The bass may be done spawning in most parts of the country, but except in the deepest parts of the south bass where summer patterns have begun anglers would be wise to keep their eyes and attention focused on spawning areas. In this case, it’s not where bass spawn, but rather the hard surfaces where shad do their business or the shallow flats where bluegills reproduce. If you can find them when they’re flopping and guarding, you know they’re easy pickings for bass eager to feed up after the rigors of producing young of their own.
Bill Lowen uses a lot of different lures to capitalize on the spawning baitfish bite, but the one that gets the most use – because it’s weedless, has a great hook-up ratio, and is virtually infinitely customizable – is a swim jig. More often than not, his trailer of choice is the Optimum Double Diamond swimbait. The natural flow of the body provokes predators relying on sight to find, and the hard-kicking tail draws in others from a distance.
“It is simply my number one trailer for this time of the year,” he said. “Everything revolves around some kind of spawn, so I’ll often have two tied on, one a typical shad-type deal in white, pearl, gray or blue, and the other in some type of bluegill color.” The only time he’ll deviate from those two general patterns and black/blue is when he’s around smallmouth, who often demand the gaudiness of pink or chartreuse.
In addition to being a very natural presentation that resembles the edible size of most baitfish, the swim jig and Double Diamond combination excels because it can be fished fast without rolling or coming out of the water. That’s critical in a shad spawn situation that may only last for a short time each day, perhaps as little as 15 minutes, or maybe up to 3 hours if you’re lucky. It becomes essential to cover water and that’s what this package can accomplish with ease.
Lowen has vacillated on his preferred jig over the years, but ultimately made the decision to head back to his roots and rely exclusively on the Backstroke Swim Jig from Lure Parts Online. He was dismayed and disappointed by the fact that many other jigs became heavier and less “skippable” over time. “The Backstroke is the absolutely perfect weight and shape for skipping up under docks and into bushes and it holds that Double Diamond perfectly in place. You don’t need any glue to keep it there, which saves you time over the course of the day.” Of course, you’ll need to bring more than one, because eventually the vicious strikes will tear the bait up, but that’s a small price to pay for big limits of fish.
Lowen has had a solid start to the 2016 season so far and currently sits in 14th for AOY points as of 6/6/2016. Hopefully the Double Diamond will continue to put fish in his livewell!