Behind the Baits: Interview with Bill Schwartz of Slammer Tackle
Read on for round two of Behind the Baits. This time we were able to throw some questions at Bill Schwartz of Slammer Tackle. Slammer is a staple for musky anglers, producing a great range of colors and bait selections for cranks, gliders and even spoons. Since 1989 Bill, founder and owner of Slammer Tackle, has been producing baits with guaranteed top-quality parts. They definitely get the job done and with that being said, lets dive right in to get into the some fishing insight with the man himself.
Musky Shop: What was the deciding push that made you want to start producing baits?
I've always liked making and building things since I was a kid so when I got into musky fishing one thing led into another and I started making baits.
Musky Shop: Who were your fishing influences as a young fisherman?
As a young kid starting fishing it was probably Al Lindner.
When I got into Musky fishing and making bait's guys like Dave Dorazio, Bruce Shumway, Tom Gelb, George Wahl and Dick Gries were always there to answer questions and work with
Musky Shop: Best Musky Fishing Advice you ever received?
Fish with an open mind and pay attention to the little details
Musky Shop: What is your personal favorite Slammer selection?
I like the 8 and 10" minnows and rip them hard. As far as color, I like perch, walleye and sucker patterns.
Musky Shop: Number one requested Slammer from clients?
That's a tough one. Depending on where they are fishing things can change.
Down by me it seems like the smaller trolling Slammers (4 and 6" stuff) is what people like. Up north or Canada it's definitely the big stuff
Musky Shop: Favorite musky water & why?
I have to say Pewaukee for starters. It's my home water and I've been fishing it for muskys since the early 80's. The clubs and DNR do a great job in stocking so there is a good population for all size fish. When Pewaukee gets too crowded, crossing the border to the north and fishing Canada is tough to beat.
In the late fall I like Vermillion and trolling Big Slammers!
Musky Shop: Personal best musky and story behind it?
A pair of 54"ers are my personal best. Me and a buddy were trolling all day on Green Bay and we were about to call it quits when we finally started marking some baitfish just before dark so we stuck it out a little longer. A boat that was trolling alongside of us hooked up with a fish so we turned a little to give them some room and our outside lure took off. It was a 54"er that ate a 7" Slammer shallow minnow. A while later the guys who hooked up with the fish just before us trolled by and we found out that their fish was 55". Out there all day long and a 54 and 55"er were caught within minutes of each other.
On the second one, Myself, Bruce Shumway and his brother-in-law Mike Brant were trolling late fall on Lake Vermillion. I was running a prism walleye colored 12" Slammer. We trolled around a point with a deep hole and marked a bunch of walleyes. As our lures passed through the area where we had marked the walleyes my rod took off and I got a really fat 54"er. We were running a GoPro camera so I got everything on film.
Check back in for more features on our favorite baitmakers and some interesting information and stories about the people behind the tools that drive the sport.