Angler Brandon Humbertson (pictured on the right) has had an excellent year fishing both recreationally and competitively. I had a chance to talk to this Maryland angler about one of his favorite techniques and one of his favorite places to fish, the Keitech Swing Impact on the Potomac River.
What is it that you like overall about the Keitech Swing Impact swimbaits?
I think what really stands out about this bait is the combination of lifelike swimming action, strong squid scent and balance…never allowing the bait to roll…and versatility. For example, it can be used as a trailer on either a spinnerbait, chatterbait or swim jig, and can also be Texas rigged, Carolina rigged, or simply rigged weightless. You can use a straight retrieve, drag the bottom and skip it under docks. The uses are endless which gives it the advantage over all other swimbaits on the market.
What makes the Keitech Swing Impact on the Potomac River a go-to choice for you?
Largemouth on the Potomac feed on shad year-round which can be matched with the variations of colors and sizes available from Keitech. When rigged weedless, the Keitech Swing Impact on the Potomac River comes through the grass easily making it an effective search bait and invoking reaction bites because of its lifelike action at any retrieval speed.
When fishing a grassy area such as Belmont Bay, I like to use spinning gear with lighter line, rigged with a weighted twistlock-style hook. I tend to swim the Swing Impact through the grass until it comes into a pocket where I let it fall on slack line. Most bites will come on the fall.
Do you fish the Keitech Swing Impact on the Potomac River all year round?
I don’t typically do a lot of winter fishing. However, I will use this bait from Spring to Fall. In Spring, I like to Carolina rig to drag the bottom or use a weighted twistlock with a slow retrieve to keep contact with the bottom. I also use it as a trailer on a Big Mouth Big Shakey swam around emerging grass and lilly pads.
In the Summer, I tend to prefer sunfish style colors swum through grass weedless or run above the grass as a trailer on a Big Shakey. In the Fall, I will typically downsize and primarily use the Swim Impact as a trailer on a spinnerbait that can be thrown in grass or lay downs throughout the northern part of the Tidal Potomac.
What sizes are you using of the Keitch Swing Impact on the Potomac River?
The Swing Impact comes in sizes from 2 inches all the way up to the new 7.8 inches with the Fat Swim Impact. Personally, I don’t vary my sizes very much. I tend to stay between 3 to 4.5 inches. The variation depends on if I’m using it as a trailer or swum on a weightless twistlock hook.
I’m not sure it matters so much on the difference in size versus the retrieval used. Sometimes bass will strike if its burned through the grass and other times the bite comes on a slack line.
What are your favorite colors for the Keitech Swing Impact on the Potomac River?
Ayu, Pro Blue Red Pearl, Sexy Shad, Electric Blue Chartreuse and Sun Gill. I use baits with white in the Spring and Fall, whereas the summer I’ll use the chartreuse and yellows.
The two colors I have the most confidence in are the Pro Blue Red Pearl and Electric Blue Chartreuse. I use Electric Blue Chartreuse in the Fat Swing Impact as a trailer on a Big Mouth Lures Big Shakey in Sexy, fished around grass and pads in all conditions.
When I need to pick a confidence setup on the Potomac or just about anywhere, I turn to the Keitech 4.3” Fat Swing Impact in Pro Blue Red Pearl rigged on an Owner 1/8oz Twistlock hook or an Owner 1/8oz Flashy Swimmer hook fairly light line and spinning outfit.
What rod, reel, line setup do you use fish the Keitech Swing Impact on the Potomac River?
When throwing the swimbait weightless, weighted or underspin style hooks, I like to use Kistler Rods Helium 3 Spin Light / Med-Heavy 7’0” Fast, Team Lew’s Pro Speed Spin 6.2:1, lined with 8lb P-Line Floroclear.
When using swimbaits as a trailer on a Big Shakey, Spinnerbait or a swimjig, I like the Kistler Rods Magnesium Gen2 Light-Medium-Heavy 6’8” Mod-Fast with a Lew’s Tournament Pro G Speed Spool TPG1H 6.8:1, lined with 15lb P-Line Tactical Fluorocarbon.
