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Wooden Swimmer Question

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I fish in moderate surf in Nantucket, and when I go to a swimmer it's always a Bomber. However, seeing all the tempting wooden swimmers Tim now offers has me thinking. When would a wooden swimmer be better than a bomber? And, which model should I choose? My head is spinning with Lex swimmers, Dani swimmers, Surfsters, Fatboys and now A40s. Can someone sort this out for me? Thanks.

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Oh, boy, that's a really, really good question. I use a wooden swimmer when I feel like make wakes and slurps on the surface. The FatBoy floats nicely and if you'll haul on the rod it'll slurp just like a nice fish on the surface. Bombers and teasers when the water doesn't encourage trying to work things on the surface. Why am I not doing the slurpee thing with redfins? ... i dunno. Must say, though, the FatBoy is such a pleasure to cast and swim. The bigger and fatter the plug, the more water it'll disturb. I pick plugs more by how well I can manipulate them in the water conditions under my nose than on a match-the-hatch theory. This may not be well chosen, though, and I hope you get a LOT of posts in reply.

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Brian, just to add to your points. The larger a wooden swimmer is the more water it will displace thus causing it to float higher. The lip size relative to the body size is the determining factor as to how much disturbance, or "V" wake as I refer to it, the plug will make.

 

As far as when the "wood is good" that's also a judgement call. There are times, as Brian said, that there is no rhyme or reason as to why the bass want them. I have fished them in the local rivers near my home and clobbered the fish on them long before or after any large bait is present. You just have to get a feel for the lure.

 

Conversely, I have seen the fish "snub" the swimmers. They will follow them all the way up to the beach or "swoosh" behind them only to fall prey to my buddy's lure casted at the very same spot that the incident occured. Usually we'll fish separate ideas as far as lures go for that very reason. One incident that comes to mind is last year during an all out blitz in Long Branch (a north Jersey beach) the fish were eating up swimmers with reckless abandon. These were average fish, "2 footers" and "pea shooters" as we refer to them with an occasional keeper mixed in. My partner decides to get out a 16A bomber and proceeds to pluck out, not one, not two, but three fish in the "3 footer" range. Coincidence, no way. I switched and did the same thing twice!!! All of the guys around us were still using the swimmers and we moved in and out of them and tweaked out bigger fish. Who knows.

 

If you're looking for a good "starter" swimmer get the Fatboy. It swims, anywhere and will really excite you when a set of jaws opens behind it and it disappears. It is a very versatile swimmer.

 

 

 

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DC ><}}}}>

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When to use wooden swimmers is a personal choice indeed. There are times when they are almost a must, like when the peanuts/shad/herring are on the surface and getting clobbered. Poppers will work during those times, but the bigger fish will usually eat a swimmer or a jig fished slower. Blind fishing with wood is different, that's where I'll throw wood just to give the fish something completely different and unique to look at. I don't know how many times in calm water, on the front of a rock pile, I've throw many different bombers and plastics, only to try a surfster style lure and have it creamed by good sized fish. It's a whole different animal, the wood is. And as you've noted, there are many different types of wood. I like surfster/danni style plugs when the water's fairly calm on the fronts. I like the same style plugs alongside the jetties when the waters not rough but there is a decent swell. The FatBoy II plug will dig and hang tough in rougher water, try it in places where you'd normally throw a bottle plug...or anyplace with current. Our waters locally are entirely different than those at Montauk and Long Island in general, I don't throw the bigger wood much till the bunker are in residence...which should be happening right now. I haven't fished much locally, but should be around the area a good bit for at least a few weeks. The bunker should be here now, the wood will swim more now!

 

Try the big stuff when there's a chance the fish are on bigger bait, or when you just want to be sure the fish are "noticing" what you're throwing...a 7" piece of wood will move a lot of water and certainly get their attention!

