Underwater Sight Fishing – Which Lures Work Best?

Ever wondered why one lure works better than another? Let’s head underwater to see the differences between a variety of swimbaits. As we watch, Tim explains why each bait is effective and how to use it most effectively.

Ever wondered why so many youtubers throw small swimbaits for their underwater footage? This is why! Its very easy to get a bass interested in a swimbait. Bass are hardwired to defend their nests against predators.
Swimbaits are a perfect imitation of a variety of predators that bass face. However, a swimbait is rarely the best bait for CATCHING the bed fish. For this style of fishing they have an incredibly poor hookup to land ratio. You’re much better off using a small swimbait as a tool to aggravate the fish, then using a traditional bait to get the final bite.

The swimbaits…
Mattlures Ultimate Bluegill:
Storm WildEye Live Sunfish:
Little Creeper Baby Trash Fish:
Little Creeper All American Sunfish:
*Paired with Trokar 5/0:
Keitech Fat 2.8, 3.8,4.8 Swimbait:
*Paired with…
2.8 and 3.8 exposed- Dirty Jigs Guppy Head:
4.8 exposed – Matt Allen Swimbait Head:
Weedless Rigging for all sizes – Owner Flashy Swimmer:

Additional baits Matt uses for this Aggrevation method…
Castaic 4″ and 6″:
Mattlures U2 Bluegill:
Basstrix 6″ Paddletail:
Basstrix Bait Fry Bluegill:

You do not need a dedicated swimbait rod for this technique because you’re not actually trying to hook the fish on this setup. However, bait control is key so you do need a very stout “flipping” style rod to control the bait on short casts. Any flipping rod will work but here is our setup…

Rod- Shimano Expride 7’11” XH:
Reel- Shimano Curado 200K 7:1 Ratio:
Line- 65 lb Power Pro MaxCuatro:
Leader- Tim- 20 lb Sunline Sniper:
– Matt- 20 lb Maxima Ultragreen:

Budget Combo that can handle all of the baits listed above…
Rod- Exage 7’6″ Heavy:
Reel- Shimano Casitas 150:
Line- 65 lb Power Pro:
Leader- 20 lb Maxima Ultragreen:

Glasses are CRITICAL to sight fishing. We both wear the exact same glasses when sight fishing, they’re the best lenses we’ve found at ANY price. It just happens that they’re affordable. Check these out…

Eye Surrender ESE Glasses (Amber or Copper Lense):

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Other gear you see us wearing…
Sun Mask:
Sun Shirt w/ Hood:
Light Fishing Pants:
Horizon Sweater (Water resistant, great for layering):

Equipment We Recommend…

Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor:
Minn Kota Battery Charger:
Humminbird Solix 15 Electronics:
Minn Kota Talons:
Wireless Talon Foot Switch:

Favorite Pliers:
Favorite Split Ring Pliers:
Favorite Wire Cutters:
Favorite life jacket:
Favorite sunglasses:
Hero5 Camera:
ElectroSamson Scale:
Promar Net:

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37 Replies to “Underwater Sight Fishing – Which Lures Work Best?”

  1. Its fun to catch bedded bass, but there is no skill in it and if done in ponds it can hurt your population. So always catch and release if not in a tournament..

  2. I started using the Keitech swim baits after seeing them in one of your videos a long while ago and caught a bunch of fish with them but never used them for sight fishing but I will now. Thanks Matt and Tim

  3. So is bed fishing about the only time that storm bluegill works? Anyways thanks for sharing never really considered a swimbait for bed fishing. Right now the fish in my area are in all different stages. There’s fish on beds but not really locked to them.

  4. One lure that has worked for me during the spawn/bedding was the jerkbait. It has 2 or 3 exposed treble hooks so your hook up ratio is going to be much better. Not only that the jerkbaits also imitate a bait fish very well triggering those bass to bite it.

  5. Found this Youtube vid with underwater footage to add to our bass bedding education:
    "Largemouth Bass Behavior: The Spawn."
    Sunfish defense strategy vs Bass @ 34mins 30 seconds into the footage.
    Notice the Sunfish flaring their spiny dorsal fin to defend from the bass' attack and thereby limiting a strike to its caudal fin (tail).
    I think this defense gives the appearance of the bass attacking the tail because it's moving.
    The bass may actually be trying to avoid injuring itself on the sunfish' spines and has to strike near the tail.
    Matt eluded to this in a couple vids. In particular when he told us about finding bass dead with a bluegill caught in their throat.
    If the bass could kill the sunfish it would. But is forced to nip at the tail.
    So maybe mod your soft plastic bluegill baits with a hook closer to the tail while bed fishing when keeping the bait in place is more important than the swimming action.

  6. Will you do a video on how the weather affects line while it's on a reel… like being in the sun or fishing freezing temps. I know it affects mono and floro but what about braid? And is Berkley trilene floro or mono?

  7. As always, another awesome video. You guys are absolutely the authority when it comes to tips, info, and recommendations. I value your opinions and expertise more than anyone else's. Thanks for all you guys do.

  8. I was fishing for this one bass on a bed and he was very skittish with my traditional bed baits so I pick up my chatterbait and threw past the bed and he came off the bed ten feet and creamed it! He got hooked outside the mouth so I had to let him go. I left him alone for about 15 minutes and threw the chatt back at him and bam got a clean hook up. Every fish is so different and I love it!

  9. I just got home from fishing and just saw this video I was using some of the same exact baits and this video is spot on the bass were behaving the same way great video great baits great knowledge thanks for the information its helped me catch alot more big fish over the last year

  10. Best fishing channel by a mile! Question…. sort of related to bed fishing but not exactly… what's your opinion on using rod weights to balance your rods to get the most sensitivity? This would make a good video in itself to talk about rod position as well as hand position. Keep the killer content coming!

  11. last year in texas i used a giant pumpkin seed swim bait from bass pro (keitech equivalent 5-6") … and i caught a few spawning females from the bank, one of which i saw come like 20 ft off the bed and did the same thing i saw in that video! not even a protective chase, it just wanted that as a meal! i love swim baits more than jigs and creatures for bed fishing! its a whole different reaction! Again sadly again i am missing this years spawn because of this military rotational deployment 🙁

  12. it seems like these bed fish always just bite the tail of the baits. if you had a treble hook on the tail, you would probably hook a lot more fish?

  13. You guys share more about nuances of tactics than any channel I have seen, the most forthcoming with high level experience knowledge than anybody. You guys are phenomenal sources of knowledge for anglers of all levels. The value of the knowledge you share provides insights to all freshwater species, the way TB instructs and teaches enhances any angler in a wide range of fishing styles! Sincerely, one grateful subscriber

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