“I loved that movie,” said 15 year old Isaac, “but I couldn’t believe it was the name of a fishing bait as well.I thought Dad was kidding when he said y’all caught your fish on Usual Suspects last week.“Which came first…..the movie or the bait?”

I couldn’t answer that question, but after consistently catching both reds and trout on a very windy day, Isaac was hoarding empty packages rather than bothering to try recalling which colors worked the best.He initially planned to order some after Thanksgiving, but called later to say that they found almost every color and size at Simon Outfitters before leaving town the following morning.

I didn’t buy into the Baton Rouge based H & H product as quickly as Isaac.As a matter of fact, it took two years of getting consistently worn out by Capt. Adam Jaynes and Capt. Johnny Cormier before I ever gave their Tsunami Swim bait an honest shot.Not surprisingly, I discovered it to be very difficult to find in area tackle shops so I fished them only when I found them while shopping for other baits.

Enter Tal Cowan, the owner of the popular Texas Tackle Factory line up.While talking with him about his own baits he mentioned that H&H was about to come out with a Swim Bait and based on their track record it would be a good one.Cowan’s forecast proved to be right on the money.

Only weeks after that conversation, I purchased my first package of three inch Suspects and that sealed the deal with Swim Baits for me.There are, without question, several other very good Swim baits on the market, but their color choices are more limited and the four inch Suspect tracks just as true as the shorter version.

When you are in the business of providing clients with tackle two hundred plus days a year, the ultimate hope is that one size and one color fits all and that the lure is durable.I have found them to be no more or no less durable than any of the other quality Swim Baits and, much to my chagrin; I have discovered that both color and size can make a huge difference on any given day.In my opinion, that is where the Suspect really shines!

I have had enough days where the three inch version was hotter than the four inch and vice versa and I have caught fish on one color when they would not touch another.More importantly, I have heard the same thing from the majority of fishermen that have elevated them to their starting line-ups.Size is usually not as critical as color when fishing a Suspect at any depth and I still find that the smaller version yields more strikes.

Easily the most appealing trait of the lure is that it is as effective bumped off the bottom in fifteen feet of water as it is fished on a slow steady retrieve in less than two feet of water. For the most part, regardless of depth, it is at its best when fished on a slow steady retrieve.It can be difficult making yourself fish it that way after imparting some kind of action with conventional tails for years, but it’s the vibration of the paddle tail that most attracts fish.

As much as I wish there were, there is no single bait or color that will catch fish everyday regardless of the weather or water clarity.There are also baits that are more fun to catch fish on than others (any size topwater), but at the very least, the swim bait is a user-friendly bait that requires little more than casting and retrieving.

We caught a lot of good fish today on the four inch version and I may well zero on it tomorrow, but if I crash and burn with any Swim Bait….. it will be with a Usual Suspect!

Thus far, the runoff from last weekend’s downpour has dirtied up the river a little, but it still hasn’t slowed down the bite to any significant degree.We did a little better on trout and reds fishing brighter colors like space guppy and wildfire tiger, but I think most any color pattern that includes a chartreuse tail will work.

Two days in a row we kept two fish flounder limits that averaged better than three pounds and we didn’t fish for them until after tiring of catching reds and trout.All of the flounder were taken on either a three inch Swim Bait or a quarter ounce spinnerbait with a chartreuse Gulp swimming mullet body.

There was just enough low land flooding from Saturday’s downpour to dislodge some pretty significant floaters and send them down both Cow and Adams bayou.Slow down and consider starting your day after first light if you haven’t been out in a while.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo – Chris fooled this nice red with a four inch Suspect!