Swimbaits hold a special place in the hearts of anglers. They’re big, they have a wide array of designs and they’re often intricately detailed. But above all, they’re main purpose is to catch the biggest fish in the lake. If you’re chasing double-digit, lunker largemouth, striped bass or esox, chances are you’ve thrown a few swimbaits. However, not all swimbaits are created equal, and some models are more successful at catching fishermen than fish. To help you avoid the latter, we rifled through this year’s newest swimbaits and picked out the most productive baits of the bunch.
Savage Gear 4D Pulse Tail Trout
Savage Gear’s latest innovation in swimbaits focused on tail design to create the most natural swimming action possible. The 4D Pulse Tail Trout has a cleavage dug into the tail that helps produce an incredibly convincing action in the water. The subtle channels allow the tail to move with ease, and the bait’s built-in buoyancy keeps it upright at any speed. The result is a swimbait you can crawl in cold water or burn on a fast retrieve when fish are active. The 4D Pulse Tail Trout is available in three lengths; 6-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch, and four colors; ghost trout, trout, hitch and carp.
Live Target Sucker Swimbait
Coarse fish are a staple food for top predators, but they don’t receive much love from swimbait makers. This year Live Target changed that with their Sucker Swimbait. The soft-plastic bottom-feeder imitation is a carbon copy of the preferred forage of smallmouth, walleye, pike and musky. You can fish Live Target’s Sucker in almost any body of water, but it excels in streams, rivers and tailraces where suckers congregate and game fish look for them. The bait adapts well to various structure since the single back hook keeps it weedless and an underneath hanger allows anglers to add an optional treble. There are 4 1/2- or 5 1/2-inch sizes in redhorse or white sucker colorations.
Westin Fishing HypoTeez Glidebait
Glidebaits have become a mainstay for big bass anglers, but often cost well over $100. Westin Fishing’s HypoTeez packs everything you need in terms of profile, a seductive swimming action, lifelike finishes and quality hardware into a more palatable price point. The HypoTeez is multi-talented and equally effective on a steady retrieve, stop-and-go or being blazed on the surface. It measures 7 1/8-inches, weights 1 3/16-ounce and falls into the category of a slow sink swimmer. It’s well-balanced out-of-the-box and armed with razor sharp Japanese carbon-steel trebles. The HypoTeez is available in four popular lunker bass patterns; American shad, lively roach, rainbow trout and smelt.
Boyd Duckett Baits 8-Inch BD Shad
The smaller models of the “BD Shad” have been helping anglers boat bass for several years, and it was time for Boyd Duckett to pony up and create a mega-model. The oversized BD Shad maintains the same fluid swimming action and three-jointed design of its more diminutive predecessors. The larger presentation of the 8-inch BD gill matches the profile of heartier meals like gizzard shad, skipjack and herring. These common baitfish are widely distributed, and you can use the husky BD Shad to target the predators that feed on them. The 8-inch BD Shad is available in dying shad, blue shad, green shad and silver shad colorations. It has a durable and lifelike fiber tail and small magnets hold it’s sticky-sharp Kitana hooks flat against its body.
ABT Lures Suicide Soft Glide
These days, it’s not often a fishing lure can claim to be the first of its kind. But leave it to the mastermind Allen Borden at ABT Lures to conjure up something never seen before. If for some reason you’re not familiar with ABT, you should be, especially when it comes to swimbaits. Borden has created his best gem yet with the first soft-sided glider to hit the market. The Suicide Soft Glide is double-poured over an internal harness that secures both front and back hooks. Its maintains the single-segmented design of a traditional glide bait, but adds the element of soft-plastic for a swimbait that has an insanely lifelike, and truly unique, swimming action.
6th Sense Fishing Flow Glider 130
6th Sense Fishing ensured each Flow Glider 130 is a detailed work of art by enlisting lure artist Casey Sobczak to custom-paint every one. The hues, scaling, premium clear coat and real-image eyes on this glider are characteristic of a bait several times its price. There are nine natural patterns that enable anglers to easily match their local forage. The Flow Glider 130 is available in slow sink or medium fast sink options that allow you to control the depth of your fishing. At the desired depth, it curves through the water column left-to-right with a sharp twitch of the rod. The combination of a well defined darting action and gentle glides triggers reaction strikes from even inactive fish.
Berkley PowerBait Hollow Belly
Berkley has spent their fair share of time in the laboratory perfecting their Hollow Belly design. The manufacturer’s large, weedless, hollow-body swimbaits are renowned for weighing in big bags and winning tournaments. But Berkley was in no rush to offer an inferior product and made sure the Hollow Belly was just right. This required tireless testing to perfect the tail and body action. Berkley constructed its Hollow Belly with a fully open stomach pocket that allows hooks to more easily pull through the bait and increase hook-ups. It’s also the only swimbait on the market you’ll find with Berkley’s signature and wildly effective PowerBait scent.
Optimum Baits Boom Boom Line Thru
Optimum’s Boom Boom Line Thru is a crossbreed of two proven Optimum designs. Optimum fused their Baby Line Thru (BLT) and Boom Boom swimbaits to create the hybrid Boom Boom Line Thru. The swimbait maintains the signature panic action of the Boom Boom with a quivering head, tight body roll and thumping tail that reacts at a slow to medium retrieve. Combined with the line-thru design of the BLT, the Boom Boom Line Thru is quickly and easily rigged by feeding the line through the bait and tying the hook on the end. The configuration easily hooks fish and prevents them from throwing the bait by using the weight of the lure to dislodge the hook.
The B.A.M.F. was designed by 13 Fishing for a specific purpose—to be at home in the weeds. Big fish hunker down in vegetation to ambush prey, and it can be challenging to put a lure in front of them. Few, if any swimbaits, have the ability to penetrate and maintain action in the salad. Enter the B.A.M.F. The lifelike detail and realistic swimming action of the bait are protected from hang-ups by concealing an Owner Beast Swimbait Hook in a first-of-its-kind hook slot. The oversized hook is neatly tucked inside to keep the B.A.M.F. swimming effortlessly. When a fish strikes, the massive gap of the Beast secures the catch.
Read Next: Fishing with Swimbaits
Live Target Atlantic Mackerel Swimbait
Saltwater anglers have limited options for swimbaits, which is why it’s so nice to see Live Target once again deliver. Atlantic mackerel are primary forage for a multitude of species, including striped bass, tuna, sharks and marlin. Consistent with their state-of-the-art swimbait series, the Live Target Atlantic Mackerel Swimbait has precise anatomical features matched with the specific swimming action of Atlantic mackerel. Live Target also designed this swimbait to be either cast or trolled with equal effectiveness. It’s pre-rigged so you can fish it out the package without tuning. There are 6- and 7-inch models available in silver/blue and silver blue/green.