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A-Jay

Fishing in the Fast Lane

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Fishing in the Fast Lane.

 

Anglers have been using Speed to trigger strikes with moving baits for a long time, and bass anglers are no exception. 

 

I’ve been a fan of this approach for a while and I’m probably guilty of using it a little too much.  I’m not the biggest Fan of the “finesse” deal and have had some success using a Speed approach in these conditions instead.  Doesn’t always work but I can catch a skunk on anything, so might as well do something I like.  

 

The technique involves the use of horizontally moving baits that a bass can track & chase down; FAST.  For me this is usually most effective in clear to slightly colored water & in shallow to mid-depth ranges of 10-12 ft. and less.  Doesn’t mean that using speed can’t or won’t work in something else, just that this is where I’ve found better results. 

 

Some wind is very helpful, as is staying off the fish and making a long cast. I prefer to fish into the wind if conditions permit, but either direction / approach has shown solid results.  Fishing cross wind is a little tougher.

 

Quite an assortment of lures can be fished / retrieved quickly and in the right conditions /situation can & do catch fish.  I have a few favorites that have proven themselves over the years.  Crankbaits, Lipless Baits, Spinnerbaits, and Jerk / Rip Baits are what I use most. 

 

 More recently, several lures manufactures have introduced baits that are specifically designed to be retrieved with speed which has resulted in more & better options for those of us who like it Fast. 

 

The Spinnerbait is one of those lures.  (For the remainder of this write up I am always referring to a single or double willow leaf bait).   It’s such a versatile lure that can & will produce in a wide variety of situations but does seem to come into its own over & through some type of shallow vegetation.  Burning one just under the surface to about one foot down, is one of my all-time favorite ways to catch Smallmouth bass. Which is what makes right now, early fall, such a great time for this technique.  The weeds are starting to die back but the water is for the most part still warm enough where the bass are very ready, willing & able to chase it down. 

 

Back in the day (and there’s no real need to say when that actually was) I read somewhere that by making two simple modifications, most any quality spinnerbaits ability to run fast & true could be improved.  One was to down size the willow leaf blades 1 or 2 sizes and the other was to add weight to the bait.  The smaller blades allowed for easier reeling & more speed without the bait coming out of the water.  Same with the added weight, bait stayed subsurface and casting distance was improved, in the wind especially.  

 

Sometimes Smallmouth will follow a bait for quite a while. (Regardless of how fast I reel it) It’s like they enjoy the chase before eventually hammering it.  Other times they just seem to come out of nowhere and Blast the bait.  Both are OK by me.

 

A few years back SK introduced the Burner Spinnerbait.  This was a game changer for me.  The baits compact head design allows for max speed, but the real innovation was the Raz-R-Blade.  It’s a somewhat down sized, thin cut willow leaf that was designed to increase revolutions, increase flash and keep the bait from lifting like traditional willow leaf blades are so prone to do.  BAM !  No more changing out blades.  But I have found that by still adding some weight to the ½ oz. bait, I can make an already great bait, Better.

 

 By simply spinning on length of wire solder onto the baits hook shank, centered & balanced weight can be effectively added to any bait.  How much weight will depend on the length, type & size (gauge) wire solder selected.  This can easily be done by hand and a drop of Super glue at each end will help keep it there.

 

Any spinnerbait is a candidate if you want to add weight to, not for just burning, as it’s quite applicable for deep water applications as well.

     

Trailer hooks are optional but highly recommended.

 

Don’t remember who to give credit to for sharing these ideas, but I’m certainly glad they did. 

Burners.jpg

 

 

A-Jay

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I read the title and immediately started singing The Eagles "Life In The Fast Lane"

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Excellent write up. Burning lipless cranks on a 7.5:1 reel has been great to me lately. Sometimes speed is the ticket!

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Great read. Nothing like a smallie hitting spinnerbait. I'm partial to war eagles screamin eagle in sun perch.

What do you feel about trailers? I've got some family that will put a kalins grub on anything they can get their hands on. 

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45 minutes ago, Ktho said:

Excellent write up. Burning lipless cranks on a 7.5:1 reel has been great to me lately. Sometimes speed is the ticket!

Me too but I'm saving that write up for another time

:)

A-Jay

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On 9/5/2016 at 7:25 PM, DubyaDee said:

Great read. Nothing like a smallie hitting spinnerbait. I'm partial to war eagles screamin eagle in sun perch.

What do you feel about trailers? I've got some family that will put a kalins grub on anything they can get their hands on. 

Thanks ~

I like trailers but they need to work with whatever I'm trying to get the spinnerbait to do. I generally do not use grubs as a trailer when speed is the objective as they almost always encourage the spinnerbait to run on it's side which is highly undesirable.

When I'm really burning the bait super fast & very close to the surface, I prefer NO Trailer and just the trailer hook.  At that speed the trailer really doesn't add much in the way of attraction and usually prevents the bait from working properly. 

