close-up big underspinBeing open-minded is a good attribute for any bass fisherman. Trouble is, most of us, because of past successes, sort of pre-decide that it is we’re going to be open-mined about.

Fortunately, sometimes all it takes one guy to try something “different” and a ripple effect moves through the angling population. When Bret Hite put a Swimming Senko on the back of his chattering bait and won tournaments on both sides of the country, suddenly that swimbait tail trailer didn’t look so odd.

I even noticed when co-angler Tami Curtis Jennings started drop-shotting roughly half of the same Yamanoto bait, one of her pro partners mentioned on the web that she might have something going on. In either case, it was taking common items and using them in an uncommon manner.

Tami's handI’ve seen that “swimbait” tail as a trailer showing up on other baits as well, either in the hollow or solid versions. Because they cause more drag in the water, they do require a bit  of a heavier head when used on an under-spin, but in fact they also do well on a short-skirted spinnerbait fished on the fall.

My long-time friend and fishing partner Jim Emmett often pours his own tails, but he referenced Sean Donovan’s (originator of the Optimum Swimbait) understanding that a “thin” connecting section between the main body and the “boot” was not the desired structure. You need enough mass there to hold up against the forces of the water for the tail to wobble back and forth. Too thin and the tail collapses or barely moves.

The actual configuration of the swimming tail has some variability. Like the bills of crankbaits: round, somewhat oval or square tails each give a little different motion to the lure you choose. And yes, they sort of look funny.

Well, until you bust a few nice ones.