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Im looking into putting some time into swimbait fishing this year and was wondering what everyones favorite/most productive size is? ive been mostly looking at big hammer swimbaits they offer 3" 4" 5" 5.5" 6.5" and larger sizes. just wondering what you guys have been using
 

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What kind and size forage do the fish feed on where you are fishing? I would start there and maybe go slightly larger. Most shad I see getting chased, hanging out of gullets and coughed up are in the 3-4" range at the most, not to say they dont eat bigger shad, that just seems to be what I see the most of.
 

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Definitely go with the forage size, as Neil stated. Even a little bigger, depending on the body of water. If your fishing area has the possibility of larger bait, then up size. The big gals would rather eat once than chase a bunch of smaller ones around. I have caught a bass or two on sizes up to 9 inches...
 

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goin really big will show ya the position of some of the larger specimens in the body of water ya fishin. as many of the largest will follow a bait they won't hit, but will show themselves so you can fish for them with other baits, an be confident ya fishin the rite area! to actually fish one to catch fish, the others are rite, match the hatch...
 

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Match the hatch.

Belews for example has smaller shad and I have done much better with smaller baits in the 3 to 3.5" range. Randleman has somewhat bigger shad and I see guys throwing a fair number of 4 and 5" swimbaits. However, I still fish the 3 and 4" size there, and the few times I have actually really used a swimbait, they seemed to work pretty well.
 

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As far as hard swimbaits that are easily cast with standard gear, a bbz-1 shad will work at Falls, or pretty much anywhere (regardless of what the forage is). A French pearl sebile magic swimmer 125 or 165 is another good general purpose swimbait with a slim profile for its size, and even small fish will go after it. You can periodically find those for around $5, which sort of makes up for their tendency to stick to anything they touch. Just get the versions with the right sink rate for the depth you want to target and practice somewhere you can see the bait well to learn how to avoid fouling the hooks on directional changes.

When you think about matching the hatch, don't feel like you have to stick with shad either. I don't know how you'd fare with a 8-inch rainbow trout bait, but (>5-inch) sunfish, perch, and bass patterns can be very productive. What happens to young stripers and hybrids in lakes that stock them ...
 

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Red X Angler
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Sunfish are a huge part of the forage in Falls. Bream swimbaits would have to work well.
 
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