ZMAN Slim Swimz: Catch More Bass & Panfish With This Bait

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One of the best ways to catch bass and other panfish is by using a bait that looks like a baitfish. This is what they’re already eating and the Slim Swimz from ZMAN does a great job at doing that. In this post, I’m going to be talking about what color works the best, how to rig everything up, and then how to actually fish it.

I’m not saying these colors are guaranteed to work the best for you and I’m not saying the technique will outperform anything else. What I am saying is that these colors and techniques have worked the best for me. I really don’t see any reason why they won’t catch you fish and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the colors. I’ll also go over the gear I like to use.

ZMAN Slim Swimz Color For Bass & Panfish

Like I said before, if you’re fishing the right area and there are fish around, you should have no problems catching fish on most of the colors available. I have noticed that a few colors work a bit better in dirty water while others work better in clear water.

My favorite color to use to catch bass and other panfish is anything that’s natural-looking. White, silver, brown, black, red, and green are all common colors that they’re already used to seeing. What you’ll want to think about is what the fish are already eating. Your bait should imitate that as well as it can.

I’ve still caught fish using the most unnatural looking lures but it doesn’t seem to work as well. Certain times of the year they won’t really care, but when the bite is slow, it could make all the difference.

If there are a lot of small shiners swimming around then you might want to throw a white or silver Slim Swimz out. If there are a lot of crawfish in the area, you’d probably be better off throwing something that’s red. It’s not an exact science but it’s what I’ve noticed over the years.

If the water is nice and clean, I’ve found white, black, and brown to work well. If the water is super dirty, I’ve found the brighter colors to work a bit better (red, lighter green, lighter brown). This is pretty much the case for all baits and lures.

As for the size, I generally prefer to use the 2.5 inch Slim Swimz (see on Amazon).

How Do You Rig A ZMAN Slim Swimz?

Obviously, the two things you’re going to need is your Slim Swimz and hook. You should have already thought about what the fish are already eating and picked a similar color. Now we can talk a little bit about what hook to use (it’s important).

My favorite hook to use is a 1/16 oz mushroom jig head (see on Amazon). It’s not the only one you can use but it seems to fit really well on the Swimz and doesn’t take away from the natural action. Next, we have to rig it up the right way.

1/15 oz Mushroom Jig Head

The first thing you’ll want to do is lay the hook on top of the Swimz to get a good idea where the hook should come out. If you don’t, it’ll be tough getting the hook to sit on straight.

How To Rig A Slim Swimz 1

The next thing you’ll want to do is take the hook and put it through the face on the Swimz. Make sure it’s going directly through the center of the face. The tail of the Swimz should be pointing down.

How To Rig A Slim Swimz 2

After that, you’ll want to start pushing the Swimz onto the jig. Once it gets to the point where you measured, you’ll want to start working the hook out through the top of the Swimz. Make sure everything is sitting nice and straight, otherwise, you’ll get some wonky action moving through the water.

How To Rig A Slim Swimz 3

I also want to quickly talk about the other gear you should be using.

When it comes to your rod, you’ll want to use a lightweight spinning rod. I like a 6.5-7 foot rod myself but the choice is completely up to you. The reason you want something light is that it’ll be really tough to cast the Swimz if you’re using a heavier rod. There isn’t much weight behind it and that’s why you need a whippy rod.

When it comes to fishing line, I like using a 10 lb braid with a fluorocarbon leader. I like braid because it’s super thin, is stronger than mono/fluoro, and it’s much more sensitive. I like fluorocarbon because it sinks and is invisible in the water. I like tying the two lines directly together using the Surgeon’s Knot (see how here). If you want to use mono or fluoro then I’d recommend sticking with 4-6 lb test.

How Do You Fish A ZMAN Slim Swimz?

There are a number of ways to fish this bait and I don’t really think there’s a right and wrong way. If there are fish in the area then they should bite. I do have a few favorites though and that’s what I’ll be talking about.

One thing to keep in mind is when and where to fish the Swimz. I’ve been able to catch fish all year round pretty much but it is designed for mid-spring to mid-summer fishing. It’s also designed for shallower water.

It won’t work that well in deeper water because it’s pretty lightweight and the jig won’t be able to sink too far. You could attach more weight but it will mess with the natural action of the Swimz.

Method 1: Cast and retrieve. This is the most basic way to fish this setup but it is still super effective. If you’re brand new to fishing then this is probably the method for you. All you have to do is cast it out as far as you can, let it sink down to the bottom, and slowly start reeling in. You’ll want to reel in so that the hook is swimming one or two feet off the bottom.

Method 2: Cast and jig. This method is a little bit more advanced but it does seem to catch a few more fish. It’s pretty similar to the first and is what I use 90% of the time. You can only really use this method if there isn’t anything to get snagged on. All you have to do is cast it out as far as you can, let it sink to the bottom, jig your rod tip up, reel in the slack, and repeat. All you’re doing is bouncing the Swimz off the bottom and that’ll give it a bit more action.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. I created this site to test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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