There is a strange fusion of saltwater and freshwater bass. There is a yin and yang.

My buddy Chris Lillis, showed me the  Lucky Craft CIF Flash Minnow 190 a while back.  It didn’t click until recently how deadly these things are.  I am thinking the freshwater guys need to explore these.  Think herring eaters.  Think smelt eaters.  Think how well long slender baits get bit.  

Game changer in my fishing. Big Hardbaits and surface irons. Epic.

This is a beautiful bait from Lucky Craft.  These companies in the fishing world are so interesting.  The people, the connections to the angling community, the baits, the progression, etc.   I love to see ‘saltwater grade stuff’ made for bass fishing.  Crankbaits and jerkbaits ARE good calico baits, and there is a lot I want to try.  Chatter crickets, robust square bills, etc. 

Reel this thing fast and hard, and then just kill it. Wait. Reel like hell, if you don’t get back and pause again.
When faced with long and slender, bass will often eat baits that are are > 50% or more of their body length. Little fish eating baits their same size, even.

This is NOT A JERKBAIT.  It is more of a crankbait / glide / stall bait.  You burn it, pause it.  You bump bump bump at 6 and 12 and it dances a couple feet side to side up and down.  They love it when you pause it.  It sinks.  It does NOT wear you out, physically to fish.  It’s intimidating.  Your wrists start hurting just looking at it!Jerkbaits are the shiz.  Let’s be real.  Jerkbaits are one of the catchiest ways to fish.  Although this is not a jerkbait, it has the same profile.  Except it’s 7.5″ long and weighs 2.25 oz. 


  • You can cast a mile. 
  • It has Owner ST-66 Trebles, stock
  • Killer Colors
  • You catch jerkbait fish. Check this thing out.  It’s similar but fishes differently. You can reel reel reel pause instead of jerk jerk jerk pause. 
  • It is long and skinny (bass have proven this profile = good ) 
  • 7.5″ and slender is a ‘sweet spot’ I will have to explain later, but it’s a real good balance of bulk and slender.  Fusion of bigbait and conventional small bait tool. 


  • Think windy high spots on lakes with blue back herring.
  • That one spot, beyond the buoy line, or to some off limits area, where you need the absolute longest cast of your life to be a hero.  Try this.   
  • Windy points.  
  • Windy rip rap
  • Over grass
  • Over rock
  • Not sure about wood?  Might be sticky. 
  • Wherever you have big baitfish and big fish to target, but don’t have a good consistent hardbait to throw?  Try this. 


I’m 100% sure I bought my Lucky Craft CIF Flash Minnow 190 from Tackle Warehouse.  They aren’t stocking that size, for some unknown reason, although it’s still listed on the product description.  Check out the 110s in stock, though.  The colors are killer.  You can use Google, I’m sure. 

I’m telling you, explore this thing. Herring lakes, especially.


Lil baby guys would commit suicide on this bait. Like 10″ fish on a 7.5″ lure.


Keep it simple.  I am intrigued by swimming worms and swimming fluke baits, as they relate to swimbait fishing.  Swimming a fluke style bait is sorta kinda glide bait fishing to some extent.   There’s a randomness and glide of swimming fluke baits that makes them special.  Think about how the Scrounger Head, and Aaron Martens have pretty much validated that swimming flukes flat wear ’em out.  Now transition to the Head Spin.  Fluke influenced.  Very critical to rig your Fluke or swimbait PERFECTLY on your Head Spin.  Otherwise is runs funky or doesn’t look good.   The fluke + Head Spin of course won the BassMaster Classic in 2015 on Hartwell.  A blueback herring lake.  The Head Spin swims but also has a glide to it as it sinks and falls.  It has to do with the Fluke on the back.    The Little Dipper is an excellent trailer for the Head Spin.

My first exposure to the Scrounger was back in the day, Pacific Ocean in about 1990 out on the Dana Wharf fleet.   Saltwater calico bass fishing w 4″ curly tail grubs and Scroungers.  My first exposure to the Head Spin, was in 2005, in Atlanta, GA.  It was a local company and I read fishing reports for days trying to integrate into the Southern bass fishing scene.  I would credit Ryan Coleman for dialing me into the bite more like in 2007.  I hired Ryan to show me Lake Lanier.  There was a BassMaster Open coming to Lanier that year (Which, Ryan would WIN!).  He showed me how to slow roll a Head Spin over brush piles.  Later, folks like Brad and Bob Rutherford preached to me about the Head Spin for places like Hartwell.  Which is ironic because that is where Casey Ashley just won the 2015 BassMaster Classic — Lake Hartwell.   Head Spins have their place for suspended fish, herring eaters, spotted bass, largemouths, and any fish truthfully.  The underspin is a fundamental truth of fishing it feels like to me.