Do you also fish it for Susquehanna River smallmouth bass? What are the differences frm when fishing the Keitech Swing Impact on the Potomac River?
I tend to downsize when using swimbaits on Susquehanna sticking to Keitech Easy Shiner or Swim Impact in 3” in Pro Blue Red Pearl and Sexy Shad and throwing it on a un-weighted or lightly weighted twistlock style hook to keep the hook weedless. Thrown above ledges and swum through the falling water to mimic bait fish to trigger waiting small jaws at the bottom of a fall or confluence.
I notice you fish both from a kayak and a bass boat. Are there any tips that kayak anglers should consider that may be different than anglers from a boat when it comes to successfully throwing a swimbait?
Whether fishing from my Skeeter ZX200 or my Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 it doesn’t really affect the way I will use Keitech swimbaits. The only difference from a bass boat and a kayak is the amount of water you can cover. Bass boats can cover distances faster, whereas kayaks can cover water that bass boats can’t get to because of depth, debris or vegetation. There are obvious advantages to both.
Other than the Susquehanna and Lower Potomac, what are some of your other favorite bodies of water to throw a Keitech swimbait?
Anytime I’m fishing grass such as the Upper Bay/Susquehanna Flats or Lake Champlain I’ll throw a weedless swimbait, because of effortless way it comes through the thick stuff and get down to the pockets where the big girls lurk. I also had success this year on the James River during practice of the FLW BFL Regional Championship, using a Fat Swing Impact rigged with an Owner Flashy Swimmer Hook around docks and hard cover. Unfortunately, it didn’t come into play during the tournament and I finished 65th.
Who are your other sponsors?
I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work with some of the best companies in the fishing industry such as Keitech and appreciate the support giving by each. Marine Bass Anglers, Cody Robinson and Army Bass Anglers have been supporters of mine for the last 5 years. This organization supports great causes like Heroes on the Water, Folds of Honor, Returning Heroes Home and Warrior Canine Connection. Being a veteran of the US Marine Corps, I jumped at the opportunity to represent such an outstanding organization to help spread the word and raise awareness. SUPPORT.DEFEND.FISH. As part of this great organization I get to represent other great companies that support our cause like Lew’s, Strike King and Wiley X.
Odyssey Battery is simply the best battery on the market, with a proven 100 year track record with the US Military, aviation and industry around the world. Their batteries are made using 99.99% pure lead, allowing their plates to be thinner for twice the amount of surface area than most other batteries, giving you longer running time. Whether in my Tundra, Skeeter or Wilderness ATAK my Odyssey Batteries have never let me down.
Kistler Rods with Trey Kistler continue to push the industry by relentlessly innovating and developing superior products for anglers everywhere. The rods are light and responsive allowing you to feel the slightness strike but with the strength to muscle a big girl from the grass. I am proud to represent this American made, veteran owned product and business.
P-Line, its copolymer based technology delivering a thin diameter, soft and supple fishing line that brought many advantage into one line is why I began using it. Later falling in love with the 100% Pure Fluorocarbon in their Tactical line made from the best raw materials available. The strength of P-Line is 2nd to none and just wouldn’t trust any other line to land the fish needed to win.
I’m excited for the 2018 season! I just wanted to thank again my family, friends and sponsors for the support giving me the ability to have such a great time chasing green and brown fish around the country.
Thanks so much Brandon. Looking forward to watching on Instagram @brandonhumbertson everything that 2018 brings your way and learning more about fishing the Keitech Swing Impact on the Potomac River.
Read another Dock Talk 365 Interview about Fishing Keitech Swimbaits: Fishing Lake Ontario with Case Smith and Keitech Lures
Read another Dock Talk 365 Interview about Fishing the Potomac River: Fishing a Hybrid Vibe Jig for Potomac River Bass