Now that old man winter has lost his grip on us here in the south and we are seeing some slight green leaves on the trees, that can only mean 1 thing- the spawn is in high gear!!
Everyone has their favorite baits to fool bass as they approach the shallows looking to lay eggs and spawn. You will hear a lot about chatterbaits, soft stick baits, jigs and soft plastics. One bait you seldom hear mentioned is the glide bait.
A glide bait is usually a 2 segmented section hard plastic bait that slowly glides and swims in a hunting motion. Most baits will “glide” when they are retrieved slowly and have a slow rate of fall. Glide baits are best when fished softly and methodic. They are not like Jigs or other power fishing baits. You will need to learn to kill them softly with a glide bait.
The glide baits I throw at this time of year are more of what I call a “cover glide”. They have a tighter and more narrow “S” swimming action. Later in the year I will go over more of my open water glides.
These are my personal favorite glide baits and the tackle I throw them on. I will also give you some tips to catch more fish on them so you will have the confidence to throw them more.
Ok, now let’s talk tackle for these gliding swimbaits.
RODS- I personally like a fairly heavy action rod with a long handle. For most of the above mentioned glide baits I throw an IROD Genesis III 7’8” Jr. Swimbait Rod. It will accommodate baits up to 4 ounces and has enough backbone to make the long casts you need to throw these baits. When I am throwing the rat a country mile I will step this up to an IROD Bailey Swimbait rod that is 8’ and is rated for 3-8 oz lures.
LINE- Now, when it comes to line there are many schools of thought. You can throw braid with a leader, straight braid, straight floro or even straight mono. I feel as though you should throw what YOU have the most confidence in. I personally throw 20lb floro 90% of the time. I feel as though it gives my bait plenty of action and the line is still virtually invisible. However, a good friend of mine Matt Newman who owns IROD, throws straight braid in California’s crystal clear waters and catches some absolute water donkeys on braid. So, you need fish what you feel the most comfortable with and stick with it. I use straight 50 lb power pro max cuatro braid on the rat or if I am fishing over heavy vegetation such as hydrilla or coontail.
REELS- I prefer 200 or 300 size reels when I am fishing glide baits any time I go. They allow me to hold a greater amount of line and not lose my gear ratio as I would with a smaller spool like a typical 150 sized reel. The SHIMANO Curado K in the 200HG and 300HG are what get the nod for me. The 300 costs around $219 and the 200 costs around $199.
Here are a few tips in general for first time glide bait fisherman.
Well, there you have it. The next time you are out this spring tie on a glider and see what you have been missing. This is not usually a 20 bites a day bait, however they are usually the bites that win tournaments and put those monster bug eyed bass on the deck.
G’ Luck and tight lines