When considering what new lure to add to his company’s offerings, Joe D’Agostino of JoeBaggs Tackle saw a gap between the Daiwa Salt Pro Minnow and the Yo-Zuri Mag Darter. He thought he could fill a gap between the two, combining the best qualities of the two.
The Swarter, named for its hybrid appearance between a swimming plug and a darter, takes the long, slender profile of the SP Minnow, and pairs it with a sloped face like the Mag Darter, giving it a unique action. It has a tight wiggle and holds well in moderate surf, but can also be fished at breachways, inlets, rivers, or in back bays. D’Agostino says the Swarter shines in the early spring when spearing are abundant.
- He recommends taking three to five cranks, pausing for a moment, then repeating. The Swarter dives down and flutters back to the surface when paused, imitating a darting spearing and small rain bait.
- When fishing in current, he suggests letting the plug swing, allowing the concave lip to do the work. D’Agostino says it’s crucial to keep the line tight to feel the thump of an attacking fish. He uses a straight retrieve with no added action, but if there is no activity, he adds some twitches to switch the cadence.
- An effective technique at inlets, breachways, and rivers is to cast down-current, feed out 25 to 50 yards of line or more, and begin a slow to moderate retrieve.
The Swarter swims 24 inches below the surface on a moderate retrieve. On a slower retrieve, it crawls just below the surface at 6 to 12 inches. In places with heavy current, the Swarter swims as low as three feet.
D’Agostino says the Swarter is a great searching plug because it casts far, cuts through wind (thanks to internal weights that shift to the rear of the plug on the cast), and replicates many baitfish. With a moderate to fast retrieve, it looks like a panicked baitfish fleeing from an aggressive school of stripers or bluefish.
The Swarter is through-wired, built with VMC hooks, and comes in two sizes: 6 inches weighing 1 ounce, and 7 inches weighing 1.5 ounces. It is available in six color patterns: Chicken Scratch, Blurple, Bone, Green Mackerel, Sardine, and Pink.
D’Agostino started JoeBaggs tackle in 2014, making bucktails and jigheads. Since then, he has expanded his catalog to include albie jigs, soft plastics, hard-plastic swimming plugs, and more.