Posted on

Now this is Baitswimming

Caught just outside the Umzimkulu River mouth by Marc Lange 37kg king mackerel

Now this is Baitswimming

An Introduction to Baitswimming: legendary lure designer Brian Davey came up with the baitswimming concept, way back in the mid-eighties.

Brian developed a complex and thorough thesis (inches thick) written on the hydrodynamic principles that allow big fish to swim with such speed and power. Relating the fish’s body to a wing foil that generates highly efficient thrust with each slight, or massive movement. And so the bigger the fish, the faster it can go!

And with this, Brian suggested that by instigating movement in the “baitswimmer” head, the swimming motion will transfer via the swinging hook or pin, and impart to the bait. Brian was awarded patents worldwide for the design and he also trademarked the brand Mydo.

“Bait swimming is the art of imparting realistic action to your bait – with a bait swimmer head.”

Mydo Designer – Sean Lange

The lures were originally made of a lead composite alloy and were very difficult to make as well as being rather damaging to the environment.

Composite construction

And so as of the past few seasons we have changed to a composite epoxy/resin combination. And a number of other lighert and weighted materials that we hope are also a lot more lightweight on the environment. We will be using recycled plastic in the manufacture of our lures in the very near future too.

The new designs certainly do add a new dynamic to the baitswimmer as the hook which used to be incumbent on the lure before – is now free to impart that swimming motion just like it should.

The heads are through rigged they connect the head to the first single hook the main single hook on the trace that goes back up through the head and gets tied with the uni-knot (for infinite adjustment) and that creates the pin-like effect with which the action of the head is imparted to the bait.

Having this joint slightly loose and articulated really adds to the motion and the lure swims better and better as you fine-tune the setup.

So this is bait swimming. Choosing the right weighted baitswimmer head for your bait. And getting the perfect swimming action by adjusting speed and retrieve.

Right bait

Baitswimmers were originally developed to swim a badly behaved shad or pesky spinning sardine. Well, man do they work! Shad are notoriously bad swimmers once dead. But the Mydo #3 weighing in at an ounce and a half, will have that shad swimming straight and true.

MYDO #3 Couta Trace Silver Bullet
MYDO #3 Couta Trace Silver Bullet with a shad / bluefish /tailor rigged and ready.

By fishing a plastic bait on a single hook rigged Mydo, you enter the realm of drop-shotting. However, now you can choose the exact hook that you will be needing for the fish you are targeting.

Choosing a longer shank hook can get that hook right back in the bait for you…

Where the fish bite!

Right weight

Mydos Baitswimmers come in many shapes and sizes. You can choose more weight in the same form-factor and size as you specifically need it. Bearing in mind that the less weight you deploy, the better action you will get from your bait. Getting the balance right is easy with baitswimmer sizes ranging from a quarter and ounce right up to 5 ounces.

Right speed

Mydo Baitswimmers operate at all speeds. But generally, the faster you go, the more you get from the rig. A good solid bait like a halfbeak will swim perfectly at marlin speed all day until it gets eaten.

Throwing an erratic, slower action at the lure, when rigged for dropshot, produces wild results. Veering left and right, up and down – but never spinning.


Choosing where to pull the baitswimmer related to the position of the knot or choice of hole.

For high speeds, use the very front hole, down on the keel. You would also be using a slightly heavier weight for baitswimmer size, for going really fast.

Move to the front top hole for slower speeds or for more action.

Slide the uni-knot backward to increase to a really radical angle of attack.

But beware.

For this is how you can end up spinning your bait. Too much speed, not enough weight, and too much angle of attack.