Fishing Glide Baits for Big Bass | Bass Angler Magazine
Fishing Glide Baits for Big Bass, In the past few years, glide baits have become a very popular lure for catching big bass. As the saying goes, big baits catch big fish. Bigger, older, wiser bass can be difficult to catch and often pass up smaller baits that are overused and unrealistic. If you have had the itch to catch a huge bass, consider using a glide bait to persuade them into biting.
Glide baits are big hardbody lures that have a wide gliding action in the water. Glide baits are hyper realistic and can catch even the most finicky or cautious bass. These very big and heavy lures. Ranging anywhere from 6-12 inches and 3-8 ounces, these baits are not going to catch many dinks. Glide baits have a single joint in the middle which help give it the gliding motion as well as a more life-like look in the water. Glide baits are ideal for clear waters because of their realistic appearance and lack of sound or vibration.
Why Glide Baits are Effective for Big Bass
First and foremost, big, tournament sized bass like big meals. Glide baits are certainly a big presentation that entices them to bite. Small meals can take more energy and effort to hunt down than they provide for these bass, making them not worth the trouble. However, a big meal can hold a bass over for days. Additionally, glide baits are super realistic. Big bass are not only larger, but much older. Older bass have seen lots of lure in their time and are often cautious about what they eat. Obnoxious flashing, rattling, or thumping of other lures may not be able to trick these wise lunkers. But a glide bait perfectly mimics a big baitfish cruising around in the water.
Best Season for Glide Bait Fishing
Although you can effectively fish this bait year round, I find that it really shines during the pre-spawn and the late fall seasons. Everyone raves about pre-spawn bass fishing, and for good reason. During this time period bass are gorging on lots of food (especially migrating shad) in order to bulk up for the spawn. Water temperatures are still cold and slower, more realistic lures work better for cold water bass. The late fall is when I find myself fishing glide baits the most. It is essentially the same concept as pre-spawn fishing in that bass are bulking up and water temperatures are colder. The difference is that bass are bulking up for the long winter, and water temperatures are cooling off rather than warming up. I found that glide baits work exceptionally well when fishing small ponds in the late fall. While in the pre-spawn, they excel in larger lakes and reservoirs.
How to Fish a Glide Bait
The first thing we need to cover is the gear you should be using when fishing glide baits.
Because these are big, heavy lures, you need heavier duty gear. Use a 7’- 8’ heavy power casting rod with a moderate-fast action tip. The long, heavy duty rods will allow you to cast the bait farther and get a proper hookset. When setting the hook with a glide bait, use a sweeping motion to the side. This is the same hookset you will use when using almost any treble hook lure. The moderate-fast action tip will give lots of flex deep into the rod, preventing you from ripping the treble hooks out of the mouth, and giving you enough load in the rod to keep the bass from tossing the bait easily once hooked. As for the line, use a 20-25 lb fluorocarbon line. You obviously need a bit heavier line because of the size of the lure. Since glide baits are primarily a clear water lure, you need the ultra clear fluorocarbon to keep your presentation as natural as possible.
I have found that the best retrieve is a slow half turn of the reel motion that allows the bait to properly glide. I will also give it 3-4 tugs throughout the retrieve. These tugs are in between a twitch and a pull. You are not trying to walk the bait with a twitching motion, but you aren’t swimming it with a pull or sweep of the rod. These tugs push the bait a few extra inches to the side compared to the half reel motion. It just gives a bit more erratic presentation and convinces trailing bass to strike. The colder the water, the slower I fish the bait. Since glide baits sink very slowly and even suspend a bit at times, they can be fished at a variety of speeds. Glide baits are perfect for fall grass fishing. Throwing these big baits around grass lines and edges will catch monsters.
Glide Baits vs Swim Baits
Glide baits and hardbody swim baits can be easily confused. A couple differences in their design is that glide baits will almost always have a single joint in the middle. Conversely, swim baits usually have 3-4 joints which give it a more life-like action with a straight retrieve. Glide baits are much bigger than swim baits. Glide baits range from 6-12 inches while swim baits are usually 4-7 inches. You retrieve these baits differently as well. As the name implies, glide baits are slowly dragged and glided through the water. Swimbaits are straight reeled with occasional jerks. The glide bait will bounce from side to side similar to a walk the dog motion. The head of a swim bait will remain stationary while the body and tail wiggle around.
Landing Big Bass with Glide Baits
If you don’t know how to properly land a big bass, you will lose lots of them. Glide baits are a heavy lure which gives bass lots of leverage to toss the small treble hooks when thrashing or jumping out of the water. While fighting the bass, keep your rod low and to the side. Do whatever you can to prevent the bass from jumping out of the water and tossing the bait. The heavier gear will also help you bring in the big bass as fast as possible which gives them less time to get off.
Reeling this In
Big lures are a foolproof way to catch big bass. Glide baits are a hyper realistic and big time presentation that convinces huge bass to smoke it. You won’t catch tons of fish with glide baits, but the ones you do catch will be big. The average bass I catch on glide baits is 3.2 Lbs, and I have caught 3 double digit bass using them. If you are sick and tired of catching dinks all the time, give glide baits a try to see what kind of lunker you can catch.