How To

Jacob Wheeler’s Sleeper Paddle Tail Swimbait System for Offshore Bass

We listen up when Jacob Wheeler ( starts sharing bass fishing techniques that give him an edge. For Wheeler, mid-sized paddle tail swimbaits are highly overlooked, particularly in offshore fishing scenarios on the Tennessee River and beyond. He goes into great detail on how to rig and properly fish finesse swimbaits in the 3- to 4-inch range for stingy offshore bass.

• SWIMBAIT – Storm Largo Shad, Gizzard Shad:
• JIG – VMC Hybrid Swimbait Jig Head, 1/2-ounce:
• ROD – Duckett Jacob Wheeler Series Casting Rod, 7′ MH:
• REEL – Duckett Paradigm CRI Casting Reel, 6.3:1:
• LINE – Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, 12-pound:
• HAT – Rapala® Red, White & Blue Trucker Cap:

The process starts with selecting a high-quality jig that locks the swimbait in place so you can get catch multiple fish on a single bait. Wheeler walks through how to rig soft swimbaits on screw-lock jig heads perfectly straight every time. So what’s the mark of a quality swimbait? –this boils down to baits that engage (swim) on the fall and when reeled at the slowest speeds. A constant tail kick mimics shad and generates bites.

Fishing the bait too far off of the bottom is the biggest mistake Wheeler sees anglers making when fishing paddle tail swimbaits. It’s imperative to keep the bait near the bottom in most situations. Wheeler achieves a deeper running depth and better overall action by using a lighter line (12-pound fluorocarbon) and a heavier head. He also prefers a slower 6.3:1 reel to help resist working the bait too fast. Use a rod with a more moderate taper and make sweeping hooksets. Like ChatterBait fishing, a slight hesitation supports deep hooking with little chance of losing a pinned fish.

Lastly, Wheeler takes us through what a typical cast should look like starting with an initial fall to the bottom, then a horizontal retrieve. Reel just fast enough to keep the bait a foot or two off of the bottom. Want to up your catch by 20-30%? Stop the bait mid-cast, letting it fall back toward the bottom. Trailing bass can’t resist a shad-imitating lure dropping from the school like a dying shad.




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  1. Thank you so much for showing how to get the bait on the screw lock. I've seen those jigheads so many times and never bought them because I couldn't figure out how the bait got over the screw part.

  2. Hello Jacob Wheeler I am your fans. The Sleeper Paddle Tail Swimbait System for Offshore Bass was provided a very detail presentation for subscribers understanding in order how to handle it. But can you please provide it for another the Bank Bass fishing video as well soon. Thank you so much for your effort for the subscribers. Philip

  3. Whole reason i got into artificial lures was because of a 1/2 walleye jigs and those small firetiger shad at bass pro they kill just about anything up in northern Minnesota

  4. Bass fishing is the best my favourite is striped bass but bass in general are just a crazy fish too catch the way they strike is super exciting I do my own YouTube as well except I am only 13 my goal is too engage our next generation into fishing 🎣 but your videos are better then mine your editing is just next level awesome 😊

  5. Thats an important tip. Ive had issues with hooking up, especially with keel weighted ewg type hooks. I learned a while back if you use a thinner hook like the hybrid jig, you can set it more like a crankbait. It will definitely improve your hookup ratio, especially on finicky summer bass. If you watch wheeler on mlf, he legit uses this rig a lot.

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