I love to fish and I also enjoy to write, it’s interesting because fishing is really all I like to write about. I guess I can assume that fishing inspires me to the point where I want to write it down for both people to enjoy and me to relive later. Every now and then I come across something while fishing that inspires me above and beyond, so much that I won’t need to relive it someday because truthfully I’ll never forget it. In fact, I don’t think I can get enough of it.
Over the past few days I’ve been out of town practicing for an upcoming tournament. Usually I would just pitch a tent and set up camp or simply sleep in my truck while preparing for upcoming events but this time I got the opportunity to stay with some friends at a cabin. The cabin was a bit of a drive but well worth it for the chance to get in the boat with my buddy Dave Cindrich for his much talked about evening swimbait bite, where catching 4’s and 5’s was supposedly the regular.
I can say that I was skeptical to say the least, but there’s no way I was about to let my ignorance miss out on an opportunity like this. I was more than eager to take the nightly trip.
Lakes in California and Texas are known for huge bass that annihilate huge swimbaits, but we’re talking about ten to twenty pound Florida strain largemouth not our northern strain bass that at best are chunking out between four and seven pounds.
**Above Pictures: 6″ Weedless Huddleston (top) and the Tru Tungsten Tru Life Swimbait (bottom). Both these baits are so big, I know panfish fisherman that would fillet them!
When Cindrich handed me a long rod with a 6 inch Weedless Huddleston tied onto 20 pound Vicious fluorocarbon, I can easily say that my confidence in my first few casts were less than none. I mean I felt like I was chucking a shoe around and barely reeling it back to the boat. Just when you think your reeling too slow, take it down another notch from there, barely turning the reel just making the baits tail quiver as you pull it through the clumps of vegetation. It wasn’t until about my fifth or sixth cast when all of a sudden I felt that unmistakable “tick” in my line, my rod loaded up just for a second and gone. What the? “You gotta be kidding”, I said to myself, “There’s no way that was a bass, had to been a big pike or something”. Just as I was starting to believe that, Cindrich hauls off and sets the hook and all hell breaks loose, a minute later and he’s landed a real chunky largemouth that absolutely inhaled his swimbait like it was a fricken Dorito.
I was like a little kid again, you know that feeling when you were fishing with your Dad or Grandpa not catching anything and all of a sudden someone in the boat catches one. You can’t cast quick enough! That was exactly how I was. I wanted in on that action.
We made another pass and as my bait hit the water on the bank, I made maybe three turns on the reel handle and there it is, this time I follow Dave’s advice and wait until I feel the rod load up and slam that fish! I cannot even begin to express how hard of a fight a bass gives you when they attack a big bait like that. It isn’t like a jig or spinnerbait, they give it everything they have when they hit a bait that is darn near big enough to be a keeper itself. After landing that pig, I had the shakes like I’ve never had before. That’s an adrenaline rush Josh Douglas style! I couldn’t put the rod down the rest of the night and by dark I had totaled three nice largemouth and Dave the same.
That night it was easy to sleep with vision of 5 pounders ripping the rod from my hands. The problem was getting it out of my head the next day while I was practicing for a very important upcoming tournament. All I wanted to do was throw a swimbait. I had heard from many of other fisherman who say that once you get that bite it can change your mentality in a quick hurry, it can turn you into a swimbait addict.
I guess it’s a bad sign when as soon as evening approaches I’m loading up my boat and speeding all the way to jump in and get in on the bite for a second night in a row. If that isn’t signs of a true fishing junkie I don’t know what is.
Night two started slow, real slow, instead of eating the swimbait they would just bump it. It was clear that their presence was there but they weren’t in the mood to eat. Finally I started to rationalize with myself and started flipping around a Berkley Chigger Craw and a jig and thought for sure I could catch them with that. I mean come on a six inch swimbait is not going to outproduce a 1/2 ounce jig, not here in Minnesota. If they’ll hit a swimbait then they definitely would of eaten a jig or a senko, right? That is exactly what my mentality was, key word, was. In fact there is times that all they may hit is a swimbait. These baits like the Weedless Huddleston or the Tru Tungsten Tru Life Swimbait are so realistic and impart the perfect action that even trophy fish can’t tell the difference and they make them big so that they’re more appealing to bigger bass. They waste less energy by eating big instead of exerting all their energy chasing around bite sized meals.
The proof in this came after we still couldn’t get those fish to bite jigs and plastics we reverted back to the Hud. WHAM! Cindrich boats another beast and shortly I followed suit with another good one. Unbelievably awesome! Rest assured I’ll be ordering a swimbait setup in no time.
I hope this will urge other bass fanatics to get out there and give this technique it’s fair shake. Trust me it only takes one fish to change not only your attitude but your life as well! There’s really nothing like it.