can be important. Something else swimjbaits are capable of different types of action in their boottails from wide to tight actions, even a body almost circular action.. This is like a crankbait that hunts.. Pay attention it can pay dividends.

Back to your point.. I will throw a swim jig before the spawn with a eye to size and color, and swimbait as a follow up to finnicky fish or short striking fish on the swim jig..Pre spawn ill experiment with the swimbaits to see if size or color might get some play.. Once again large swimbaits can be a specific cold water technique.. Experiment..

The large swimbait prespwn has a place in lakes, but I havent had enough success to speak to it..It workd on TV and in Cali, maybe lake Travis but not for me..yet. The swimjig both mimics the size and the color early,(prespawn) I know that larger swimjigs before, then goto a more craw trailer after.. I hope this is not confusing.
They are both very effective but ive found not on every lake.. Water conditions, time of year, and goofy green fish is a player..lol.

I know alot of us us boot tail trailers on chatterbaits or bladed jigs.. This is a different but related area imo..Also anglers have used boot tails on spinnerbaits..Experiment!

Last edited by rodiebob; 04/24/20 08:47 PM.

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Re: Swim Jig vs. Swim Bait? [Re: sprigsss] #13533305 04/24/20 10:04 PM
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Shane Beilue Offline
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Originally Posted by sprigsss
In the crystal clear water at Alan Henry I have been catching good numbers on swim jigs in low light conditions. Once the sun is up high I have a lot of fish follow the swim jig but not take it. Been having better luck on a realistic looking swim bait from mid morning through late afternoon.

Been sticking with the swim jig if water is lightly stained or when fishing deeper.


Good insights - can you expound on how you throw the swim jig deep on Alan Henry? Is it a countdown to swim thru submerged treetops or more along the rock ledges? 1/2 oz? Been working on getting better w this technique myself. Thx

Re: Swim Jig vs. Swim Bait? [Re: Shane Beilue] #13533376 04/24/20 11:09 PM
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rodiebob Offline
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I havent used swimbaits or swimjigs that deep.. However I might use Storms swimbait, to get down that deep..Swim jigs idn..Maybe a 1/2-3/4 ounce bream pattern in pbj or a shad pattern pack swimbait.. Santones has some mean looking Gizzard shad patterns....Ive wanted to do that along time, too many shallow water partners..lol..


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Re: Swim Jig vs. Swim Bait? [Re: Rockfisherman] #13536572 04/27/20 08:04 PM
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Stephen M Fatherree Offline
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This is a very interesting question considering that you admittedly have much more confidence in a swim jig versus a swimbait.  Obviously as anglers we are often times more successful fishing with particular lures or techniques in which we have a large amount of confidence in while at the same time in order to improve as an angler we must be able to recognize our weaknesses and be willing to work on them.  Sometimes that requires an angler to do things such as only having the lures/rods on board your vessel which relate to the lures, "tools", that you're not very confident in fishing with.  Fortunately a jig is an extremely versatile bait that works across the nation in a variety of colors and with a variety of retrieval techniques.  It also is famous for attracting large bites and can even be combined with a hollow body soft plastic swimbait as its trailer.
Both swimming a jig and swimbaiting can be great techniques across the country and sometimes work well throughout the year, particularly when targeting shade in the warmer months or dense rocky banks that transmit heat well during the colder months.  The majority of the time I prefer swimming a jig with a white skirt color around prespawn and bedding largemouth using a Zoom Super Chunk as a trailer the vast majority of the time.  Since the introduction of the bladed jig over a decade ago, such as the Chatterbait, simply swimming a jig which is primarily designed for dragging across the bottom or flipping through grass / other cover to mimic various types of forage depending on skirt and trailer color is one of if not the most productive lures ever designed.  A jig is an extremely versatile bait for both largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing. Swimming a jig alongside or through cover is a bit of an old school technique that still works, sometimes with amazing results.  More often than not bass will typically hit a swimming jig so hard it will create slack in your line and you will have to quickly reel that slack out of your line before getting a solid hookset on the fish which is why a lightweight but stiff and fast action rod equipped with braid and a baitcast reel which has a high gear ratio is my top choice when fishing with this technique.  When bass are locked onto spawning nests or guarding fry they will often just swipe at the jig which might allow you to discover their exact defensive location and then you will have the opportunity to catch that fish with a variety of soft plastic tactics such as a 4" weightless Senko.  

