Ozark MS Slammer fish

The Ozarks proved to be an unlikely place to validate the effectiveness of the 12" MS Slammer, as seen in Southern Trout Eaters

Big Wood.  No doubt about it, the 12” MS Slammer is big wood and one heck of a bigbait.  There aren’t too many 12” hardbaits that get bit, and we showed in Southern Trout Eaters, that the 12” MS Slammer is a standout big wood bait.

Mike Shaw, who now calls Utah home, used to live in Atascadero, CA, which was right up the road from where I went to college.  Mike got hooked up with my good friend Rob Belloni, and Rob was who first introduced me to Mike’s baits.  The MS Slammer is a simple yet effective bait, and one thing is clear, they get bit.

ozark big wood swimbait fish

The 12" MS Slammer, fished in the shade lines and pockets of the bluff walls of the Ozarks, will get you a 20+ pound sack if you execute

Rob McComas has made an art of big wood bait fishing.  Rob showed you how to catch 9” MS Slammer fish in Southern Trout Eaters too, but I got confidence in the 12” MS Slammer after talking to Rob at length about the number of bites and just overall fishability of the bait.   You have to understand that even though the bait is 12” long, it’s made of wood, so it doesn’t weight that much.  Composite and resin baits weigh much more at 12” than do wood baits, so the 12” MS Slammer is extremely fishable.  It won’t wear you out and doesn’t require specialized gear to fish it.

rob mccomas ms slammer fish

Rob McComas, who has spent more time fishing big wood baits in the South than anyone, was where I got confidence to throw the 12" MS Slammer more

Gear for the 12” MS Slammer:

Rod: G-Loomis 966 BBR
Reel:  Shimano Calcutta 400 B  (the B is a slower reel than the 400 TE and is preferred for fishing big wake baits, but either will work)
Line:  P-Line CXX Xtra Strong Moss Green, 30 pound
Hooks:  Owner ST-36 Trebles  (3/0 in front, 2/0 in rear)
Split Rings:  Owner Hyper Wires #7s  (you need #7s because the size of the hardware on the MS Slammer requires a big ring to get around the eye hook your hook attaches to)


The 12” MS Slammer is a noisy, clacky, and super fishable big topwater wake bait.  You can fish it around laydowns, shade lines, man made structures, grass lines and keep the bait near the critical zone for a long time.   It stalls out nicely around structure.   The hanging trebles hook fish and you have a very high hookup ratio on this bait.  The MS Slammer family of baits are workhorses.  You can fish and fish and fish them and rarely do they foul or need care.  That fishability also makes them an excellent night fishing bait because you don’t have to fuss with the bait, just fish it, not to mention the loud clackity clack of the bait helps attract big nocturnal bass.

Mike Shaw MS Slammer

Mike Shaw, the "MS" in MS Slammer, in his workshop. The MS Slammer was a wakebait before wakebaits went mainstream, and they've been catching tournament and trophy bass since the mid 90s. You won't find a nicer, softer spoken man, or a workhorse swimbait like the MS Slammer.

Ideal Conditions:  Rainy and cloudy overcast days are ideal for hunting big trout eaters with the 12” MS Slammer.  Fish the bait slowly around key structure and vary your retrieves from a straight wind to walk the dogs with multiple pauses to get the job done.  Anytime you have a lake with big fish and you are swinging for the fences, the 12” MS Slammer is a good call, and certainly anytime you go night fishing, reach for one of these and beware of toilet flushes and bowling balls falling from the sky style bites.

Notes:  Carry spare tails, you never know when you might rip or tear a tail off on a fish.  Tie directly to the bait and don’t worry about snaps to tie to.

The MS Slammer tail

The tail of the 12" MS Slammer is big, bulky, pushes a lot of water, and produces it's own unique vortex

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