How many influences do you see here? Alabama rig and adding a 2nd blade/flash .... Then I've got a Little Dipper, from my Okeechobee affair w swimming worms. Then You have Fish Head Spin with is a unique swimbait in it's own right. Underspins, like spinnerbaits and inline spinners get bit.
How many influences do you see here? Alabama rig and adding a 2nd blade/flash …. Then I’ve got a Little Dipper, from my Okeechobee affair w swimming worms. Then You have Fish Head Spin with is a unique swimbait in it’s own right. Underspins, like spinnerbaits and inline spinners get bit.

So WTF does that have to do with the Mann’s Reel N’ Shad?  Watch this bait swim.  Watch it hop.  The straight reel, this thing has a sweet little wiggle fluid drive swim.   This is a “Do Nothing Swimbait” if I’ve ever seen one.  This thing looks lethal to me, on spinning gear , or casting gear.  There is a 3 3/4″ and and 5 1/4″ models which is cool.  The small one is definitely spinning gear time.  7′ M or MH Spinning pole and some 10-15# braid with a 10# floro leader.  Bang goes the dynamite.  This thing is part senko, part fluke, part glide bait, and part swimmer.  I just appreciate the simple yet super fishable and fish catchyness of this bait.

I have to admit, I haven’t fished a fluke on a standard roundball jig head enough.  I haven’t fished a fluke or fluke style (meaning V or U shaped body when looking at bait head on), that don’t have a swimming tail enough.   The swimming tail takes away from glide.   The tail straightens the swim into a more uniform flow/engine.  Fluke baits with a simple little fork tail (or no tail, ie Sluggo) don’t swim thru the water.  They glide.  The swimbait world is all blown up on, glide baits.  Glide baits are something so simple but something we (well, me certainly) are just scratching the surface with.  I’m so f@cking blown away on the Slide Swimmer 250, there’s no other way to put it.  I got like 5 bites by MAGNUM brown trout in the span of like 2 days.   It was sick and wrong.   There are particular reasons it’s so good.  I can kill it, stall it, etc that is very conducive to fishing current.  The Slide Swimmer 250 kicks f@cking ass in current.  Fishability.   Net net, anything that ‘glides’ like a fluke rigged with a light lead head will catch fish.   Try a 1/16 or 1/32 head on a Zoom Fluke sometime.  It’s stupid how good that thing fishes (and catches).  Mid-Strolling.  Have you ever heard of that technique?

The video is of the 5 1/4″ version in guess what color?  Hartwell Special/Blue Glimmer.  You know somebody knows what time it is when they name something like that.  This bait has blueback herring eaters written all over it.  Likewise smallmouth and spotted bass.  From creek fishing, to fishing steep walls / shade lines…boy …. this thing is super simple but looks effective.


Think about this bait for kids or for somebody who is new.   Good enough to cast, retrieve, and sorta gets the feel for jigging a bait with a rod, reel, and line.    You set them up with the Mann’s Reel N’ Shad , they are gonna be stoked.  Floating down a creek or fishing small water?  The 3 3/4″ version looks killer.  Great colors.   Mann’s surprises me from time to time.  I try to keep an open mind and never be snooty about baits, companies, and techniques.  That sort of arrogance has cost me a lot of money!   If you know what you’re doing this bait is sorta a new ‘indicator’ bait / approach.  One of those specialty baits you have rigged up on a shad bite/herring bite where fish are suspended, chasing bait, on steep stuff,  or need to probe the depths.

We’ve got a lot of tools to pick from.  This one definitely will help you keep it simple.  And might be a good suggestion to some beginners or something you take on a trip w you where you need to put some newbies on fish. Mann’s Bait Company is about as OG as you can get.  I think about Hank Parker and those Gold Colorado bladed spinnerbaits he won the Classic with, and I think of Paul Elias and the big ole deep dredge crankbaits.  I have to say, the 1-Minus series has caught me a lot of fish.   Anyway, Mann’s has some good baits, at a good price and seems to be hanging tuff.   I imagine they’ve sold 1 or 2 umbrella rigs too?!?!?!


