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Smallmouth On Spinners


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#3 size have proven killer for big smallies on the Potomac (I especially like the vibrax spinners by blue fox.) My best advice is to fish with the current and vary your retrieve until you find what the fish want.

Spinners aren't always effective for smallies, but when they are it's a blast.

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  • Super User

Spinners are one of the BEST smallmouth lures. I am never on smallmouth water without them. The fish I am holding in my avatar on the left (19 inches) was caught on a #3 Mepps in early April near Chicago. The ones I use the most are plain Mepps (no squirrel tail) in a #3 or 4. Smaller ones, #2, will catch more fish, but often smaller ones and lots of other panfish. I like the plain because they catch as many fish and are cheaper to buy. Everything that swims will hit a spinner. In a river, I throw them across the current or, If you are upstream of a big rock in the water, I throw them past the rock and bring them right to the edge of it and hold them there. The current will keep the blade spinning right in the face of that smallie. People say you need to use a swivel to reduce line twist, but if the lure is working properly, the blade will spin and not the lure so you should not get more than the normal amount of line twist that any spinning reel will add. In-line spinners are often overlooked in favor of newer "hot" baits but they flat out catch fish.

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When I use spinners for smallies I first use Mepps Thunderbug spinners. The blades spin very easily with current or slack water. Try different colors as the weather dictates colors. I take the treble hook off and replace it with a single hook.

Also I use rooster tails, I like 1/8 - 1/4 oz. spinners. I like rooster tails with feathers on treble hooks. I use Terminator inline spinner modified with a weighted swim hook and a swimming minnow.

 I use these baits a lot especially to find fish, then use other lures . I hope this helps you out.

 

Pabassr

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I used to throw Mepps as a teenager many years ago, but when I became a "bassmaster" in the '70s, started throwing safety pin style spinnerbaits.

 

Last season, fishing smallies on flatwater with a new friend, I watched Scott nail 3 smallies of approx. 3 lbs. each in a period of 20 minutes, covering a lot of water over flats for post spawn fish using a size 3 Mepps. You can be sure I'll be carrying size 3 inline spinners this year! I'm going to build my own however, and I recommend you review this thread:

 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/115842-inline-spinners/

 

One other observation is that wind - or lack of it - is a factor in what kind of spinner to throw. I look forward to days when the wind is making whitecaps. Then I tie on a 1/2 oz. willow leaf tandem and "burn" it a foot under the surface. When the water is only lightly rippled an inline spinner is a better choice because it makes less of a disturbance when it enters the water. My clear water smallies get skittish when it's calm.

 

I do recommend the use of a quality swivel.

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 I really like the spinners that Jigfishn10 made. The swivel you added to the spinner is a nice touch, and a needed part to reduce line twist. I also build spinners and I will be adding swivels to all my spinners I build from here on out.

 I would put a barrel swivel on my line, then a leader, then the swivel. At times that would become a pain in the neck if you broke the line, it took to long to set up another rig.

 On will wetline your 1/2 oz tandem willow leaf spinnerbait what size blades did you use?

 

Pabassr

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I've caught lots of smallies on in line spinners my favorite is a #4 mepps in firetiger.  Usuall vary retrieve bbut what works the best is usually a retrieve just fast enough to make the blade turn.

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 I really like the spinners that Jigfishn10 made. The swivel you added to the spinner is a nice touch, and a needed part to reduce line twist. I also build spinners and I will be adding swivels to all my spinners I build from here on out.

 I would put a barrel swivel on my line, then a leader, then the swivel. At times that would become a pain in the neck if you broke the line, it took to long to set up another rig.

 On will wetline your 1/2 oz tandem willow leaf spinnerbait what size blades did you use?

 

Pabassr

 

IMG_0584.jpg

 

A #4 and a #5.  Head is 1/2 oz. from Barlow's. The rubber and silicone skirt I make myself.

 

I fish very clear water and it's a thrill to see the smallies coming up to smash this. I throw it with a St. Croix Avid 7' med. action rod and a Curado 7.0 - 1 reel, 10 lb. Berkley Sensation. 

 

Conditions for this particular spinnerbait: 15+ MPH wind and sun. 

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That is a nice looking spinnerbait. Thanks Will Wetline that`s the info I was looking for, I`ll be making some of those very soon.

Pabassr

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In the Kennebec river sometimes they wont bite anything besides an inline spinner or spoon. Run it in contour along structure and you will get bites. They literally attack it!

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Some of the first lures I ever fished with back in my teen years were Mepps inline spinners...whether it was the Black Fury or an Aglia. Still catch smallmouth bass with them today.

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  • Super User

The advice Scott gave about holding a inline spinner still and let the current work it is so effective it shouldn't be allowed to be posted on a public forum! Those rare hot summer days when u can see the big bass swimming inn the current, put one right in front it, hold your tip up, the current will spin the blade. That stationary spinner will drivethem nuts, I have even bumped the fish to illicit a strike. Its awesome

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When i was a kid we used to swap out squirrel tails for Mepps lures.I still use them today for Smallies,I dont think they will ever quit producing People just quit fishing them.

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I've caught a bunch on the aglia...super effective

My only issue is it spins up my line so I chuck a spinnerbait instead most the time instead

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When i was a kid we used to swap out squirrel tails for Mepps lures.I still use them today for Smallies,I dont think they will ever quit producing People just quit fishing them.

I live half a hour from a mepps factory in Antigo, WI. Still an swapping tails for spinners..

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  • 9 years later...

I like to fish big inline spinners.  Size 4 and 5 Blue Fox, and Mepps.  I prefer hair tails on mine, and I seem to do best with bright colors.  I catch nice smallies all year long using them, but at times other lures produce better.  I fish in Idaho, so maybe your experience will be different in your area.  

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Over the years I've decent luck with Mepps spinners in both rivers and lakes.  They sort of faded into the background after I took up fly fishing.  The guys I fish with like to use in-line spinners so last year I started making them, as close to Mepps style as I could for them to use.  Gave me a break from fly tying.  These are the size 3 ones I tied up.

P8210510.JPG.4b9c83a71f8387bc41e9802ba4383c70.JPG

 

These are some of the larger ones.

P8210511.JPG.a58af2b573737bf96beff67cf00e5ee7.JPG

 

Plan to make up a half dozen or so of the larger ones for our Canadian trip in late August.

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  • Super User

Lots of good advice in this thread. Mepps inline spinners and spinnerbaits are great lures for smallmouth bass fishing in rivers.

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In my small river, this bass pro shops thumper spinner has been killing them for me.  Even bass post-spawn will hit this viciously.

 

https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/Bass-Pro-Shops-Nitro-Thumper-Spinner?ds_e=MICROSOFT&ds_c=Cabelas|Shopping|Smart|Hunting|Hunting|NAud|TopPerf|NMT&msclkid=262347fa4b0710f688eb2568e631dd0a&gclsrc=ds

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