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:



Nico Raffo MS Slammer
Nico Raffo shared two baits that have caught a ton of big ones and are proven in the field. I've never seen a 9" MS Slammer with more wear marks. An indication this bait gets fished A LOT.

The 9” MS Slammer is the first swimbait I ever committed to and was the first swimbait I ever saw fished.  The 9” MS Slammer was developed in Central California, very closely with Lake Santa Margarita.  Mike Shaw, the ‘MS’ in MS Slammer, lived in Atascadero and developed the bait, and tested it by casting, trolling and targeting big striper and big bass.  Rob Belloni, was early on the bigbait scene, got to throwing Mike’s bait because he fished Lake Santa Margarita often as a Cal Poly SLO student.  Cal Poly is where I met Rob, and Rob introduced me to the MS Slammer.  The MS Slammer has been catching trophy fish quietly and not so quietly since the late 90s.

Rob McComas was early on the bigbait scene too, he just lived across the US, and was fishing Mike’s 9” MS Slammer on the trout fed lakes mountain lakes of Western North Carolina in the 90s.  Rob was not only featured, but was a key figure in the ‘go ahead’ and production of Southern Trout Eaters.    His footage is some of the best of the film, incredible topwater bites, big flushes…really capturing how it is with the MS Slammer and how it works and fishes.   Rob has really opened my eyes to wood bait fishing and how to apply it.  He fishes laydown trees and shade lines and focuses  on and thoroughly dissects spots where the fish live.   It’s a slower paced, more thorough approach to structure fishing.

Rob McComas MS Slammer fishing
Rob McComas, 9" MS Slammer fishing in Appalachia. Rob has been fishing the MS Slammer for over 10 years in the South, and has taught me a ton about fishing wood baits.

The 9” MS Slammer is an absolute workhorse.  A bait you can tie on and fish all day and night and never have to adjust or fix.   Its a killer night fishing bait, probably one of the best and the first bait I reach for when night fishing.  It’s literally slaughtered big fish, I mean 12-17  fish in a single night and in broad daylight out West.  It is a staple.  Wood baits are killer. Each bait is unique.  It has its own swim, own vortex, own buoyancy properties and tendencies.   Wood bait fishing is so roots.   The beautiful thing about wood is all the differences in wood and how you get a really bulks and bigbait that doesn’t necessarily weigh that much.   9” MS Slammers don’t weigh but X ounces, and they get an A+ in fishability.  Just easy on you to fish and killer baits, and because it floats, you can fish intimately around wood, boulders, structure of any kind, just stalling and killing the bait along with swimming it along to keep it around the sweet spots longer.

Peters MS Slammer Clarks Hill
Clarks Hill 9" MS Slammer, white. Waking the bait over hydrilla in 10-14 feet of water, the Slammer is part of our blueback herring lake assualt. Why? Because its one of the proven baits, you take the proven baits and apply them to your water. Keep it simple.

There are various retrieves and styles of fishing around the 9” MS Slammer.  The most common method is a relatively slow and steady grind, making the single jointed top water bait swim fluidly and clacky, move a lot of water, throw a big wake, and have a brilliant tail that licks the surface and compliments the jointed swim.   You can stop the bait and walk the dog or just pause it, and the buoyancy of the bait makes it do a 180 or so and it’s a cool way to change it up on ‘em.

You can definitely reel the 9” MS Slammer and fish it 4-12” inches under the surface.  Rob McComas has some excellent retrieves he uses to keep just the top tip of the tail above the surface while the entire bait is under the water swimming along with a small disturbance on the surface for the tip of the tail sweeping along back and forth.     Rob uses the 9” MS Slammer as a deflection bait too, making contact with the wood and rocks and things purposely to draw bites.

Gear for the 9″ MS Slammer:

Rod: G-Loomis 966 BBR or Okuma 7’11” H

Reel: Shimano Calcutta 400 B or Shimano Cardiff 400

Line: P-Line CXX Xtra Strong, Moss Green, 25 or 30#

Hooks:  Owner ST-36 Stinger Treble Hooks, 2/0 front and back

Split Rings:  Owner Hyper Wires, size 7 front and back.

Strengths:  The strength of the MS Slammer is its fishability.  You can use various retrieves and styles of fishing the bait (wake, twitch, slow rolled, etc) and change things up cast by cast as you approach your targets.   The bait rarely fouls up when casting or needs any sort of maintenance.  You will need to change tails every so often, but just find yourself a good swimming 9″ MS Slammer and hang onto it.

MS Slammer Hook Change
Change your hooks and split ring to Owner. The MS Slammer is a workhorse and if you put quality hooks and rings on your baits, you're likely to catch and land most of your bites, even the ones that just slap at the bait. Sticky sharp Owner ST-36 Stinger Trebles and Hyper Wire Rings is what I recommend for all wood and big hardbaits. Once your bait allows you to throw anything larger than 1/0, the ST-36 is the hook.

