Swim Bait Fishing written by Keith Palmiero
I had been fishing swimbaits for smallmouths for a lot of years with some success. I would have some good days and bad, but nothing consistent. I knew for a fact they would work, I just couldn't put the right combination together. I never really liked the hard body swimbaits because they just didn't have the action I was looking for and the fish would just swat at them and not really hang on. I knew I needed two sizes to be successful for different times of year, but at the same time I didn't want anything over 4 inches because my primary quarry was smallmouth.
I really don't even want to talk about how much money I spent trying to find the "perfect" swimbait, or the amount of time I spent on the computer. I tried the ever popular hollow belly baits, but had very limited success. They would ride to high in the water column and just wouldn't stay at the depth I needed to fish. I fished every type of "pre rigged" swimbait out there as well. I will say I had some better success on these in the 4 inch, but they still didn't reach the depths I wanted and I was limited on the weight I could fish because it was built in. The other problem with both of the above mentioned was the 3 inch size bait. I knew for a fact there was times that a smaller profile was needed for tough conditions and shallower water. The 3 inch baits just didn't have any action at slow speeds, and at higher speeds would roll over on their sides. I just wasn't satisfied.
So one night when I couldn't sleep, I was doing what I always do and that is scouring the Internet looking for the "perfect" bait. I ran across Big Hammers web page and started looking around. I noticed that they were primarily a saltwater bait, but being a avid saltwater angler as well, knew that saltwater baits worked well in fresh water as well. So I went through the colors and ordered a few pack of each of the 3 and 4 inch. I took these baits out on the lake and the first one I tied on was the 3 inch since this was the one I had been having the most trouble with as far as finding the right combination. I dropped the bait in the water and swept my rod to look at the action. I immediately said JACKPOT! I found my bait! At this point I had not even caught a fish on it. Well, needless to say I fished that day with the 3 inch Hammer and just completely tore the smallies up. On several other trips throughout the year I through both the 3 and 4 inch and caught fish on both.
So, I contacted Pete Wolf, the owner of Big Hammer, and explained my story and who I was. He got back to me and explained that he was an avid smallmouth angler from way back from the days when he lived in Delaware and he was very happy with my success. So he signed me up for his pro staff, and here we are today! With, in my opinion, one of the best smallmouth baits to have hit these parts in a long time.
I also just want to make one thing clear about this bait. It is not just for smallmouth. I have caught, spotted bass, largemouth, crappie, walleye, musky, drum, catfish, bluegill, shellcracker, and even a turtle. EVERYTHING EATS this bait!!!