When I'm looking for a slightly slower approach (and that's a relative term) where the bait will still be high in the water column but perhaps a foot from the surface, I'll sometimes use a trailer.  The preference here is for something that is straight, flat sided and even a little stiff.  I'm looking more for a profile than any action.  The last 4 or 5 inches of a Slug-O works well.  Recently the Strike King KVD Perfect Plastic Blade Minnow has been a solid producer for me.

59a3447a20089_strikebackspinnerbait.jpg.83dafe8a4e9aec60490c72695147354d.jpg

A-Jay

 

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As with the majority of guys, spinnerbaits were basically my introductory bait for bass fishing.  As I got more in tune with the game and got more into different techniques I really got away from them the past couple years.  Earlier this year I started throwing it again consistently around vegetation and burning them over the top of wood and rediscovered them.  I picked up an Elite Tech Smallmouth rod specifically for them this summer and that, along with advice like yours, really makes me want to get a much bigger spinnerbait repertoire.  

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6 hours ago, Dschouest42 said:

I read the title and immediately started singing The Eagles "Life In The Fast Lane"

You too! 

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Great post ajay and burning spinner baits for smallmouth is one of my favorite ways to fish. Another way I've used is to use those rubber core fishing sinkers. Remove the rubber core and crimp the sinker over the hook shank. If it isn't big enough, it's easy to spread it with pliers. 

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23 hours ago, A-Jay said:
On 9/5/2016 at 7:07 PM, Ktho said:

Excellent write up. Burning lipless cranks on a 7.5:1 reel has been great to me lately. Sometimes speed is the ticket!

Me too but I'm saving that write up for another time

Looking forward to another great write up.  I also have the need for speed.  I'm a relative newbie and one of my top learning experiences of 2015 was to find out just how fast a lure can be going and have a bass smash it like a freight train.  At one place I fish in particular, where a big overflow/outfall just churns up the water in an already chocolate-brown pond, nothing gets bit after a heavy deluge like a rattling wobbling crank in firetiger burned on a 7.3:1 - that or a big chartreuse spinnerbait!

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On 9/5/2016 at 2:48 PM, A-Jay said:

A few years back SK introduced the Burner Spinnerbait

3 years ago I found one of these hanging in a tree. it changed my spinnerbait game.  i got away from SB b/c of chatterbaits but you've put wind in my sails again. i'm gonna burn me some SB in shallow winter water to see who's home.

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Great post A-Jay! 

 

I went from in-line spinners like a Mepps to spinner baits years ago.

 

 Dressed up or naked, it's all good to me!

 

Thanks

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Great read! So is the reason you don't mention Colorado blades and only willow leaf blades because they work better when you are burning them or is it because you are burning them in clear water and Colorado blades work better in stained/dirty water or do you not like them at all? 

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I can't speak for A-Jay, but my rationale has been that the conditions (semi-cleare/stained, esp with wind) generally warrant flash over thump, but also that the wider, rounder Colorado blades have a bigger, wider wobble and simply don't respond as well to fast cranking. 

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3 hours ago, Bassin' Brad said:

Great read! So is the reason you don't mention Colorado blades and only willow leaf blades because they work better when you are burning them or is it because you are burning them in clear water and Colorado blades work better in stained/dirty water or do you not like them at all? 

 

3 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:

I can't speak for A-Jay, but my rationale has been that the conditions (semi-cleare/stained, esp with wind) generally warrant flash over thump, but also that the wider, rounder Colorado blades have a bigger, wider wobble and simply don't respond as well to fast cranking. 

 

~ X2 ~

@Bassin' Brad ~ Seems jn this case @Turkey sandwich actually did speak for me - and quite nicely.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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@Bassin' Brad, @Turkey sandwich and @A-Jay, I hope you don't mind my 2 cents here?

 

Because Colorado blades are rounder, they produce more vibration as mentioned and because of their shape, they do have more drag. However, you can drop down in size with a Colorado blade and get pretty much the same results, but you'd have to drop down even more than a willow blade to get the same effect. A #5 willow blade is like a #4 Colorado. If you dropped down to a #3 Colorado, you'd be at a #4 willow. The #3 Colorado will produce the same amount of drag and less flash than a #4 willow and sometimes that's just as desirable.

 

I do take flash into consideration at times. I do think there are days where too much flash turn off the bite. Even then, if you're not sure, you can get the best of both worlds with Indiana blades...but that's a whole other discussion...:)

 

Honestly though, I pretty much use a single willow blade on a snap swivel and switch out sizes, metallic and painted colors and you can pretty much run that that set-up for all your conditions. BTW, if you do use a snap swivel, you're gonna have to cut the blade arm of the spinnerbait and re-bend the arm for the snap swivel attachment.

 

One other thing that comes to mind. Another reason to "speed up", is when fish are nipping the rear of the bait or they come in "broad side" and nail the thing and don't come back. To me what this means is they saw something they didn't like and aborted the mission. By speeding up, they don't get an opportunity to see what their try to "blow up" long enough.

