Thinking outside the box. The new Zoom Bait Company Swimmin Super Fluke. Or it is not your Momma’s swim bait anymore.
This spring and summer I was having a great time catching lots and lots of bass on buzz bait. They stayed pretty consistent and I thought I was in heaven, and then it seemed to stop overnight. So what next, I decided to switch to Flukes so off to Academy I went. While at the store I found the new Zoom Bait Company Swimmin Super Fluke.
The Swimmin Fluke has the classic paddle tail as opposed to the straight or split tail. It looked good to me so of course I bought several packages and off to the lake I went. I used it like a regular fluke in the side to side walk the dog method with a few takers, but not the results I was looking for. So then I tried straight swimming it, still not so much. Then a fish busted a shad close to the boat, I flipped it over, reeled it on top and wham, he nailed it, and I do not mean slurp, he walloped it!
So being the real genius I am I figured how about trying it that way again. Not only did it work, but I caught fish, lots of them, and good ones. It has remained consistent for me, even in our hot dry Texas drought summer.
Rigging it of course is the whole key. I have found the best method is to take a Gamakatsu #5 offset shank worm hook as it is the best fit. (st#: 07415) One of the great things about it is that you can rig it Texas style, but since you can run it on top, keep the hook point out and exposed. The hooking ratio per strike is actually fantastic. It tops a buzz bait by quite a bit. They hit it so ferociously that they actually explode on it and eat it.
What color you say, how about white, shad, pearl, white, shad, pearl…….you get the point.
One of the few downsides is the fish tear these up at a frighting pace. Now do not get me wrong, I will never complain when the fish are blasting a bait and I am catching them. So then what? Tear off the head where it is torn and re-rig. You will know immediately whether it is running right if it does not track true and straight. While you may catch a few that way, it is clearly not the preferred presentation for the fish. So now what? I have found that you can actually tear the torn part off the head and hook it just through the nose and get away with it for a few more fish. But no matter what, if it is not tracking properly it will not get the strikes.
One of the issues I have encountered with the nose hook baits is that often the fish hit it like a ton of bricks, are on or so I think, but they have the body and not the hook. I have experimented with adding a trailer hook through the nose hooked bait, but have not found the right combination yet. But there is a method to attach a trailer hook and you can experiment until you find it. That will definitely prolong the life of the Swimmin Super Fluke.
As a side note, I have experimented with the classic hollow body swim baits. They also are successful but at the cost of most of them, and the viciousness with which the fish eat it, the cost tends to be to prohibitive.
One final word on rigging, if you use a regular paddle tail swim bait and you can not get it to run right hook it through the nose, eye to eye. While this may look funny, sitting on there sideways, it works. The fish are chasing and reacting, it is the plop – plop combined with the speed that gets them. I have also used a weedless hook in the sideways presentation over thick grass successfully.
How and Where
I use it on my standard bass tackle, a medium heavy casting rod, and an Ambassador 5500C3, with 15lb. Big Game. You can reel it to fast. You want it on top at a steady pace. You will know when you have it right when you hear it plopping. Plop – plop – plop – plop. Of course there is no tried and true speed, nor is there any specific equipment to use it on. As long as you can whip it out there and run it plopping back you are off to a good start. Just listen to the fish, they will tell you what they want. Once you find the right speed the bite is a thing of beauty.
The Swimmin Fluke has been very effective for me over flooded grass and hydrilla. I have also had good luck in scattered grass. Of course it highly effective for bass chasing shad and if you see them bust, lay it on them.
Last but not least, this method should work on any fish that likes it on top. If I were a muskie or pike fisherman, and they were up shallow, I would be afraid to throw it, it might get ugly. And snook in the mangroves or potholes….oh the possibilities.
I hope this lets you add one more thing to your arsenal. Think out of the box, you never know when a little change can bring good results. Good Luck!