Purchase the Mann’s Reel N’ Shad from Tacklewarehouse:

Click the image to purchase from Tackle Warehouse




This may be completely “duh” to some people, but I am still acquiring my arsenal of glide baits and learning how to properly fish them in all sorts of places.  The Deps Slide Swimmer 175 is a killer medium sized swimbait that is going to catch you quality and quantity.  If I lived in Georgia and fished the Blue Back Herring bite, I would be all about the Deps Slide Swimmer 175 (SS175) in the Blue Back Herring color.  This bait is 7.5″ long and weighs 3 ounces.   It fishes like a a ‘fluke’.


Herring Eaters

May – June tends to be awesome time for the herring eaters.  I think the bite goes thru the summer, you just have to adjust and fish thru crowds and the heat.   Fish this thing on a medium 8′ swimbait rod, 65# Braided line (direct tie) and a 200 or 300 series 7.1 or 6.3:1 low profile reels.


Applications / Approaches for Herring Eaters with the Slide Swimmer 175 Blue Back Herring:

Docks-Fish the seawalls in between docks and long runs of seawalls anywhere you can find them. Especially early morning bite.  Cover water with the Slide Swimmer.  You can have a lot of fun high sticking with braided line and really pumping your bait upward so the glide breaks the surface.   Then stall it out and let it just die.  Or just parallel good sections and fish it slow and steady, sorta spinner bait style.

The Slide Swimmer is an amazing bait.  I don’t care how you fish it.  You can really jerkbait/fluke style fish it.  So around certain docks, you could even pitch it into open slots and fish it out and draw out a biggun.   I would stall it around shade spots, and just use it pull fish out from under floating docks.  Fish the windy / outer side of anything if you get the chance.


Points-I would fish the Slide Swimmer 175 Blue Back Herring like a mad man on places like Lake Murray or Clarks Hill.  I would run and gun as many red clay points and just good rocky points I could hit.   I would spin around and fish way offshore those points. I found fishing over grass that was 15-12 feet deep with a Triple Trout a really good way to catch quality fish on Clarks Hill.  I think the Slide Swimmer 175 would do some real damage on the herring lakes if a guy knew where the fish were.  Herring eaters are hard to find and stay on.   You gotta be able to fish up shallow then pull off the point, fish ontop, fish double fluke rigs, etc to pull ’em up.  The SS175 is going to be another tool in your tool kit.

Red Clay
Red Clay



Notice, the 175 next to the 250 Slide Swimmer.  The 250 has fins on the belly, the 175 does not have those same fins.
Notice, the 175 next to the 250 Slide Swimmer. The 250 has fins on the belly, the 175 does not have those same fins.


The Tail of the 175 vs. the 250 Slide Swimmer.  More of a Cleaver than the 250s tail.
The Tail of the 175 vs. the 250 Slide Swimmer. More of a Cleaver than the 250s tail.

BrushPiles- I always think of Ryan Coleman from Flowery Branch, GA when I think of brush piles.  I hired Ryan to take me fishing on Lake Lanier.  He took me to some brushpiles and showed me the how they do it with the FishHead Spin over the brush piles.   It was really cool to see how Ryan had the brush pile game down.  I told him we’d be shot for cutting down a tree in California.  I would suck at creating brushpiles.    But if you know where there are brush piles, I would fish this bait over those brush piles, like you would your Zara Spook or GunFish.

Brush pile revealed by low water.  Clarks Hill 2008.
Brush pile revealed by low water. Clarks Hill 2008.

Laydown Trees of course, too.

Man Made Structures – Whatever you do, DO NOT fish this bait around dams, big concrete pump houses, around bridge pilings.   You will probably get your arm broke!

Smallmouth/Spotted Bass – Because this is a ‘medium’ sized swimbait, it makes it extremely attractive to guys who hunt big smallmouth. And spotted beasts. Spotted bass that eat herring are different than largemouth that eat herring.    All I know is, the SS175 is a great selection when you have spotted or smallmouth basses on your agenda.

Saltwater –  The BlueBack Herring is descendant the saltwater run herring.  Herring are a great bait offshore in Southern California. I plan on feeding some calico bass, white sea bass, and yellowtail some Slide Swimmer 175 this summer.



