Swim a Bait Feat. Paul Bailey & Pat Touey

Bass fishing takes on numerous forms, from the simplicity of backyard pond fishing to the apex of competitive tournament angling. Yet, within this pursuit lies a distinct niche: trophy hunting via swimbait fishing. Unlike traditional baits, swimbaits stand out in their uniqueness within an angler's arsenal. Ranging from six to twelve-plus inches in length and weighing two to sixteen ounces, these baits require a quiver of specialized equipment and a different mindset. The adage "big bait, big fish" is the guiding principle, firmly centered on catching the biggest bass in the lake, armed with the largest baits from your tackle box.

Anglers like Paul Bailey and Pat Touey have built their livelihoods around an obsession with the big swimbait bite. Cut from a similar cloth and hailing from Northern California, both Paul and Pat were fortunate to nurture their passion for bass fishing in the epicenter of big bait swimbait fishing. They've invested countless hours on the water chasing the biggest fish in the lake. With experience in both tournament fishing and trophy hunting, they are seasoned veterans in the game, adept at employing swimbaits whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Pat Touey is a prominent figure in the West Coast tournament scene, consistently ranking among the top contenders in circuits like WON Bass and the MLF Toyota Series, as well as local tournaments throughout the Western region. While Pat has established himself as a seasoned tournament angler, he initially honed his skills and achieved success by incorporating swimbaits into his competitive repertoire. Pat has a Toyota Series Lake Havasu championship trophy to show for it, attributing his victory solely to swimbait fishing in the most opportune scenario.

Pat Touey surveys the scene.

Paul Bailey, aptly nicknamed "Big Bait Bailey," made a name for himself as a member of the "Big Bait Posse," showcasing the effectiveness of California swimbaits through their DVD that garnered a cult-like following and created the movement of swimbait fishermen in the early 2000s. Fast forward to the present day and Paul’s M.O. remains unchanged, now operating his Big Bait Bailey Guide Service from the fabled fishery of Clear Lake, California. As a figurehead in the sport, Paul fishes hard on a daily basis, focused on trophy big game hunting.

Big Bite Bailey, eyes on the prize.