I have decided, among other things I’m planning on doing this summer, that I’m going to be gathering a library of underwater footage of certain baits, as they swim.   To me, a ‘swim signature’ is the footprint or fingerprint or unique identifier that all baits have.  This just needs to be done.    The culmination of all things a bait gives off as it is swam (thinking mostly swimbait/bigbait) but all baits have some sort of fingerprint in or ontop of the water.  I have access to a river, various springs, and clear water lakes that shall provide excellent natural environments to show the swimming of various baits and just showcase baits in the water.   I’ve seen a lot of footage of baits swimming in swimming pools and even in lakes/ponds, but I’m finding there is something unique about swimming a bait in place in the current of a river, that allows the camera to really capture the subtle details of the swim and give you a better feel for all that is going on with the bait.

First thing of course is the dead-on accuracy and realism of the bait’s profile. Notice the Weedless Shad’s fully booted, miniaturized version of the 8″ trout’s vortex tail. The Weedless Shad’s tail has more thump and vortex than the Grass Minnow, and because it is a slightly bulkier and heavier bait, I find it fishes better in some situations. But both the Grass Minnow and Weedless Shad should have real estate in your tackle box. Fish catching sum’o’guns.

The idea of this ‘swim signature’ series is to provide an objective look at how baits swim in the water, with very little or zero narration or voice over.  So, to kick things off, I went out and spent some time swimming the Huddleston Deluxe Weedless Shad in very clear little crick.  I am using normal and slowed camera speeds.   The Weedless Shad is an incredibly real and lifelike shad swimbait.  I have caught fish from Lake Champlain to Okeechobee on this bait.  I love to fish it in grass, but I know it will work around wood, or even open water.   I filmed the bait on 50# Power Pro Braid, why?  Because that is how I  fish the bait, is on braid.   I am teaching myself some new knots and methods for attaching floro and mono leaders to braid, but for the most part, I find 50# braided line that is coated black with permanent pen, very low profile and very fishable.   I had some really bad experiences with floro and mono leaders, but am trying to come back around with the help of some trusted friends.  Bigbait and swimbait fishing takes the physics involved to levels the square bill and shakey head guys don’t typically get.  These are baits and fish of consequence, and even just repeated casting does things that are hard to quantify, but ultimately weakens knots and line. Basically, I plan on filming the baits on the same line as I fish them natively.   Of course 8# florocarbon would make the bait look and swim better, and perhaps I’ll get myself there, but when I pull out the Weedless Shad on 50# braid, I’m using going in and getting after it.  Guys who throw 100% floro tend to be fishing more open water, whereas I find myself in the jungles of the South East, on places like Santee Cooper, Okeechobee, Eufaula, and Seminole where grass, wood, and big bug-eyed bruisers are the game.

Swimming baits in place is surfing like on a ‘standing wave’… I’m finding out how telling the quality of a bait is by it’s ability to be swam in place. The baits that tend to catch fish swim nicely in current, in place. Hardbaits are much more difficult to swim in place, but even among the softbaits, their are stars and their are duds. The Weedless Shad is a shining star, excellent swim and example of realism in motion.

One Response »

  1. Eric says:

    Hey Matt – cool video work! Neat to see how the bait looks from the fish’s view. As far as the leader or no leader debate, I like to use a leader with my braid as I fish a lot of clear open water. I use mono, not fluoro, as fluoro has the same amount of stretch as mono combined with lesser knot strength (see the two part research data on Tackle Tour.com). I’ve tried most of the recommended knots and have settled on the Bob Sands Knot. It looks a little complicated at first, but it really isn’t that bad. The “Bob Sands Fishing Tackle” website is currently down right now, but found the same pictures here: http://www.noreast.com/discussion/viewTopic.cfm?topic_ID=152880 . Scroll half way down to find.


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