Saturday, October 25, 2008

Everything old is new again - plastic swimbaits now and then

Old School swimbaits from 80's and 90's

Soft plastic swimbaits have been gaining in popularity for a number of years. On many waters, they are THE way to catch the resident populations. And, by and large, they work. I've been fairly astonished at some of the prices these baits command, but as long as they work, they're worth buying and trying.

Over the weekend I was going through some of the scads of tackle I have in my garage (I'm a self admitted gear and tackle junkie) when I came across some of the following, and it got me thinking - is there anything really new about this trend? Bottom line - I think not.

Some of the current crop of swimbaits

I remember back in the 80's when I fished Sassy Shad, and really got behind Twisters Sassy Grubs. I thought they were a step ahead of using Mr. Twisters, which many of us derogatorily referred to as " nickle crankbaits". Anyone could cast them out and retrieve, and catch fish. Gene Larew Long Johns were pure poison on the Susquehanna River smallmouths in the early 90's. As you can see from the pictures, the early swimbaits look eerily similar to the modern ones. They have something else in common - they work just as well now as they did 20 years ago. Another revelation - so do Twisters / grubs.

One thing that is new to the scene is the Cotee Cracker Shad. It is a fine swimbait in its own right, but it has a rattle embedded in it near the base of the tail. It adds a previously missing element to the game. And - it works! Bass attack these baits, and pike wouldn't leave them alone in Canada this past summer. Since Cotee is primarily a Saltwater bait company, you may need to search online for them if you don't live in a coastal area. I know that Cabelas carries them - not sure who else.

Don't take this observation as being disparaging - I don't dislike these baits at all - on the contrary, I have them along on nearly every trip to the water, regardless of the target species. As a matter of fact, I rely on them, and on the previously mentioned grubs, more now than I ever have. I realize that you don't get "more points" based on degrees of difficulty associated with your method of fishing, and don't really care if you did. They work. Period. Both types of baits should have a space of prominence in your tackle box. They do in mine.


Kenny Breckenridge said...

Old or new they all do exactly what they were designed to do-"catch fish" another good post here wolfy , great pictures to illustrate your point. I have used the ones of old and the ones of new and they are both excellent. I also never leave home without them. They work good on all species too. Versatile plastics will always be a vital part of any ones tacklebox inventory.

Wolfy said...

Kenny, I never go anywhere without plastics. They catch everything - as a matter of fact, I caught my biggest stream-caught steelhead one spring in NY on a white twister. I love grubs and swimbaits!