Purchase from Tackle Warehouse Now:




Here is some more fusion.  The Lucky Craft Blade Cross Bait you have to check out.  This thing really fuses the jerkbait, underspin, spinnerbait, and swimbait thing together.  I really like how neutrally buoyant this thing feels in general. It sinks out, but any slight tension flattens the bait out and you can get a near suspend with any bow or wind in your line.  Very senko-ish in feel.  You can rip rip rip and then stall this thing and just be totally stoked at this jerkbait, flash, spin, stall stuff this bait produces. You can slow grind out and transition out of your jerkbait cadance, and get more swimbait style.  Just slow grind it along, mindfully.

The Lucky Craft Blade Cross is pretty impressive.  They make a 110 size which tells me there has to be bigger / saltwater size of these things!  I want a 200 or 300 series!!!
The Lucky Craft Blade Cross is pretty impressive. They make a 110 size which tells me there has to be bigger / saltwater size of these things! I want a 200 or 300 series!!!


I think jerkbaits catch fish all year long, but as winter sinks in, and then again right before Spring springs….the jerkbait is king.  I can see smashing fish on the Ozark lakes on this bait.  Where ever you have a good reaction bait bite.  Lake Mead/Havasu come to mind.  I can see the herring eaters going nutty about this bait, especially those spotted bass herring eaters that love spinnerbaits and jerkbaits so much.  Lanier, Clarks Hill, Murray, Keowee, Hartwell —those lakes come to mind as well suited for this bait.  All clear water lakes, that is for sure.  And anywhere you know fish react to jerkbaits, well shoot, I would just tie one of these on and give a try, because this thing fishes sick.  There is no doubt you’ll enjoy and appreciate this bait.  It almost has a glide bait feel to it, and has so many other influences, I was impressed.


This is a modern twist on jerkbait, spinnerbait and swimming baits and if you think about it, is a bit of a sister to the spy bait thing.  The spy baits have the props and the whirring of their blades creates a new unique vortex.  So does the Blade Cross Bait.  Very unique swim signature and profile. Lucky Craft makes quality baits and this is no exception. I notice these things tend to be low in quantity and stock in Tackle Warehouse often.  That is usually a good indicator.

Fusion of jerkbait, spinnerbait, underspin and swimbait.  Pretty rad bait.
Fusion of jerkbait, spinnerbait, underspin and swimbait. Pretty rad bait.


Purchase the Lucky Craft Blade Cross Bait HERE

Pea Green Soup.  Fishing main lake grass lines, uphill and parallel.  Eelgrass.   Low Down Customs 8' XH.
Pea Green Soup. Fishing main lake grass lines, uphill and parallel. Eelgrass. Low Down Customs 8′ XH.

Just in case you’ve somehow missed the glide bait thing, you best be throwing glide baits, bottom line.  The Slide Swimmer is so killer its hard to quantify.  I have to admit, I’ve only caught a few glide bait fish, and they were on the S-Waver.  I don’t have a ton of experience with glide baits. They are something I’m going to have to learn a whole lot more of.  But do yourself a favor and find yourself a Deps Butch Brown Slide Swimmer 250 in case you don’t know that yet.  Do not pass go without one.  They are that good.  The hardbait version of the Huddleston, it’s been said.   Get yourself an S-Waver to get started into glide baits, or go Roman Made.   I know someday Butch is going to release a film that just blow everyone’s mind with giants.  I’ve seen a video he played at ICAST in 2011 in Vegas at the Bassaholics Booth.  It was sick and wrong, and it had many Slide Swimmer 250 in it back then.  I know some guys who’ve been devastating big striper on it.   My pals in the world of swimbait fishing pretty much have been crushing fish on the glide baits out West for >2 years at least.   I know Oliver Ngy is going to blow some minds with his Big Bass Dreams DVD coming out.  Oliver throws the Rago Glideator, and l don’t even know what else.  I’m a boring old Hudd, TT, MS, and Rat guy!  I don’t feel like I’m letting the cat out of the bag by any means at this point. I just hate talking about a technique or bait or something I don’t have experience on.  I can tell you, the 80# Braid, the Slide Swimmer, the LDC 8’XH, and the 400 TE are just incredible altogether.  Power fishing at times, and glide bait fishing it at times.  Crazy swim on this bait.  Hard to do wrong, but you can get incredible 3-4 foot wide side to side S walks, stalls, turn-arounds, etc and it can be burned and killed and 180’d and all kinds of craziness.