 

Sorry. Longer than I anticipated.

Edited by Jigfishn10
Sorry, I mixed up the Sizes of Willow and Colorado Blades...In bold and italics...Sorry Guys
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Thanks guys,  that's what I figured. I actually had 1st hand experience with this awhile back. I was out with a buddy in his boat on a lake with dirty water and I had caught several fish on a spinnerbait with 1 gold Colorado blade and 1 silver Colorado blade. I ended up losing the spinnerbait (the only one I had with those blades)  so I switched to a spinnerbait with the same color scheme but silver willow blades and didn't get another bite. I am interested in trying this your method though in water with better visibility. 

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6 hours ago, Jigfishn10 said:

@Bassin' Brad, @Turkey sandwich and @A-Jay, I hope you don't mind my 2 cents here?

 

Because Colorado blades are rounder, they produce more vibration as mentioned and because of their shape, they do have more drag. However, you can drop down in size with a Colorado blade and get pretty much the same results, but you'd have to drop down even more than a willow blade to get the same effect. A #5 willow blade is like a #4 Colorado. If you dropped down to a #3 Colorado, you'd be at a #4 willow. The #3 Colorado will produce the same amount of drag and less flash than a #4 willow and sometimes that's just as desirable.

 

I do take flash into consideration at times. I do think there are days where too much flash turn off the bite. Even then, if you're not sure, you can get the best of both worlds with Indiana blades...but that's a whole other discussion...:)

 

Honestly though, I pretty much use a single willow blade on a snap swivel and switch out sizes, metallic and painted colors and you can pretty much run that that set-up for all your conditions. BTW, if you do use a snap swivel, you're gonna have to cut the blade arm of the spinnerbait and re-bend the arm for the snap swivel attachment.

 

One other thing that comes to mind. Another reason to "speed up", is when fish are nipping the rear of the bait or they come in "broad side" and nail the thing and don't come back. To me what this means is they saw something they didn't like and aborted the mission. By speeding up, they don't get an opportunity to see what their try to "blow up" long enough.

 

Sorry. Longer than I anticipated.

 

 

I suppose that's an option, but I've never really considered it because I can't think of many conditions that I fish that would require thump and super fast presentations.  Most conditions that call for thump are due to low visibility. The thump is there to allow fish to follow vibration in dark/muddy/blooming/generally crappy water conditions.  In those conditions, I don't see a reason to fish anything fast, as it only makes it near impossible for fish to locate. Not to say anything is "wrong", or doesn't have a place, but in the instances I want thump and a faster presentation, I'm reaching for a lipless crank or a chatterbait instead. 

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@Turkey sandwich, I can respect your position regarding that. However, in clear water with mostly overcast skies, a smaller Colorado blade can be the ticket over the flash of a willow. Bear in mind that I mentioned that you would downsize the blade to get the same drag you would get out of a willow by 1 size. Different size blades of any shape produce different sounds in the water as well as drag. The larger the blade the more vibration and drag. This holds true for willow leaf blades. 

 

https://www.mepps.com/resources/lure-sounds/

 

In the case of @Bassin' Brad's spinnerbait he lost, a double Colorado will actually dull the sound more than a single Colorado and have more drag. Double willows will have more drag than a single one.

 

I don't go by rules when fishing spinnerbaits. I use conditions and advice I get from reading past anglers' experiences and use as a guide. Case in point. I was fishing a lake on Cape Cod and the conditions were blue bird skies and very green almost like an algae bloom type water. Soft plastics were doing nothing and a slow rolled spinnerbait with a single #5 Colorado blade had no effect. I switch to a #3 and sped up the retrieve and caught a fish on every other cast from the back of the boat. Was it a burning retrieve? Lets say as fast as that bait and my reel would allow it to go.

 

As stated in my earlier post, I tend to use single willow blades and carry various sizes to pretty much fish any where under any conditions.

 

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@jigfishn10 - Makes sense.  You're using it where I would fish a Rat L Trap or bladed jig.  Same concept.  If it works, it works.

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I'm in @Jigfishn10 corner on this one. I've long argued that the focus on blade shape/style relative to "thump" or vibration or even flash is misleading, but to instead focus on blade style relative to speed. Is a Colorado blade better in muddy water because it puts out a better thump, or because it slows the bait down enough to give the fish enough time to react? I'd argue the latter is much overlooked, but more important.

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Yes Sir.  When fishing jerkbaits from the bank I power-fish them aggressively with constant twitches at a fast pace.  I cover lots of ground doing this and crush the smallmouths.  Sometimes slow is not the way to go.

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16 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:

@jigfishn10 - Makes sense.  You're using it where I would fish a Rat L Trap or bladed jig.  Same concept.  If it works, it works.

:)...Trust me, I'm a lipless crank junkie as well and will go back and forth with both presentations. :)

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