If you ever want to play a trophy game for bass, you can. The biggest fish in the lake are generally caught on huge and succulent offerings such as swimbaits. When you are out looking for trophies, it is fairly hard to do, but having the right bait makes it easier. Easier is still not easy.
There is not a ton of fish that get to trophy sizes. Instead of appealing to a couple hundred thousand fish in the lake which is of average size, you may only be appealing to a few hundred fish that are over 10+ pounds each.
Many go out and want to throw big, huge, swimbaits to catch them, comparable to what someone may use for Striper fishing. Nothing wrong with that at all though. The ones they are generally using are enormous but still extremely effective. The best big swimbaits for bass are the ones that don’t cost an arm and a leg yet look realistic and have good action. This includes Black Bass and true bass like Stripers.
How To Choose A Big Swimbait For Bass Easily
Color And Shape – The most important trait of choosing the right lure for the job is to first consider the shape and color of it. To catch the biggest fish, you need to match the hatch as close as possible. Obviously, you want your lure to look like the natural forage species that the predator bass is eating in the same water body. If you cannot match the shape exactly (and you likely cannot sometimes), just make sure that the bait is colored correctly and you should be fine. It never has to be taxidermy accurate but it should be at least realistic enough for a human to identify the species it copies.
Size – Size as selection criteria is well, sizable. It is not a small step to overlook. The size that you tie on can make or break the day. The most common commercially available options on the market range from 4 inches all the up to 9 or more inches each. Those are huge! Anyways, it is always helpful to remember what size fish you can catch. Make sure to be realistic about it too. The bigger the bait, the more difficult it is to catch fish on it. The local huge females make hit a lure that is 7 inches but not one that is 9 or more inches. Be realistic about your lure size too.
Action – One thing every angler should never forget is the action. Every fishing lure on planet Earth will have its own action to some degree. In fact, that is why they are called swimbaits. Because they swim. Even so, not all makes and models are created equal. They all have different actions. There are soft plastic ones with swim cuts, there are ones that have a tail that barely moves, there are hard plastic or wooden ones that are jointed, there are paddle tails, there are glide baits, and more. Choose wisely.
1. Huddleston Deluxe 68 Trout
One of the greatest swimbaits we have ever seen is the Huddleston Deluxe Trout. This one is extremely realistic. It has a lot of lunker potential. It is one of the most popular soft lures in the category. The Huddleston Deluxe Trout has a few features that you will love. Every predator will too.
First, it has a very realistic boot tail. The action of the boot tail is very subtle and looks very lifelike. The tail is thicker than a normal trout tail but from the side, it looks identical. It comes in a couple of different rates of fall. One will dive to 5 feet and the other dives to 12 feet. That means you have a model that is good for shallow and deeper water.
The Huddleston Trout also comes in a lot of great colors. These include ayu, hitch, phantom HBC, phantom hitch, phantom Shasta, rainbow trout, and silver black. That is more enough to closely copy every baitfish you could hope to find. It also has a razor-sharp Mustad top hook that is molded into the plastic. The price for what you get is also incredible. Lures this size usually cost $70 to $100 but this one is only around $30 t0 $40. It has a boot tail on it. It is a very slow and lifelike action.
2. Savage Gear Line-Thru Trout
Another great trout lure is the Savage Gear line though trout. It is made by Savage Gear. Savage Gear is a great fishing lure manufacturer that has a habit of making very realistic lures. It is an extremely huge offering. It will attract the biggest fish in the lake if it gets a bite.
One thing that makes it so cool is its realism. It is made from an actual 3D scan of a real Rainbow Trout. All they really did was add swim cuts. The action is interesting and it varies depending on which model you get. It comes in a floating, sinking, and slow sinking models. It is a line through swimbait which means that the bait becomes completely separated from the hook when you set it. It travels up the fishing line.
It will generally dive anywhere from a few feet all the way to the bottom. The hook it has is very good too. Very sharp and sticky. What is truly unique about this particular lure is the price. You usually spend a lot of money on swimbaits of any size but this one only costs around $20. For those unaware, this is extremely cheap for any lure in this category. Be aware. The eyes on this one are pretty fragile.
3. Savage Gear 3D Shine Glide Bait
If you came for a good glide bait, look no further than the 3D shine glide bait from Savage Gear. This is a great glide bait for when fish need a little more enticement. It is molded from a 3D scan of a real Silver Shiner. This makes its realism absolutely stunning. This lure is pretty. It can make a ton of difference too. The big fish do take the notice and they appreciate it.
The very, very, realistic offerings are how you can catch the biggest spawning female bass in the lake in the dead of winter with a lot of food around. It comes in its most basic color, hitch, which looks exactly like a Kokanee Salmon, but it has a few others too. It has colors like Gizzard Shad, Threadfin Shad, Golden Shiner, Bluegill, Bone, and chartreuse shad. That isn’t very many but it is perfect.
