How to Buy a Hard-To-Get Swimbait


By Jimmy Fee – On The Water

If I’d harbored doubts about the obsession surrounding bass fishing’s big swimbait culture here in the Northeast, the sight of the tent banished them for good. Well, technically, it was an ice-fishing shelter, but it was set up by someone to help survive a night of late-January cold outside the Boxborough Regency and give him first dibs on the custom swimbaits available at the New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo. 

In addition to the ice shelter, there were a dozen or so collapsable chairs from other anglers who’d arrived hours before the doors opened.  I joined the line a gentlemanly 45 minutes before the 1 p.m. opening, hoping to add to my small but growing arsenal of super-sized specialty swimbaits made for largemouth bass. 

Big swimbaits catch big bass—that’s not news. This tactic spun up out of southern California reservoirs in the 1980s, where fishermen looked for lures large enough to mimic the stocked rainbow trout offered up to enormous bass like lambs to the slaughter. Here, at the opposite corner of the country, the tactic has found fertile ground among anglers hoping to catch the 5-pound (and better) largemouth making meals of sea-run herring, white and yellow perch, and stocked trout. 

But, big swimbaits, especially the custom-made ones, are difficult to get—especially at the original price—hence the midwinter camping in a convention center parking lot. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

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