Notes:  You may fish the bait with a snap. It might change how you fish the bait and might work for some instances. I like to fish without a snap wherever possible, but understand that wood baits are unique and each one a different animal, so don’t be afraid to tinker and find what works best and makes your bait swim best.

Mike Shaw MS Slammer
Mike Shaw, Mr. MS Slammer himself, in his workshop. The 9" MS Slammer is a staple wooden swimbait and set the tone for waking bigbaits in the late 90s as big fish catching baits, day or night.
8 inch triple trout
The 8 inch Triple Trout, showed its strength in the Ozarks section of Southern Trout Eaters. Good bait for covering water and seeing what happens when you are on a lake where 20 pounds is a good sack. How about those Owner ST-36 Stinger Trebles? That fish is punk rock with all those piercings.

The 8” Triple Trout is probably the most universal of the Triple Trout family in that it is a bigbait, and able to get big bites, but at 8 inches long, this is a good search and destroy bait in lakes that aren’t known for big fish.  But the 2-5 pounders will attack the 8” Triple Trout, given the right circumstances.

triple trout fishing on lake murray
The 8" Triple Trout is not just for 'trout eaters'. The bait is the standard for chasing the elusive blueback herring eaters of the South. Lake Murray, South Carolina, and a May stud off a point, fishing with Chris Koon.

The 8” Triple Trout is part of our ‘trout eater’ toolbox, and was featured in Southern Trout Eaters in the Ozark section, where we were documenting our first attempts at bigbait fishing in the Ozarks.  We were fishing a lake not known for double digit fish, had never fished the lake much and needed to cover water and see how the fish would react.  We ended up with multiple 15-20 pound sacks and we were able to document most of it on film and in photos.

Before Brad Rutherford could drive, he was throwing the 8" Triple Trout, a testament to Brad's fishing and where he is going in this sport.

The 8” Triple Trout is also a staple in the blue back herring assault we have been exploring for years.   Clarks Hill, Lake Lanier, Lake Murray and Lake Hartwell have all seen plenty of 8” Triple Trouts courtesy of our crew (Chris Koon, Brad&Bob Rutherford, Robert Malcom, and myself).   There is no question the 8” Triple Trout is gets bit when you get around blue back herring chasers.

clarks hill swimbait fishing
Clarks Hill, Fall of 2008. Working on the blueback herring bite around long sloping red clay points.


Bait: The 8” Triple Trout
Rod:  G-Loomis 965 BBR
Reel:  Shimano Calcutta 400 TE
Line:  P-Line CXX Green Coplymer, 25 pound
Hooks:  Owner ST-36 Treble Hooks (1/0 front and back)
Split Rings:  Owner Hyper Wire #6s

Strengths:  The 8” Triple Trout can be fished fast or fished at a steady grind, but you can  cover water with the bait and get a feel for how the fish are reacting.  The Triple Trout excels in warm water.  Anything above 60 degrees, and especially as the water gets into the 70s and low 80s, the Triple Trout is a good call in warm water.   Since you can start and stop the bait and make it do 180 degree turns and pauses, you can create a bite with your retrieve, so its a good bait for making fish that only follow a swimbait actually eat.   The 8” Triple Trout only weighs approx 2.5 ounces and is far less a workout to fish than the 10” Triple Trout.  It’s a good ‘starter’ bait for those just getting into the Triple Trout family of swimbaits.

triple trout fishing on lake guntersville
Lake Guntersville, 8 inch Triple Trout fished over shallow grass.


Ideal Conditions:  Anytime you can fish a bait with hanging trebles over submerged grass, we recommend the Triple Trout.  Anytime you are fishing a blue back herring lake, we recommend the Triple Trout fished around docks, off points, around brushpiles, off man made structure like breakwaters, rip rap, barge tie ups, etc, and certainly around laydown trees.   Lakes with that are trout fed are a no brainer for the Triple Trout, and as the water temps warm up, use the 8” Triple Trout to call up active fish and get them to eat even in the summer swelter.  You don’t need trout or blue backs to catch fish on the 8” Triple Trout, anywhere you are targeting 3-5 pound fish and know where they live, put on an 8” Triple Trout and see what happens.

brad rutherford swimbait fishing
Brad Rutherford, the first day we met, Clarks Hill, a little more grown up, giving me his "Matt Peters" pose...damn kids. Brad throwing a custom painted 8" Triple Trout blue back herring color.


Notes:  Tie directly to the bait.  Don’t use a snap to tie to.  Just tie directly to the bait and make sure you retie often.  The weight of the bait combined with big casts and repetitive casting make this a classic example of the physics of bigbait fishing we touched on in Southern Trout Eaters.  Carry spare tails, because if you get onto a good bite, there’s a chance a fish can rip or wreck your tail so don’t be unprepared.

ozark triple trout fishing
8" Triple Trout, light trout and an Ozark Trout Eater in bronze. When you are on a new lake, warm weather and water, need to cover water and have the highest odds of getting a bite, bust out your 8" Triple Trout in light trout and go to work.


Chartruese bass 8" Triple Trout. Lake Seminole sand bar fishing, the mouth of Spring Creek.