These colors are basic yet effective pretty much everywhere. Savage Gear is a company that loves to scan real fish and make lures out of them. They have actually made a name for themselves because of it. There are two models. A 5 inch and a 7 inch. Both are slowly sinking. The action is very interesting. Like many glide baits, it has a very wide movement in the water. It is a hard, single-jointed, presentation. The joint is in the middle. It does not really dive at all because it sinks slowly, straight to the bottom.
This means it doesn’t matter how deep you want to fish. It will eventually get to the bottom. The hooks are also very nice. Two very sharp, tournament quality trebles. If nothing else matters, the reason why someone may choose this one is the price. Very, very, budget-friendly. It is only $15 to $20! Excellent for the weekend fishermen who do not make a ton but still want to learn how to fish with swimbaits.
4. Jackall Gantarel
The Jackall Gantarel is one of the most popular hard imitations of a Bluegill Sunfish on the market. The Gantarel looks pretty realistic to be a hard lure. It has a hard body and swimming joints. Some kind of Bluegill Sunfish is the most common of colors. If you have Sunfish in your lake at all, the Jackall Gantarel is a winner with a lot of bragging rights on the water.
That one is usually available but it also comes in a lot of other great colors too. Colors such as baby bass, carp, HL Bluegill, matte Bluegill, RT Carp, RT ghost gill, and RT spawn gill. The Gantarel is 6 1/4″ in length so it is a fairly big lure as well. The action is very wounded. Very wobbly. The two joints provide a very injured baitfish type of profile which can sometimes make the difference, especially in cold water.
It is a hard-bodied, jointe==d, choice. It is more for shallow water to surface fishing as it dives to only around 3 feet at its maximum depth. It comes equipped with two very sharp treble hooks. It is one of the best Largemouth Bass lures. They also come with feathers too. The Gantarel is fairly expensive for a fishing lure but not for this lure category. It would generally run anywhere from $35 to $40 but it depends on where you purchase it. The realism is certainly the eye-catcher in this model.
5. Sixth Sense Flow Glider 130
Yet another glide bait, no true bass anglers tackle box would be complete without a perfect representation of a Gizzard Shad or Threadfin Shad. For many places, shad is the primary forage of all predator species. It would be unwise to just leave them out altogether, especially when discussing a topic of realism being the key.
The Sense Sense Flow Glider looks eerily similar to many of the shad and herring species that produce huge populations. There are more than enough colors to choose from. It comes in 4k Shad, Bluegill fire, Bluegill spawn, ghost Gizzard Shad, ghost hot herring, shad greens, shad hammer, shad scales, and threadfin slash. With all these colors, you can match almost every forage species that swims.
It comes in a single size. Just slightly over 5 inches in length. Since its a glide bait, the action is exceptional topwater quality. It creates an S curve as it is retrieved. The slightly off-centered wobble and the slow roll make it truly awesome. It has a joint, hard-body, design. All of the models have a medium-fast sink rate, so you can work it pretty much everywhere. It comes with a couple of needle-sharp treble hooks on both sides of the body. The price is only $20 to $30 too!
6. Huddleston Deluxe Bluegill
Go ahead and admit it. You looked at the image and asked yourself if it was a fishing lure or an actual Crappie. Spoiler alert, it is actually the Deluxe Bluegill from Huddleston. Apparently, mankind has gotten so good at recreating nature that you kind of start to feel bad for the fish at this point. When lure and live bait are this identical, it makes lure fishing much, much easier, especially to fish who have seen it all before.
The Huddleston Deluxe Bluegill comes in five different colors which are adequate in matching the local prey where you fish. It comes in albino. As every animal in the wild understands, the albino creatures in nature get eaten first because they cannot camouflage at all.
It comes in Bluegill which is excellent for almost everywhere, Black Crappie, phantom Bluegill, and silver-green. This pretty much covers every clear water situation. It comes in a single size which is 4 1/2 inches. It has the same proven action as many boot tail lures. It has a boot tail so it just slowly swims very naturally. It is a soft plastic swimbait. It is actually incredibly soft. WARNING! FRAGILE! The plastic is not very durable and can rip easily. Even so, no fish in their right mind would pass this up.
The Deluxe Bluegill has a single head hook that sits flush with the body until a bass hits it. This means you can throw it into the weeds without hanging up. It is also extremely sharp and high quality. It costs $20 to $30. Incredible for something this lifelike but not if it gets ripped so easily. An improvement to be made would be to make it more durable. Other than that, you cannot go wrong with any of them.
7. Live Target Sunfish
The Live Target Sunfish is not particularly huge but it is a great representation of the proper size for Bluegill. It comes in 3 inches, 4 3/8 inches, and 5-inch models. It comes in 4 distinct colors. It comes in natural blue/Pumpkinseed, bronze Bluegill, blue/yellow Pumpkinseed, and natural Bluegill. It does not have any very visible dark colors or piercing bright colors.
They are all targeted at being natural. Live Target is a company that is a staple in the fishing industry. One thing that is unique about this one is the tail. It has a very thick, oscillating, tail. This provides a very lifelike and enticing action in the water. It sends off a noticeable thumping vibration that predators react to. It sinks at a rate of medium-slow. This means that you can fish well in cold water.
