Even at this stage in my career, after fishing for a living for several decades, sometimes I just want to get bites. I don’t care what it is, as long as there’s lots of action. If you’re a beginner, that may be your goal, too – to just have something pull back. Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of different lures to get that done. In fact, there’s one lure I know that catches everything that swims, and I want to tell you what it is, how to rig it and how to fish it.
Once you gain confidence in this presentation, you can use it anywhere: freshwater or salt; cold weather or hot; shallow or deep, whether you’re fishing for bass or trout or pike or panfish or flounder, or just about anything else.
So what is it?
It’s a finesse swimbait, and it’s so good and so versatile because it’s easy to fish and a great baitfish imitation. After all, that’s what most fish eat. You don’t need a lot of sizes or colors to cover a lot of different bases.
Start off with a basic jighead. There are lots of them out there. I like the VMC Finesse Half Moon, but your favorite might be something else. No matter what brand you use, be sure to look for a 90 degree line tie. In other words, where you tie your line on that eyelet should be going straight up and down, not out in front or at a 60 degree angle. Get two or three different sizes – maybe 1/8, 3/16 and ¼ ounce, as those will cover a lot of different parts of the water column with ease, even if there’s current.
The next thing is the bait itself. I like a small (2-4 inch) swimbait style lure with a tab tail or boot tail. That little tab makes it swim naturally so that any predator just HAS to eat it. You don’t need to go crazy with colors. Just “match the hatch.” Usually that means a white or pearl, something in green pumpkin and maybe chartreuse and you’re set.
Now that you have the components, it’s time to put them together. The most important thing to remember is that when you thread the lure on the hook, the bend in the tail should go in the opposite direction of the bend of the hook. That will provide not only the greatest amount of action, but also the most natural action.
Beyond the fact that it looks so much like a small baitfish in the water, do you know why this lure is so versatile? It’s because it’s so easy to fish. You just cast it out and reel it back in. If you want to cover the upper portion of the water column, reel it relatively fast with your rod tip held high. If you want to cover the middle portion, slow it down a bit and drop your rod tip slightly. If you want it to bounce along the bottom, just let it sink and then retrieve it slowly with your rod tip low.
I know that many of you are just getting into fishing, or getting back to it after some time away, but whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced pro, this is one lure that will help you catch more fish, without investing a lot of money to get started.
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