Flash Carp, yikes what a color!  Saiko Butch you da man.
Flash Carp, yikes what a color! Saiko Butch you da man.


Controlled glides.   I love the term glide because it nails the style of bait.  Glide is a discussion point among surfers.   There are 1000s of variations in surfboards that are between 6 and 7 feet long.  Small changes in volume/displacement/buoyancy do dramatic things in the water, let alone changing shapes, width, thickness, rocker, length, concavity, etc.  I think the world of glide baits has similar abundance of variations that will likely work if for no other reason, this style of bait gets bit, and things are just starting to warm up with them to the masses.   These glide baits are killer, and I’m just getting going really focusing time on them, and I advise you do the same if you aren’t already!  The Roman Made Mother, was the bait our boy Manabu caught Her on.


Wheat Grass
Would you like a shot of Wheat Grass? How about 1,000,000 surface acres of it! Okeechobee has lots of different grass. Eelgrass grows in some areas consistently year-to-year, and you always get different main lake water colors. This year, pea green soup is the theme in some favorite haunts of mine. Flipping and Pitching bite more so than a swimming bite I find in most areas, save the Box the the Pond.

Okeechobee has been a moving target this year.  It’s not horrible, but it’s not the slug fest stomp its been the last 2 years.   The water just isn’t good for a swimbait guy either.  So its sorta fickle fishing at times, mixed with bad water (and wind) most places, most of the time.   Algae bloom, dirty, choked out and the fish are outside grass line-ish oriented, so the bite becomes more pitching jigs and punching mats and that style attack.  I have been throwing the Slide Swimmer 250 Flash Carp in less than ideal conditions on Okeechobee thus far.  I was hoping for 3-4 feet of black clean water to work with, outside grass line, in certain areas, and it just hasn’t been there yet.



Want to give a shout to Ben Dehnadi and Low Down Custom Rods.  Ben’s rods have really opened my eyes to much more progressive rod design.  You need to get yourself a LDC 8′ XH for the Slide Swimmer 250.  The Slide Swimmer is heavy…close to 6.5 ounces and it maxes out my Loomis 966 BBR rods that I love so much.   The LDC XH fits that rod category you need for ‘megabaits’.  The > 6 ounce baits, the big 3:16 Hardbaits, the big rats/terrestrial baits, the big Rago hard and softbaits, and whatever.   >6 ounce baits require a special rod, even among the bigbait rods.   I do fish the 8″ Weedless  Huddlestons on this LDC 8XH rod, and love it.  I swear I can lob that Huddleston 20% further in the open water sometimes.  That thing flat flings a bait way out there.   The longer than I’m used to rod handle really has extra leverage and surprisingly I find it fishes nicely under my arm pit, and just feels right to me. I’ve got 32″ arms.  I get dress shirts with 17-18″ necks and 32″ arms!  Hahahahaha.  That aint no lie either.  So the super long rod handles sometimes feel awkward to me.   The LDC 8XH has a less parabolic action than the 966, but it still loads up pretty darn well, its just got more tip to it.  You have a really more involved tip section, that is more in tune with finer things of swim, and helps soften the impact of bites so you don’t rip the bait out of a fish’s mouth, and definitely helps you in the casting department, it will load up and lob a 6.5 ounce bait like the Slide Swimmer very easily and low impact on your wrists and shoulders.

Net Net

Just like recommending the 8″ Huddleston and the G-Loomis 966 BBR combo, I think you’ll find the Low Down Customs 8 XH and Slide Swimmer 250 a winner.  I have to admit, the LDC-8HX throws an 8″ Huddleston really well, and really far.  It’s anexcellent big and mega bait rod, yet has the tip for the 8″ Huddlestons and 10″ Triple Trouts.  You need to be throwing the Butch Brown Slide Swimmer 250.   End of story.  You’re current bigbait rod may not have the guts to throw it.  I have many Loomis 966s and find them under-gunned for the Slide Swimmer.  Get a rod for heaving and lobbing the >6 ounce baits

Notice, I've tied directly to the slip ring here.  I think I like it without the split ring on front better.  You get bait head and bait control without the ring, just like with the Triple Trout on your stalls and twitches.
Notice, I’ve tied directly to the slip ring here. I think I like it without the split ring on front better. You get better head and bait control without the ring, just like with the Triple Trout on your stalls and twitches.