Over the past few years I have fished more and more swim baits for both largemouth and stripers.

There is something about the paddle tail moving through the water that attracts fish and when it gets cold like now it can really shine.

A swim bait is a lure that can be fished in a river up on the flats or deep on a drop off depending on what you are looking for but no matter where you fish it you will get bites.

I have caught 35-pound stripers on the Chesapeake Bay and the very next day caught a 5 pound largemouth in a pond. I like to throw my swim baits on bait casting equipment filled with at least 12-pound Izorline and a tight drag.

When casting to bridge pilings I like to throw ahead of the boat and let the bait fall parallel to the structure till it hits bottom then jerk it off the bottom and work it back to the boat.

You never know where the bite will come from so work the entire water column till you get a bite. Sometimes you can see the fish on the electronics and it will let you put it right where it is needed.

Throw past the piling then and retrieve the bait back at the proper depth.

If I am fishing for largemouth then I like to throw it up to the drop off then slow it down and let it fall down the slope of the bank. The fish tend to be suspended off the bottom so when I do hit bottom I jerk the bait while retrieving trying to draw a strike.

Some days they are up shallow like after the warm days we have had but when it drops again they could be as deep as 20 feet.

Swim baits come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes but I like to throw the Storm swim bait in pearl or chartreuse in five and six inch for stripers but for largemouth I tend to downsize to four inch especially in the ponds.

The bait is smaller and you are trying to match the hatch. If you get a chance to get out this week make sure you tie a swim bait on and give it a try you won’t be disappointed.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore reports are slim to none but they had a few yellowfin and blackfin caught and brought back to the docks.

Most of the boats are commercial fishing and the charters are slim this time of year so any news is good news.

On the surf the only action to speak of is around Hatteras and Buxton. They had some speckled trout and puppy drum around the jetties and the point is hot and cold but mostly sharks.

The piers had mostly dogfish and skate but Jennette’s had some shad.

Here locally the crappie bite was pretty good with lots of fish being caught on spider rigs and soft plastics during a slow troll. We have been getting some pretty good stripers on the sound bridge trolling Yozuri lures.

Every day is a different color but I like to stick to the blues and whites. There is a cold front moving in this weekend and another later in the week.

It looks like the real winter is on the way so if you want to get out now is the time.

Hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike or email me at fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com.