Andrew Schadegg /

4 Tips to Fishing Glide Baits

Glide baits are quickly becoming one of the most popular techniques in bass fishing. If you're not sure where to start, check out these quick tips to making glide baits a little more accessible.

Just look at your favorite lure manufacturers and when you see most of them developing a certain type of bait, you know it’s getting hot with everyday fisherman.

Glide baits are THAT BAIT right now.

Glide baits are hinged in sections with two, three or more segments that literally “glide” through the water seductively as you retrieve it back to the boat. These can be as short as 4 inches and as long as 12 or more inches. Their recent popularity is no surprise to anybody that has had success with them or the giant bass chasers across the country.

Andrew Schadegg / A Big Mess of Prespawn Smallmouth Caught on a Glide Bait

Just like when traditional swimbaits busted onto the scene, the glide bait has a bit of a learning curve and can be intimidating to those who haven’t thrown them. Here’s a handful of tips on when and how to fish these very effective, big bass catching baits:

1. Start Out With a Smaller Version

Looking up glide baits on Tackle Warehouse can be a bit overwhelming. You can choose anything from a 4-inch River2Sea S-Waver 120 ($15.99) to the 12-inch Roman Made Mother that retails for $439.99. A good start for those that haven’t fished them before is something like the 6-inch S-Waver 168S for $18.99 or the 5 or 6 inch Savage Gear Glide Swimmer. They’re big enough to still get the reaction you’re looking for, but small enough to not be overwhelming OR break the bank!

2. Remember it’s Not Just About Catching Fish

The first thing to remember when you’re fishing a glide bait, is that it has more applications than just catching fish. Many of the best anglers in the country fish glide baits primarily to FIND fish. They are amazing fish locators! If the water clarity is good enough to see a few feet into the water, as you’re slowly retrieving a glide bait back to the boat or shoreline PAY ATTENTION. Many times you’ll see a giant fish following not far behind. Bass have a tendency to track glide baits very well, so if you’re trying to locate where the biggest fish in a lake are living, this is a great technique to get them to show themselves.

3. A Ripple on the Water is Your Best Friend

If it’s slick calm with some decent water clarity, what you’ll find (if you’re paying attention) is that fish will follow the bait for a while, but peel off somewhere between half way or three quarters of the way back to the boat. This is because they are seeing you standing there and get skittish. Once the wind picks up even a little bit, the strike rate now goes up a ton! So, if you’re seeing a lot of followers and they aren’t committing, make sure you return to that area when the wind picks up and you’ll be surprised how often you start catching those same fish right away.

4. Vary Up Your Retrieve

Without a doubt, the best retrieve for a glide bait is just slow and steady, where the bait weaves its way back and forth in the water. This is a great place to start. What you’ll find as you learn the technique, is that sometimes a little variance is a great thing. Try giving the bait a couple quick reel turns to make it dance from one side to the other or two or three quick turns and then stop for a couple seconds. Letting it just drop and slowly sink can also be a deadly way to get followers to commit. Play around a bit with it and you’ll find that mixing up retrieves can be a fun way to get them to bite.

If you commit to learning the glide bait technique, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most bone-jarring strikes, you’ve ever experienced. It will bring new meaning to getting the rod ripped out of your hand! Top Stories