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No Confidence In The Chatterbait, Help!

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Alot of my local anglers have been catching several good bass in tournaments lately with chatterbaits. This will be the second year i have thrown them and ive only caught one little dink throughout that whole time. I dont know what i am doing wrong i have tried different colors, retrieves, trailers, and even brands and no matter what i do, it just seems like i cant catch a fish on the infamous "vibrating jig". I was wondering for you guys that have success with chatterbaits, what techniques do you employ? They look great in the water and i believe they have potential so im not gonna give up yet!

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I have had good luck using them just like a crankbait in shallow water, always hitting the bottom! also in submerged grass ill let it tick the top of the grass then let it fall and rip right out and thats when i get my bites!

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I got my first chatterbait bites a few days ago using a GYCB tube as a trailer. For me, the strikes came when I was burning it back; the smallmouth would just crush it.

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the best advice I received a few years ago was to think about how you think you should fish it in that area, then do the opposite. i.e swimming it through grass, rip it instead.  i've had more luck burning them next to cover or slow rolling them near the bottom occasionally bumping it and letting the skirt flair.

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Slow rolling in colder water has always worked well for me. As the water warms a little faster may work better, but a steady retrieve still out produces any other. It is very unusual for me to catch a dink on one. It is a bigger fish bait for me and it is rare for me not to have one tied on throughout the year.

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remove the skirt and ad a LFT live magic shad.. i typically use them around visible cover.... stained water... above 55. 

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What is a chatterbait?...

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i use only black chatterbaits during day and night and retrieve it the same way always i real in fast enough to feel it wiggle and also for me ive tried it with and without a trailer and i never get any hits without a trailer

 

the only thing i change is how high i keep my rod tip when im reeling it in if low rod tip isnt working i try high tip then mid tip

 

ps. the only reason i use a black one is because its the only color i have and i havent tried any other colors because it works well for me in all conditions(clear water, stained water, night, day, cloudy etc)

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I landed a 6lber the other day with a Chatterbait Elite. I was burning it around grass and when I got caught in the grass, I'd rip it out, like you would a lipless crankbait.

Make sure the eye of the jig (where the blade is attached) has no paint on it. That will make a difference.

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NO don't give up on them.

After a frog once I hit the water, I allways throw a chatter next..Allway's. In tounaments or just putzin around.

 

I use the Booyah because I like the flexible hook shaft and just the way they're made.

I tried the Z Man years ago but my hook up ratio went straight up after i switched.

 

Anyway, the way I fish is I let it sink to the bottom...hold a few seconds then rip it up...let it fall back and rip it again, then reel back with a few hard jerks periodically all the way back.

 

Favorite color is white/chart with a white trailer.

The trailers that come with them are fine, but I really like cutting the head off of a white skinny dipper, especially throwing over grass fields and letting it drop every so often.

 

Sometimes a slow steady retrieve or a burn it type retrieve will get hit, just depends on the thier mood.

What I've also found is that a chatter is a great follow up lure if a spinnerbait or crank bite slows.

 

Good Luck

 

Mike

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I use a variation of the chatterbait a lot. The first thing I do is put a 4" Yamamoto Swim Senko on it for a trailer.

 

In clear/clean water I use White.

In stained/dirty water I use Purple/Orange or Black/Blue.

 

I fish them like a crankbait and usually reel fairly quickly.

 

I was cranking it along pretty fast a few weeks ago in 45 degree water and the Bass still hit it pretty good.

 

One key detail is putting the bait in the strike zone. You can't be 20' away from the laydown and expect to

pull fish off of it with any consistency. I have fished with several people throwing the same bait I was throwing

but they couldn't cast as well and barely got bit.

 

I was going to post a picture of a nice one I got last year on this combination but I keep getting an error about the extension

not being allowed here. I can see the picture in my message box but I can't post it.

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I get frustrated with them myself. You would think they are semi weedless. I hang them in every stick they get within 10 feet of. makes me cuss!

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I lost two in a stick filled pond the other day. One was the first time I'd ever thrown it. I always feel like i'll get bit when I fish them, just haven't been lucky with them lately.

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I catch a ton of fish on chatterbaits every year but for me they either seem to be about the best bait going that day, or I can't hardly buy a strike on them. 3/8oz is the main size I fish in either white with a chartreuse trailer, black and blue with a black trailer, or firetiger with a charteuse trailer. A straight, slow retrieve is usually best. Iike to fish them around any kind of cover especially weeds, docks, or laydowns. 

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Here are a few tips from Pete Gluszek I picked up at a The Bass University course this winter. Tips were in our BassBlaster newsletter fyi. Hope it helps!

> Pitch it straight into grass, even with an exposed hook.

> Rip it out of the grass. Use braid and snap your wrist [heavy-action rod] – that lets the braid cut through the grass and pops it only a short distance. The bait stops and the skirt flares.

> Never set the hook right away. For some reason, fish almost always hit a Chatterbait from the rear. So when you feel tick-tick, reel down, take the slack out and then hit him. Same with a swimbait.

> Use Krazy Glue with a brush applicator (key) to make sure your swimbait [on the Chatterbait] doesn't rip off.

> He uses Gamma braid with a 5' fluorocarbon leader, even in dirty water. He finds he gets more bites that way, doesn't know why. Knot is an albright knot. "You have to practice that knot. Because if you cross lines or twist it, it's not going to perform for you.

> Spend some time sharpening your hook.

> On a black chatterbait, black blade, with a white swimbait: "It looks ridiculous to me – I don't know why it should catch them so good, but it's a killer combination."

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The most important aspects of using a chatterbait IMO are:

 

  1. slow reeling- the blade has A LOT of lift and reeling too fast will pull the lure way out of the strike zone. Reel about a turn or so a second (if you have a 6:1 or so than use this, if you have a faster or slower ratio just adjust to it
  2. Have a heavy trailer, with light action- Dont use something with 2, or 3 tail parts, it will have a lot of drag and the bait will be lifted out of strike zone easily. I have gone as far as just taking the body part of zoom lizard (about 1-1.5" piece) for a trailer. It adds color, has no drag, has good weight.
  3. 10-12 pound test, don't go to heavy or it will have to much drag. Mono or fluoro, it doesn't matter to me.

For me, the most important thing is being able to keep the lure moving fast to get reaction baits, and stay deep/in strike zone so i can get to the fish

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