Cold-weather bass fall to Swiminator

About 2 years ago, bass pro Nick LeBrun of Bossier City got a tip on an artificial lure from a co-angler who’s now a buddy.

“He kept telling me, ‘You need to try one of these baits.’ (But) I hear that all the time,” LeBrun said.

Eventually, he decided to try one of those baits. He contacted John Bailey, the owner of Producer Swimbaits, who sent the FLW pro some of his small, Georgia company’s Swiminators. LeBrun has been catching bass on them ever since, particularly when the water temperature is in the mid-50s.

(Photo by Nick LeBrun)

December is prime time for the Swiminator, LeBrun said.

“Any time the water gets around 55 degrees, and they’re feeding on big shad, it’s hard to beat,” he said. “I catch on it all over the country and, at that time of year, on Caddo when the bass are feeding on flats and eating gizzard shad. 

“It’s also accounted for many big bass at Lake Sam Rayburn. It’s really good at Rayburn.”


LeBrun said the Swiminator’s design and makeup can’t be matched. The difference-maker, he said, is that it’s developed with a “top pour.” 

Bailey said he was frustrated when he first started making soft-plastic swimbaits because he was unable to get color schemes he preferred via injection, so he tried a method that allows him to make three or more colors in each soft plastic.

LeBrun’s favorite colors are blue crack, blue minnow and T2.

Swiminators are available in 31/2, 41/2, 51/2 and 61/2 inches. 

“They make it in different sizes. I throw the 4½-inch,” LeBrun said. “That seems to be the most versatile to me. When you start seeing gizzard shad, or see a tail sticking out of a gullet, it’s time to throw it.

LeBrun fishes the Swiminator on a 3/16-ounce, 7/0 Hayabusa WRM 958 Wide Gap Screwlock weighted hook, tied to 20-pound Sunline FC Sniper flourocarbon. He uses a 7-foot-6 Fitzgerald MH Stunner Series rod matched with a Fitzgerald VLD10 reel.

“You can reel it extremely slow,” LeBrun said. “You want to keep it right in the middle of the water column. If it’s 4-foot, you want to reel it in 2 foot. After you fish a while, you’ll see if it’s too fast, it’ll rise to the top.”

About Don Shoopman 493 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.

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