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Osinski’s Texas-Rigged Swimbait

Osinski’s Texas-Rigged Swimbait
Val Osinski adds a skirt to his swimbait to attract more bites.

The Lake Toho Walmart FLW Tour event is just a week away. As with most major springtime tournaments in Florida, two general techniques are likely to dominate in the standings: flipping and “winding.” The latter refers to winding a moving bait, such as a swimbait, swim jig or ChatterBait, through shallow cover. The swimbait, when rigged properly, can be the most weedless and versatile of the three.

Pompano Beach, Fla., pro Val Osinski leads the Lake Okeechobee Rayovac FLW Series event for the second consecutive day.

Lake Okeechobee Rayovac FLW Series champion Val Osinski relied on a unique Texas-rigged swimbait paired with a Gambler KO Punch Skirt on the final day of his tournament win. It’s an option that Tour pros might find handy next week when they take to the waters of Lake Toho.

Here are the details:

Texas-rigged swimbait exposed.

  • 6/0 wide-gap Gamakatsu hook
  • Gambler Big EZ or EZ Swimmer swimbait
  • Gambler KO Starflash Punch Skirt
  • pegged tungsten sinker

 

Where It Originated

Osinski says the rig originated in the Everglades in south Florida where anglers hunt miles of grass-filled water for individual fish with the trolling motor at max speed. A swimbait that can be wound in quickly without constantly snagging is a perfect search tool.

This rig outperforms a swim jig and even a swimbait rigged on a standard weighted swimbait hook because the bullet-shaped sinker helps “part” the vegetation.

“I bring two sets of batteries because I burn through a set by lunchtime,” Osinski says of his Everglades outings. “That rig is so efficient for casting and reeling because it never gets hung up in anything.”

At Okeechobee

On day three at Okeechobee, strong winds roiled the surface and pushed enough water into needle grass “hayfields” where bass were spawning that Osinksi couldn’t visually identify the beds that he had previously marked on his GPS. The rig was a perfect solution. He locked down with his Power-Poles and quickly fan-cast each area until he made contact with the fish.

Rig Keys

  • The Starflash series of KO Punch Skirts is made of round rubber that really flares as the swimbait moves, giving it extra visual appeal.
  • Usually, Osinski uses the Gambler Big EZ, but on the final day at Okeechobee he switched to the smaller EZ Swimmer because fish were swiping at his rig and missing the hook. Using the shorter swimbait effectively moved the hook point back closer to the swimming tail where fish were more likely get the business end in the mouth.
  • Osinski will use 1/8- to 1/2-ounce sinkers, depending on the depth and speed that he wants to fish. The rig can be waked on the surface or worked within the water column by changing weights and/or adjusting the retrieve speed.

At Toho

When the Tour visits Toho, a lot of what pros use will depend on where bass are in the spawn and day-to-day conditions. If they’re locked on beds in thick cover under sunny skies, flipping will probably be the supreme tactic. Same if bass are sulled up with a case of lockjaw – the slower flipping presentation is usually better then.

But if bass are actively cruising the shallows, schooling on bait, set up on clumps of submerged vegetation in more open areas or scattered on beds throughout large “reedy” fields, a swimbait rig such as this could get the call.


 

 

Tags: val-osinski  texas-rigging  lake-toho  gambler-lures  swimbait  curtis-niedermier  pro-tips-weekly 

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