3 Tricks To Catch More Fish With Finesse Swimbaits

3 Tricks To Catch More Fish With Finesse Swimbaits

Finesse swimbaits are awesome! These little paddle tails get bit every month of the year and they catch way bigger bass than most anglers realize. If you aren’t using them, you’re missing out on some of the easiest bites you can get. Simple adjustments to cadence and head design will make the baits even more effective. Come along as Tim explains exactly how to maximize your time with small swimbaits.

Tim has a handful of heads he uses to really dial in his finesse swimbaits. He adjusts head selection with the size of the bait, depth he’s fishing, and water clarity. (Underspin for muddy water, Okashira for Ultra finesse tactics, and a mix of Guppy and TacticalBassin Finesse swimbait heads for all the standard clear to murky water fishing.) He combines those heads with 3 different cadences that help him maximize his time on the water. By adjusting cadence he is able to keep catching fish on small swimbaits when most anglers have given up.

The finesse swimbait is truly deadly in Winter. It will work today and will continue to work all the way through the spawn. Below is a breakdown of the baits, heads, and Gear Tim is using to catch bass on finesse swimbaits.

The Heads…
-TacticalBassin Finesse Swimbait Heads (3.8 – 4.8 Keitechs): http://bit.ly/2Pqrq3n
-Dirty Jigs Guppy Head 1/0 Hook (2.8 – 3.3 Keitechs): http://bit.ly/2nyUJRS
-Megabass Okashira Head 1/8 oz: http://bit.ly/2EpluSA
-Cool Baits Down Under 3/16 oz: http://bit.ly/2boS7QA

The Baits…
-keitech Fat Swing Impact: http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v
-Megabass Spark Shad 3″: http://bit.ly/2XcLZk4
-Keitech Easy Shiner: http://bit.ly/2bxJK6H
Damiki Armor Shad: http://bit.ly/2KtPDAT
Megabass Dark Sleeper: http://bit.ly/2TyR1GT

Finesse Swimbait Combo…
Rod- Shimano Expride 7′ Medium: http://bit.ly/2osaj3q
Reel- Shimano Stradic FL 2500: http://bit.ly/35Bufnb
Line- 15 lb Power Pro Braid: http://bit.ly/2aFg46b
Leader- 8 lb Sunline Sniper: http://bit.ly/2p7fxju

Budget Finesse Swimbait Combo…
Rod- Shimano Intenza 7′ Medium: http://bit.ly/2s7kaQn
Reel- Shimano Nasci 2500: http://bit.ly/2g278cC
Line- 15 lb Power Pro Braid: http://bit.ly/2aFg46b
Leader- 8 lb Maxima Ultragreen: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

What we wear…

Sun Mask: http://bit.ly/2JcA8xi
Sun Shirt w/ Hood: http://bit.ly/2vgTOst
Light Fishing Pants: http://bit.ly/2foDx10
Reaper Hoodie (Hoodie with Warm Face Cover built in): http://bit.ly/2yRURSd
Horizon Sweater (Water resistant, great for layering): http://bit.ly/2gTC1oB

Equipment We Recommend…

Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor: http://bit.ly/2vFQypW
Humminbird Solix 15 Electronics: http://bit.ly/2Hazsej
Minn Kota Talons: http://bit.ly/2F0QBSP
Hot Foot Throttle Control: http://bit.ly/2ob4kgO
Loc-R-Bar Boat Security: http://bit.ly/2CMF1NP

Favorite Storage Box: http://bit.ly/2fvjcFB
Favorite Pliers: http://bit.ly/2tfxFvw
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Favorite Wire Cutters: http://bit.ly/2soB34k
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Hero8 Camera: http://bit.ly/37hVTX4
ElectroSamson Scale: http://bit.ly/2f7QgQ9
Frabill Net: http://bit.ly/2FNdnQr
Lure Retriever: http://bit.ly/2TLTJc6

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  1. Mike Gardiner on May 1, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Another great vid Tim. I think it goes without saying, but the bottom dragging technique on these is ideal for hard rocky/sand bottoms. In lakes and ponds were you have any timber/stops, you will lose a lot of baits. 🙂 One thing I found with the dark sleeper to make it a little more Weedless, is a tiny drop of superglue at front of that top dorsal fan in front of the hook. That helps a little bit. Tight lines!

  2. Captin Hook on May 1, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Which braid to leader knot to you use?

  3. Will Perryman on May 1, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    What is your most common gear ratio on your spinning reels Tim ? I have Stradics 6.0.1 but I know some reels offer 5.4.1
    You certainly are the one to teach finesse and I appreciate all of your videos and guidance and have for years. I’ve got 2020 Vision to get my first NRX this year 🙏🎣😉 I have a few IMX PROS.

