The Big Fish Recipe: Paddletail Tricks To Catch Bigger Fish


You’ve got to use these THREE paddletail tricks to catch bigger fish this summer!

Paddletails are the most versatile lure you can use to target inshore saltwater gamefish.

Below are just a few ways you can manipulate this lure to catch even more and even bigger fish.

Take a look!

The Big Fish Recipe [VIDEO]

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Paddletail Tricks To Catch Bigger Fish

Right now, there is a lot of small baitfish and fresh hatch out gathered into schools in saltwater.

In turn, the diet of redfish, seatrout, snook, and more are centered around small fry bait.

However, the larger fish would rather not expend the energy needed to chase down a meal that wouldn’t satisfy them.

In these situations, the larger fish tend to have their eye on larger bait.

A way to trigger strikes from bigger fish is to actually change it up and ‘unmatch’ the hatch.

If you want to try and pluck a giant fish out from the rest, switch over to a larger profile-sized lure.

The goal is to use a lure that is just slightly bigger than the rest of the bait in the water.

Lures & Hook Choice

The Slam Shady BOMBER is the perfect lure for this application.

It is a 5-inch paddletail lure that is slightly larger than the common paddletail size of around 3-3.5 inches.

Bigger fish would much rather try and eat a larger meal that will satisfy their hunger in one swoop rather than waste energy chasing down a bunch of smaller fish.

Larger fish are out here looking for a big, easy meal they can pluck off without exerting much energy at all.

Steady, straight retrieves of a paddletail lure will often trigger strikes but this may not be the case when targeting larger fish.

It can definitely be a challenge to make your presentation stand out to larger fish if you are just straight reeling it in.

So the goal here is to create a retrieve that makes it easy for larger fish to commit.

I’ve found the best hooks to use in these scenarios are Hoss Helix Hooks in the 4/0 size weighing 1/8 oz.

You want your presentation to remain weedless while also creating an enticing fall as the lure descends back down to the bottom.

You almost want to mimic reeling in a small jerk shad when working this presentation.

Also, this type of presentation is ideal for 2 feet of water to at most 5 feet.

The Hoss Helix Hook pairs excellently with the Slam Shady BOMBER and also has the best glide as it falls to the bottom.

Lure Retrieve

You first should cast out the BOMBER and then give it plenty of time to be able to settle down at the bottom.

Additionally, the cooler water will be down near the bottom because the water at the top is in direct sunlight all summer heating up.

Once your lure reaches the bottom, you can start to give it just a few slight hops by moving your rod up and down.

You also should slowly reel in the line just to get the slack out after each fall.

The bite will often come as the lure is falling back down to the bottom.

I sometimes like to occasionally pause and let my lure sit there completely still.

Redfish are often rooting around in the mud looking for a meal so their faces are angled down.

Seatrout are looking up to see if an easy meal is coming right over their heads.

So if your lure looks like it is coming out of the grass at the bottom or gliding back down, a predatory fish will key in on that and be tempted to strike.

Constant erratic retrieves or too many twitches can spook fish away from your lure and totally blow up that spot.

Focus on creating a natural and smooth up and down glide along the bottom.

This type of retrieve is a bit more methodical and is much slower than you’d normally be accustomed to.

But that is what will trigger strikes from larger fish.

Additional Lure Scent

Big fish become big fish for a reason.

They are a bit smarter than the other fish and they use all of their senses when they are feeding.

One thing you can do to boost your lure presentation is to add some extra scent.

The Dr. Juice Saltwater Slam Scent is exclusive to Salt Strong and you can only get that in our online tackle shop.

Dr. Juice uses biological research and fish pheromones to hit fish’s sense of smell and trigger strikes.

Bull redfish often rely on their olfactory sense to guide them when digging around in the mud.

Additional scent can create a path leading them right to your lure.

It is all about implementing as much as you can to make your lure seem as natural and as enticing as possible.

Furthermore, I use the bags Salt Strong lures are shipped in to pre-scent my lures before hitting the water.

All you have to do is put a few lures you want to use on your next trip in a soft plastic lure bag and drop in a few droplets of Dr. Juice.

Shake it up and let that marinate and you’ve got ultra-scented lures ready to go.


Big fish are smart and they are smart for different reasons.

All it takes is some critical thinking and a whole lot of patience to toss out a presentation that giant fish just cannot resist.

What do you think of the Big Fish Recipe?

Let me know in the comments!

If you know someone who wants to learn more about these paddletail tricks to catch more fish, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Steven Free
6 months ago

Sounds like a good plan to me and although I do use paddletails I have never thought of retrieving them like a jerk bait I would imagine it would work and I do have the bomber paddletails you guys sell as well as some others in that size range usually for refs and flounder both after the early morning top water bite is over I usually use a spinnerbait but my girlfriend I usually just rig a paddletail for her but I might just have to rig one for her and have her fish it like you Saif and see how she does because she usually fishes a lot slower then me and also she only has spinning tackle where for spinnerbaits I have found baitcasting tackle works best anyways thanks for the tips and all you do😉

Michael Quimuyog
7 months ago

Thanks for the great tips Matt I’m definitely gonna apply these tips to my next trip thanks again.

Justin Ritchey
7 months ago

Very helpful tips, Brother! Thanks for sharing this!

Courtney Ashburn
7 months ago

On point as always brother

Pat Ogletree
7 months ago

Great info Matt!

Phillip Butler
7 months ago

All good 👍🏼😎

Mark Ethridge
7 months ago

Great stuff Matt but I have a couple of questions. What size reel are you using on the Bolt? I have the Certate 4000-CXH on mine. Where are you getting your Island Blue J-braid from? Justin said it would not be added to the store last time I requested it. Once again your casting technique, You seem to be able to launch light lures pretty far.

Steven Micheli
7 months ago

Great video, Matt. I don’t mind the repetition, since I’m older and need it! I also like the idea of soaking the paddletails in Dr. Juice in the bag; so that I don’t have to mess up my kayak and I can avoid losing the juice dribble in the drink!

Joseph Koziol
7 months ago

Solid info. Well presented. Thanks so much.

James Rogers
7 months ago

Thanks Matt that is a great lesson, took it all to heart and am following your instructions to the letter. Thank you so much Brother


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