When you need to get to the bottom and do not want something that drops like a rock. The hook it has is very thick and very sharp. The hook point rests above the dorsal fin of the plastic and the fin acts as a weed guard to reduce snagging. Also, the price is excellent at only around $10 a lure!
8. Savage Gear 3D Bluegill
If the Huddleston or LiveTarget is not for you, consider the Savage Gear 3D Bluegill instead. It is also a soft lure but it is a line through or is equipped with treble hooks. It was designed with a 3D scan of a real Bluegill. It comes in 4 very good looking color patterns. These include dark gill, light gill, redear, and citrus gill.
That is 3 natural and 1 bright color. Another great thing about this one is that it comes in a slow sinking version as well as a floating version. Expect to get some huge topwater blowups if you use the floating model. It also is present in 3 sizes. 4 inches, 5 inches, and 6 inches are the standard sizes available. It has a very tight wobble that the joints help with creating. This looks slightly unnatural and creates more of a reaction bite instead of a hunger bite. Still, that will get you the strike sometimes.
It is a jointed lure with a soft body. It will dive right to the bottom if you let it but will continue to rise as you retrieve it. It has a few different hook configurations that you can use. A single head hook, a treble hook, or a line through hook. The hook themselves are very good quality. What makes up for the slightly unnatural action is the realistic look and the price. For $11 dollars, it is going to be extremely difficult to find something that can help you get more bites for less money.
9. Savage Gear 4D Line Thru Perch
Speaking from a standpoint of honesty, not everywhere is just teeming with sunfish, shad, and trout. In quite a few places, the angler who want to catch Largemouth Bass as well as Smallmouth Bass, and even unrelated species, find that everything is feeding on Yellow Perch.
Especially fishermen from Great Lakes region including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, and other places, Yellow Perch is what fattens up the fish. You could always just use a shad shape with a perch paint job but it may not work.
The fish have likely seen that already. In that case, try tying on a 4D line through Yellow Perch from Savage Gear. The realism in this bait is absolutely amazing. Not only is it anatomically correct, but the paint is awesome too. It comes in a trio of different color patterns, all of which work extremely well in waters where catching Yellow Perch with other fish is common. It comes in albino, fire tiger, and perch patterns. The action is incredible. It has a very nice S curve to it. Very wounded and hurt looking.
It is almost 7 inches in length so right away, you get a very huge, accurate, depiction of the imitated species. It has a soft body with swim cuts on both sides. It will dive moderately slowly but can be fished on the bottom too. Since it is a line through, the treble hooks are of very high quality. The price will usually run you around $10 to $20 which is pretty good for a line through of any kind.
10. River2Sea Clackin’ Crayfish
The original River2Sea Clackin’ Crayfish is not exactly a swimbait in the truest definition of the word but it does serve the exact same function. While traditional offerings are targeted towards copying smaller fish, the Clackin’ Crayfish mimics the main forage of many predator species in many places. Anglers must understand that small fish is not always present and it isn’t always what you need to choose a lure to copy.
Sometimes, you have situations where throwing small fish is in vain because that isn’t what predators are naturally feeding on. Sometimes, they are feeding on crayfish. In such a case, pulling out a good crayfish imitation will help you get the bite. Just because it does not look like a fish does not make it any less valuable of a tool in these situations. For those unaware, it does swim and it does it well.
The tail is attached to the hard body with a swiveling joint. Invented by Larry Dahlberg, he created this gem because he believes that artificial baits should look real as they move through the water. It comes in six awesome colors that will match the crayfish in your area. It comes in olive, red, brown-red, brown olive, brown-orange, and blue-olive. It comes in a couple of sizes. One is almost 3 inches and the other one is almost 4 inches in length. It looks exactly like the real thing as it swims.
The tail hinges and imparts that swinging motion that real crayfish have. The tail end of the body is hard and the head and claw section is soft. This is a hybrid between both. It dives quickly to the bottom of wherever you put it, simply because this is where the real ones live. It is a bottom bouncer. It has a single River2Sea branded hook that protrudes from the head. It also has a weed guard that blocks the hook from snagging. The price usually is around $12 to $20. The price is incredible especially for those who don’t have much income.
Overall, It May Be Concluded
No kind of fishing is easy in its very basic definition of the word, especially when you get into that level of throwing huge baits for huge fish. If you know the best big swimbaits for bass, you can see a very difficult sport become a little bit easier. Getting a fish to bite is only the first step though. Once you do entice a lunker to commit, you must set the hook on it and then hold on tight for the fight of a lifetime.
Once you finally land something on them, it gets easier and it will be up to you to continue practicing. You will land some and you will miss some. It is up to you to continue honing your skills. Who knows? You may decide to enter tournaments after! The catches are that good!
What is your favorite big swimbait? Tell us below!
Hey David, great article on Big Bass lures. From one fisherman to another!
Bass is not a fish that we in the UK associate with too much and I believe there are restrictions on numbers you are allowed to keep. Big Bass in your neck of the woods I do understand can be very big. A 12-pound fish here would be classed as big!
Most of my fishing is on rivers using rod, line and bait but I love going to the coast fishing with lures for Mackerel.
Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed the post.