  4. Mr. T on May 1, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    You have discussed ElaZtech "not playing nice" with other materials. How do ElaZtech trailers (crawz, TRDs, etc.) interact with rubber/silicone jigs? I would like to ask you before I experiment and potentially ruin a finesse jig. Thank you.

  5. Michael Fischer on May 1, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Hey Tim, I loved this video. I do have a question though.
    Please break down the transition of conditions you look for that signal when you should move away from your wintertime finesse swimbait sizes (2.8" Keitech FAT Impact Swing or 3" Easy Shiner) to larger swimbait sizes (3.8" Keitech FAT Impact Swing or 4" Easy Shiner) as bass enter the prespawn period. Specifically, as fish move from winter into prespawn what water temperature and/or water depth prompts you to switch from the smaller winter finesse swimbait sizes to larger sized swimbaits for the prespawn feeding frenzy? What other factors prompt you to switch from the finesse swimbait sizes?

    Or, do the finesse swimbait sizes work throughout the prespawn period as well? I fish in the Chicago area in clear small PRESSURED inland waters and the SUPER CLEAR Lake Michigan shoreline. Accordingly, I usually use smaller than average lures.

  6. Sunshine Anglers on May 1, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    You should try slayer inc lures or gambler little ez. This swimbaits are killer.

  7. Timothy Till on May 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    These baits straight catch them love these baits great info tim as always. Keep it up taticalbassin best channel out there hands down

  8. Bill Sherk on May 1, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    I go really small, I use a 1/64oz. Jig head with a 1in gulp minnow. I got a 5.8 pounder just yesterday

  9. Aquavert GreenWorks on May 1, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    I have a bit of a loaded question. We were fishing a lake in texas yesterday that ranged from 17-44 ft deep. Bluebird skys, 72 degree air temp, 55-60 water temps, fish ABSOLUTELY everywhere on the graph: schools of crappie and baitfish, striped bass, big cats on bottom. Suspended bass, etc. We threw 20ft deep diving cranks, flutter spoons, swimjigs, chatterbaits, squarebills in the shallow near wood, crappie jigs, trigged worms and none of us caught a single thing or even snagged any species of fish the whole day. In your opinion, are there days when the fish literally wont bite? Were we doing something wrong? Is there a right way to fish bluebird skys? Never ever had this issue before but after finding no solutions or patterns after 10+ hours of fishing, im even more confused

  10. HBeretta on May 1, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for this…the struggle is real right now because I’m not committing to this type of fishing.

  11. Sirron Bailey on May 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    You guys are great, thanks!

  12. Buell Richmond on May 1, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Did you ever tell us how you caught that Record spot? Was it on finesse swim bait or is it more secret than that?

  13. Roy Hawes on May 1, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Do you find yourself setting the hook with any of these baits or just letting the rod load up?

  14. 69 59 on May 1, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Tim… you still miss the roboworm ez shad…

  15. TPHVICTIMS on May 1, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Do twister 🌪 tails work ? I don’t see or hear about grubs anymore.

  16. Robert Haeberle on May 1, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Love the way you mentioned how to count down your lure where it matters. I think that’s key for every video you do of how you fish because that helps us understand what to do as a fan learning off of yourself TB guys

  17. Son of a fisherman on May 1, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Great video time for me to go shopping thanks 👍

  18. Uncle Heffe on May 1, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    I love the tips, but I don’t throw anything under 7"

  19. Calvin Anderson on May 1, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Y’all are the best Source for info on the internet

  20. Joshua Mahoney on May 1, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    what would you suggest if the baitfish in my area are only one and a half to two inches? Should I just trim the swimbait down? Thank you for the excellent video!

  21. Tom Sanidas on May 1, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks again for a great video. Midwest question. Same finesse swim bait techniques for our early spring? Water temp similar to your Cali winter. Thanks.

  22. danham3344 on May 1, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Great video, however, it seems that you usually say the winter techniques work bestowed in clear water. My closest NorCal lake is very murky pretty much year around. Visibility is a foot or less. Can these methods be effective in very dirty water? This lake has Spots & Largemouth and some very nice ones. They are stacked up suspending on bluffs and deep channel breaks at 24 to 28ft in 30ft of water and we have yet to get a single hit from them this winter. Only the occasional shallow feeder.

  23. Steve Bogan on May 1, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Any tips on finding a wintering hole for smallies in a small lake

  24. Rodney Green on May 1, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Are you fishing in Clear Water Lakes? I’d say that you were according to the depths that you were describing.
    THANKS & keep on Fishin.

  25. Nate Broughton on May 1, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    How does the Easy Shiner compare to the Spark Shad for action?

