In the early round of Toledo Bend’s spawn, much of your success will come from targeting prespawners and those that have started moving into the bedding areas. Covering water is the name of the game and one of your best tools for doing so is a swim jig.
Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner’s a firm believer in this 4-wheel-drive bait that performs equally well for bumping along laydowns and plowing through grass edges. The basic form’s not bad, but he uses a modified version with strategic features.
Lintner’s customized rig’s based on the interchangeable design of Freedom Tackle’s Stealth Hybrid Head. A wire coil tucked inside the conical head’s sonic brass echo chamber enables anglers to switch out hooks based on application. Lintner’s go-to rig around shallow vegetation, wood, etc. is comprised of a 3 ½-inch Jackall Chunk Craw on a 3/0 Trokar straight shank flipping hook. If he wants to show super-aggressive prespawners a bigger bait, he’ll switch to a 5.8-inch Jackall Rhythm Wave swimbait with 7/0 Trokar EWG hook.
Both options are rigged weedless and are therefore capable of traversing any prespawn to early spawn habitat. Also, with the hook hanging loosely — as opposed to the fixed hook of most swim jigs — Lintner’s setup minimizes a fish’s ability to shake loose.
One of the biggest benefits of this customizable swim jig is the ability to quickly vary the hook size and trailer to match the scenario — without having to rig a different swim jig every time. This includes the option of including or losing the Stealth Hybrid’s standard skirt. During the prespawn, when bass are bulking up on larger forage like bream, keeping the skirt makes sense; but if the water’s clear and fish are spooky, slimming down the look may help.