 

TimS

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I was out at north beach one morning and nobody was getting anything when the guy next to me puts on a larger surface swimmmer and catches a 36". It got my attention. A few days later DaveC or DaveS (don't recall which one) posted on another board that he and a fishin buddy were killing nice fish for a week straight in Sea Bright. They were having their best success with white. My fishin buddy and I bought a few Lex's and on his fourth cast my buddy got his first keeper. The next day we scored well when people around us were catching only blues on swimmers and tins. Over the next few weeks I got a high percentage of keepers when the majority of people fishing around me got shorts or nothing. My favorite is the 1 oz. surfster in yellow. I'll be getting it in school bus before the fall comes along.

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JonS, that was me. I was using a white McFadden and a customized light pink Hahn all last year. In fact the hook drags on the white one were so unbelievable but the lure kept swimming. Dusky came fishing with my one day and he used the same lure and got a dozen fish on it!!

 

I refinished the lure this year. The fish won't recognize it. It is still white but without all those nasty hook drags! smile.gif

 

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DC ><}}}}>

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Yep,Yep!!....those McFaddens are without a doubt the best wooden swimmers i have...nicely crafted and a nice wide wobble-n-roll action...Dave C has succeeded in ruining me as far as the wooden swimmers go...ive caught 75% of my bass this year so far on the McFaddens...the only setback to wooden swimmers seems to be the fact that they dont float high like they should when they get waterlogged as they all do...Dave and i talked in length just last night about ways to seal them to avoid this...epoxy, silicone caulk etc were all discussed...it just doesnt seem right that you have to take the time to do things like this on lures that cost 10 to $15 a pop...they can be a high maintenance lure for sure, unless of course youre lookin for a wooden diver wink.gif Chas

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Getting back to the Nantucket question. The "Go To" plug in Nantucket is a Pearl Bomber. This plug enjoys the same deadly, versatility that the schoolbus Bomber enjoys in NJ. The PREDOMINATE bait on the island are sandeels so that Finnish minnows are the ticket. Eels are the preferred big fish catcher and will cull large even if the water is choked with sand eels.

 

As for wooden plugs, the increase in the amount of Peanut Bunker of recent years makes wooden swimmers a "Must Have" tool in your arsenal. When the nuts are thick there are time when wood is the only thing they will eat! The lex surfster lures work well in calm surf, while Danny's will do a job in a moderate surf. My favorite rough water plug is the 1 ounce Casting Swimmer by Gibbs. You can cast this into the teeth of the wind with no problem and have excellent dig. This size doesn't dive as much as the 2 ounce model.

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Thanks for the input. I guess I still have a question in my mind as to whether I should just stick to my pearl Bombers or branch out to wooden swimmers. When would a Gibbs bottle plug work when a Bomber wouldn't? Any thoughts?

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DaveC - thanks for that post last season. You altered my fishing for stripers for the better. I'm a firm believer in wooden surface swimmers. The bass just love the things especially keepers. I love watching them on a calm day charge them from several yards away. I've been using Lex Lures with excellent success. I'm not familar with the one you speak about.

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Acker:

 

It's pretty simple. When you cast a pearl bomber and it lands BEHIND you, time to whip out a bottle plug. Bottle plugs will swim in conditions that every other plug will not. They cast into a head wind like a missile. In the fall, when the peanut bunker are in the surf and the wind is howling 25 knots from the NE there are two choices, a bottle plug or a bucktail. In really snotty conditions, the bucktail gets the nod.

 

Bottle plugs will also work well in places with cross current, like the Rip at the Hook or inlets where swirling currents prevent other plugs from digging. For the places I fish the 1 ounce suits me fine. The 1 ounce Gibbs actually weighs about 1.7 ounces. This little baby swims nicely and doesn't dive as deep as the larger specimens.

 

Hope this helps.

 

[This message has been edited by Prefessa (edited 06-27-2000).]

 

[This message has been edited by Prefessa (edited 06-27-2000).]

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