  26. Fishing Lake Country on May 1, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    This is so true, just loaded a video about the Easy Shiner. Good baits for cold water dock fishing. FLC

  27. Marc Pessotti on May 1, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Hey guys, I’m going to start writing comments and hopefully I’ll get some responses.
    my favorite type of fishing is finesse other than froggin and I don’t have a rod for it. All my rods are med-heavy. If I wanted the best rod under $300 for finesse, Ned rig, worming what should I get?
    Let me preface , I fish in New England exclusively, and 95% of the time I am on my Old Town topwater Kayak, but I do stand on it almost all of the time while fishing.

  28. Jerry V on May 1, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Great video Tim 💪😎

  29. Josh And Hunter’s Adventures on May 1, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Really enjoy all your videos very informative

  30. galva777tx on May 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Cool, you should try the Megabass Hazendong swimbaits. 👍🏼👊🏼👊🏼😁

  31. Matt Croucher on May 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Hey Matt and Tim, just wanted to thank you for all that you guys do, I’ve been a follower since the beginning, and I have learned SO much from you guys, which has amplified my love for bass fishing ten fold. I live and sacramento and have met you guys a few times at the ISE shows and I couldnt be more stoked about the tacticalbassin channel and everything it represents. 👍 keep doing what you do !

  32. David Laing on May 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Best tip here is to fish them uphill to maintain bottom contact while using light heads. Smart.

  33. Dylan Laughman on May 1, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    How comes you changed rod recommendation form last year which a 7′ medium light

  34. D Bender on May 1, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Something you said really caught my attention, you said these finesse swimbaits catch a ton of spots and small mouth. I’ve been throwing finesse swimbaits religiously over the last 4 months and like 95% of the fish I catch are spots. Is there a reason why we catch more spots than large mouth on these?

  35. Nicholas Bonnin on May 1, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Just looked for a dark sleeper how to fish video 3 days ago. Tactical bassing always has the best timinig!

  36. UpState Angler on May 1, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    So here in upstate NY we have had some warmer days for us at least lol. Needless to say we are not froze over . Water temps are in the 30s though . Will these same techniques still apply to water temps that low ? I know they work well in our late fall temps but as you know are cold is a bit different . I do understand that relative temp is different to every region though .

  37. 4Shore Fishing on May 1, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Great video, thanks for the good info!!

  38. tacticool Bassn on May 1, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Tim doing a video in a dark closet?

  39. Clutch Fishing on May 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    When will you guys sell apparel again? Or is that TB reaper hoodie gonna be on Aftco?!? That would be awesome!

  40. Stoney Lonsome on May 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Trying to buy a mega bass spark shad right now in a good color, at 3 inches- is like trying to obtain un-obtainium- fuck it. Plenty of other options.

  41. JD Wells on May 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    One of my go-tos is the Strike King swimjig. Caught my PB on one just the other day. It’s similar to what you mentioned but skirted. I notice you didn’t mention anything with a skirt so would I be better off putting that away until warmer temps? Thanks!

  42. TexasRig on May 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Picked up the dark sleeper 2.4 and killed it 2days in a row. I have a video of a couple catches

  43. Randum dude on May 1, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Catch me if they can mother effers

  44. Ken Mccarthy Fishing on May 1, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Awesome job Tim,the complete break down, thank you ❤👍👊

  45. Blake Doughtie on May 1, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    What do y’all think about how G Loomis rates the power of their rods? How does a heavy G Loomis compare to a heavy Dobyns?

  46. TPHVICTIMS on May 1, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    13:44 what if they see the hooks or the boat or any number of things ?

  47. Bravo Bassin on May 1, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    I use finess swim baits all year around they crush fish!

  48. Matthias Worch on May 1, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    (Still) deeply appreciative of your videos. I feel that one of the phrases you and Matt use a lot, “to help you put more fish in the *boat*”, is very informative, particularly in winter: it shows how effortlessly you’re able to reach the spots where you finesse fish your small baits. It’s harder to do this from shore because of how deep/far out the fish generally are right now (even at a dam), and how light these baits. So, I find myself bomb-casting a 3/8 or even 1/2oz dropshot in winter – not because I need it for sensitivity, but to even reach the spots that hold fish. (Same with this video: I’d love to fish a little 1/8oz finesse swimbait head, but it doesn’t cast out far enough! So the only option I can think of is to upsize to 3/8oz or more.) Any other ideas or advice?

  49. Ryan Nevins on May 1, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Would these baits work for trout too?

  50. dennis groves on May 1, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    In regards to the dark sleeper. When I first got my hands on those they worked phenomenally. I couldn’t put them down. Now I struggle to get bit on one. I should point out that when I slayed with the dark sleeper the lake I fish was way down. Since the lake has filled up it’s been difficult. Got any ideas of why this is happening?

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