How To

Finesse Swimbaits For Early Spring Bass

Swimbaits catch giant bass but that doesn’t mean you always have to throw a BIG swimbait. Today’s video is all about fishing small swimbaits at key times to catch quality bass. Knowing when to downsize can be the difference between an amazing day on the water and catching nothing at all.

Don’t assume that small swimbaits mean you’ll catch little fish. Even the little 2″ offerings catch giant bass when bass are targeting small baitfish. The 2.8 keitech, Easy Shiner and Armor Shad are all great shad and minnow imitators. Pair them with a small head that has a finesse hook and you can drop down to light line, ultralight tackle, and get a ton of bites when other anglers are struggling.

Below is a breakdown of the gear Tim discussed in the video. We’re also including some of our favorite colors. While your natural inclination is to throw the ghost and pearl colors don’t be afraid to mix in the bright and bold options, you’d be amazed how often a giant bass will eat white or chartreuse simply because its different.

The Swimbaits…

-Keitech 2.8 Fat Impact:
-Damiki Armor Shad:
-Keitech 3″ Easy Shiner:
-Strike King Rage Swimmer 2.75:

Natural Colors: Crystal Shad, Tennessee Shad, Pro Blue Red Pearl
Bold Colors: Chartreuse/Blue, SunGill, Morning Dawn, Chartreuse Shad

The Heads…

-Dirty Jigs Guppy Head with 1/0 hook:
-Revenge Darter Hedz:
-Cool Baits Underspin:

All-Around Finesse Swimbait Combo…
Rod- Shimano Curado 7’1″ Medium Spinning:
Reel- Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500:
Line- 8 lb Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon:

High-End Finesse Combo…
Rod- G Loomis NRX 852S JWR:
Reel- Shimano Exsence 3000:
Line- 10 lb Power Pro:
Leader- 8 lb Sunline Assassin:

Need Apparel? Tacticalbassin Gear is in stock! Get your hats, hoodies, and sunshirts by emailing

Sun Mask:
Sun Shirt w/ Hood:
Light Fishing Pants:
Reaper Hoodie (Hoodie with Warm Face Cover built in):
Horizon Sweater (Water resistant, great for layering):

Equipment We Recommend…

Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor:
Humminbird Solix 15 Electronics:
Minn Kota Talons:
Hot Foot Throttle Control:
Loc-R-Bar Boat Security:

Favorite Storage Box:
Favorite Pliers:
Favorite Split Ring Pliers:
Favorite Wire Cutters:
Favorite life jacket:
Favorite sunglasses:
Hero7 Camera:
ElectroSamson Scale:
Promar Net:
Lure Retriever:

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  1. I think we're missing something, here. All the crankbait guys use red/craw patterns for very early season slow/deep fishing. Why not use a jighead & soft craw with the same exact retrieve?

  2. I FINALLY tried this tonight.. Wow, unreal… And I hooked into something… Broke me off.. I was catching spots and some slab crappies. I did find I had to let tnem take the bait almost like it was a live minnow. The bite was subtle.

  3. I would be very happy to host a visit from you guys here in Idaho. Bass fishing can be dificult. Cold high country reservors. Not much bank access. High pressure at the few access points. This year is the year I learned to catch fish for real. I learned it almost all of it here on your channel.

  4. First…. I watch your videos EVERY SINGLE DAY. Probably 10 videos a day. I have a major question for my fishery. With swimbaits, my local lake has tons of leaves and things on the bottom, so my swimbaits always have "gunk" on them as I bump bottom. What do you recommend?

  5. Crushem on 2.8 keitech and guppy head when everyone else is dragging a tube or grub.. chartreuse blue or electric shad killer

  6. I caught my biggest smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass on this technique this year. One in winter, one in spring, and one in summer. Y’all posted a video about swimbaits last winter and this has really been a bait to pay off for me

  7. I have been fishing this for years up North in the Spring. Dynamite on smallies. I like to use a football head and let it sink to bottom, lift the rod tip to 12 clock and let it fall while taking up slack slowly. Usually get it on the fall.

  8. Had I done this at kayak tournament this weekend, I would have caught fish. People that did, was off this technique. Great stuff man. Hopefully I can meet you guys next trip to Cali.

  9. Save your money and get a few packs of mister twister 3 inch curly tail grubs. Chartreuse with a 1/8 oz flo orange jig head for stain water. Cast parallel to a rocky shoreline with a slow retrieve and pop them out and on top of rocks. In spring time nothing beats it for smallmouth. Caught largies this way too.

  10. just picked up a few thanks for the great tips as always guys..i was practicing for a tournament massive cold front came through and killed my bite, got to practice a bit today and got bit on small bladed swimbaits and looking forward to a great tournament. You guys are awesome!

  11. It's honestly a privilege and humbling to be part of the TB crew. All of the commentators are mature and united in one pursuit: to become better anglers. In addition to the priceless info always shared by TB themselves, the subscribers add frosting to the cake with their own experiences and ideas. Dedicated anglers putting their minds together, so cool!

  12. Hey guys!
    Keep trying to tie the braid to leader blood knot. Why the __ does my knot not tighten when pulling on the lines? Flouro or mono keeps pulling through the braid without knotting up. Thanks for the videos soooo much!!!

  13. Great info Tim, Thanks, I have the IMX Pro 853 , could you recommend the size that would work , if it even would be a good rod. I use it with finesse jigs. I have several other rods, but I wanted your opinion. Thanks again, Load-Up my man 🎣🎣👍

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