Tips N Tricks

Overlooked Shad-Imitating Swimbait for Tough Bass

Jacob Wheeler loves targeting grouped-up offshore bass but attests these fish are among the most pressured in the lake. He shares one of his favorite sleeper paddle tail swimbaits for imitating natural forage, the two methods he uses to fish it near the bottom, key adjustments to experiment with, and his go-to rod setup.

• SWIMBAIT – Storm WildEye Swim Shad, 4-inch, color – Natural Shad:
• HAIR JIG – Cumberland Pro Lures Prayer Jig:
• ROD – Duckett Fishing Wheeler Series Baitcast Rod, 7′ 3″ Medium Heavy:
• REEL – Duckett Fishing Jacob Wheeler Baitcast Reel, 7.5:1:
• LINE – Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, 14-pound:

Fish finder advancements and a never-ending onslaught of innovative tackle have produced more lure-educated bass than ever before. Wheeler stresses that if you want to stay on top, you must constantly try new lures and techniques while making subtle changes to established ones to show the bass something different.

He compares and contrasts a proven hair jig presentation with a comparably sized paddle tail swimbait. While “preacher jigs” still produce, an internally weighted and keeled paddle tail swimbait fished with a 1) reel and pause cadence or 2) bottom drag delivers more action and shad-imitating realism than hair jigs. Wheeler walks us through what a typical cast and retrieve look like and shares his overlooked bottom drag retrieve, similar to fishing a football jig.

As mentioned above, tweaks to a particular technique or lure can make a difference. Wheeler often upsizes from his starting 4-inch swimbait to target bass keyed on bigger bait or just bigger fish altogether.

Lastly, he details the best rod, reel, and line setup for employing this proven offshore swimbait technique. If you’re an avid bass angler, chances are good you already have what you need in your inventory.




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  1. I fished a much smaller version of this back in the day called a super shad I believe it was from Renowsky lures or something like that best I remember.
    I fished from the back of the boat with a friend and just threw it everywhere and jigged it up and down back to the boat.
    I had great luck with that bait.

  2. I've had these in a couple sizes for years. They need to move the line tie forward though..
    J if you really wanna share the juice, tell em how to put a weed guard on it🇺🇸

  3. This is the first year I am using Berkley powerbait HD Tru color swimbaits in 3 and 4inch. Bluegill 1/4oz yellow perch 7/16oz, Sexy shad 7/16oz, Rainbow Trout 7/16oz. All baits are pre-rigged. I am using a Quantum smoke 7 foot med with a Quantum smoke S3 baitcaster with Sufix siege mono 12lb and a second reel with 14lb. I am a bank fisherman fishing river current here in Fredericton New Brunswick Canada. I have used one swimbait a few weeks, lost it where I shouldn't have cast it in a small brush pile about 40 feet out from the riverbank. In current should I stay with a steady retrieve or drag and stop with the swimbait.

  4. I can’t believe that there’s talk about this guy paying people to sit on spots for him and nothing happens but the second Jeff sprague is talking to someone he gets disqualified

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