Swimming a jig has a few unique benefits as does fishing with a swimbait.  With the weedguard on your jigs you can swim the lure through sparse aquatic vegetation or through fairly shallow submerged laydown trees and stop your retrieve near the end of a laydown thus allowing the jig to fall on completely slack line in order to see if there's a bass that may be enticed into biting your now vertical falling jig.   From my experience swimming a jig is often more likely to be productive in areas that have a bit of wind and is often very effective on highly pressured fisheries with at least 1.5' of water clarity.  In areas with very little water clarity a bladed jig often will attract more bites due to the amount of vibration it creates during the retrieve.  My best bite using a swimming jig technique was prior to the invention of the bladed jigs which are now an extremely popular lure and for good reason.  I was fishing on Sam Raybrun when water temperatures were in the low-mid 60s.  After the invention of the bladed jig, not many anglers still swim a jig using an erratic action caused by repeatedly popping the tip of your rod while steadily reeling the jig back and always being prepared for a quick and violent hookset.  This style of fishing can be absolutely exhausting and really test the strength and endurance of your wrists and forearms if you are doing this technique for an extended period of time which is why when the bladed jig was invented I was beyond grateful, I'm sure many other anglers will agree.  

It is best to swim a jig by using a lightweight rod that is at least 7' in length, with a fast action blank and rated at a medium heavy to preferably heavy power unless you're using braided line in which case a medium heavy power rod will suffice.  Keep your rod tip pointed towards the 10-11 o'clock position throughout your entire retrieve.  Most bass fisherman will now use a bladed jig as that blade gives your jig a lot of erratic action with very little effort required from the angler but do keep in mind that these two jig presentations are drastically different from a fishes perspective.  I consider swimming a jig as the finesse version of fishing a bladed jig like a Chatterbait.  Swimming a 1/4 oz to 1/2 oz flipping or casting jig without the blade requires more work for the angler but can be surprisingly productive with a bouncing and popping action while continuing your retrieve steadily back to the boat.  Before the bladed jigs hit the market this was a much more popular and widely used technique which has won plenty of competitive tournaments.  It will fatigue your wrists quite quickly but will also show the bass something completely different which can make a decent day of fishing into a fantastic day on the water, particularly when fishing on waters that experience tremendous amounts of fishing pressure.  Due to the fact that a swimming jig is not a presentation in which many bass see often, it is always worth a try under the right conditions and especially in lakes with largemouth bass going through the various stages of the spawn and are found predominantly in the shallows.  Comparatively speaking, a jig combined with the right trailer and correct weight are much often easier to skip underneath overhanging shoreline cover or underneath dock walkways where bass often like to spawn near or guard their fry using the shade and dock posts as cover.  For successful jig skipping I recommend using a wider/flatter shaped plastic trailer on your jigs such as a Zoom Big Salty Chunk as well as an overall lighter weighted jig.

A swimbait such as a 4-5" Berkley Hollow Belly Swimbait or Basstrix Swimbait rigged with a belly weighted hook is a great swimbait on fisheries across the country and are great for beginner fisherman wanting to gain more confidence in swimbait fishing.  These lures when rigged correctly will swim through sparse aquatic vegetation just as well if not better than a jig with a pointed shaped head design and a smaller diameter line tie.  Jigs which are specifically made for flipping, casting, or swimming applications typically have a smooth head design and depending on the type of trailer you match them with these jigs are not designed to create very much vibration throughout the water during their retrieve.  Many hollow body swimbaits also have narrow heads and their line ties are not always exposed which helps avoid any aquatic vegetation being hung up onto them.  The rounded and sometimes squared shaped tails on many of the top producing soft plastic swimbaits typically tend to move more water during their retrieve and can attract bites better while being steadily retrieved through sparse grass growth and water that is a bit dirtier.  For more noise on your swimming jigs attach rattles and to represent bluegill as opposed to different species of shad use a skirt and trailer color that has more of a green pumpkin hue and even some orange or blue.  The color choices for swimbaits is also very important for maximum success since they often work best in clear water conditions.  In clear water most any shad pattern should work fine while when visibility is limited to less than 1.5-2' and especially on cloudy days a bright chartreuse colored swimbait with a blue back and some orange or red on the throat of the bait is often the best choice.  When bass are shallow in the Spring and Fall try both a swimming a jig and a hollow belly swimbait designed for shallow water fishing to see which technique the bass prefer on that particular day as they are both very well proven bass catching tactics.  

Considering you have more confidence in swimming a jig the next time you go fishing and after catching your first bass on a swimming jig put that rod down and finish out the area which you've located some fish in using a hollow body swimbait employing a slow but always steady retrieve.  You might find a new favorite lure within the first hour of casting that swimbait.  Both are great techniques but keep in mind that a fishing lure is simply a tool, different forms of cover, weather conditions, water conditions, etc often times call for a different tool to maximize your success on the water.  I hope this helps, good luck fishing!


Respectfully,

Stephen Fatherree
www.lakeforkguidelanes.com
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