LiveTarget’s Swimbait Series looks just like live bait

Factory-rigged with extra wide-gap hook and species-specific oscillating tails

LiveTarget’s eagerly anticipated new Swimbait Series has recently arrived in sporting goods stores and tackle shops, and they’re perfect to target bass gearing up for the spawn.

Just like everything else the company produces, the realistic look and swimming action of the factory-rigged lures is almost uncanny. (There are five freshwater forage species available, and three for saltwater anglers.)

“This is a lure that fish haven’t seen, so you’re not only showing them something super lifelike, but an action they’ve never seen before,” said LiveTarget’s Gary Abernethy.

The internal factory rigging and extra wide-gap hook make it an easy lure to fish, he said.

“The dorsal fins act as weed guards, and because it’s factory-rigged you don’t have a weight system outside of the profile of the lure to catch on grass and snags, and the predator fish is looking at a pristine profile,” Abernethy said. “There’s no weight out front or an underbelly hook — there’s nothing. It looks just like a fish.”

An oscillator in the tail creates species-specific life-like swimming action, as well.

“The way the tail was built and configured, it has a more subtle action,” Abernethy said, noting the golden shiner and gizzard shad options would be great for Louisiana anglers fishing the prespawn and spawn. “So when the water is colder, it’s not a big wide berth swimming action.

“It’s a tighter, more subtle action preferred in colder water.”

And if you want to target big bass, LiveTarget has some magnum-sized lures in the series, including a 6 ½-inch golden shiner and 5 ½-inch gizzard shad. Abernethy said they would be perfect now inside the grass lines at Toledo Bend.

“It’s where they’re stopping and staging before they move up,” he said. “For another few weeks, they might be on the outside grass lines and then moving up more to the inside grass line before they go up to spawn. This bait will be able to service both of those areas based on the way the angler fishes it.”

For tips on how to fish any of LiveTarget’s swimbaits, click here for an instructional video from FLW angler Scott Martin, including what rod, reel and line he favors.

Abernethy said it’s basically an easy lure to fish.

“It’s a rhythmic, steady retrieve — nothing fancy,” he said. “You’re not jerking your rod. It’s a clean cadence.”

Typically, Abernethy said the swimbaits perform best from 1 to 2 feet down to about 9 feet.

“They’re definitely not ledge baits, so it’s not something you’re going to throw out in 15 or 25 feet of water and fish it down on the ledge,” he said. “They’re orientation is for a slow to moderate sink rate, so even though some may weight 1 ½ ounces, because of the amount of plastic in the tail, you’re going to have to reel or it will come up in the water column.”

LiveTarget’s Swimbait Series is available at area tackle stores, as well as Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and online at

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Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and