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TnRiver46

My first chatterbait

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I broke down and bought my first ever chatterbait today, 3/8 oz black and blue z-man for $4. Wish me luck! All suggestions welcome, I’m too cheap to put a rage tail trailer on it. I save those for special smallmouth occasions. Before I go tossing it into a log jam, just how weedless are these things and how easy are they to free when snagged? I’ll be using thick line 

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I think I've thrown a total of two casts at laydowns while using a chatterbait.  I had to buy a new chatterbait twice. 

 

My favorite cover to fish with them is submerged vegetation, it's closer to a swimjig than a rattle trap as far as getting caught in the grass goes.  They handle fine around rocks as well in my experience, there just aren't many places I fish with rock cover.  Just throw on your favorite 3.5 inch swimbait as a trailer and your good to go.

 

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Think spinnerbait.

 

You can throw the Chatterbait like you throw a spinnerbait.

 

As for getting it out of the grass and weeds: get as close to it as possible and try to dislodge it.

 

Easier said then done.

 

Just throw the bait and see what happens.

 

Good luck.

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They will work without a trailer, but you can just put a fluke or part of a worm on -- the blade provides the action so the trailer doesn't need to have any action of its own.

 

I fish them in vegetation 100% of the time.  you will get hung up some, but they usually can be dislodged by popping the rod tip upward and back to slack quickly a few times.  

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I throw the chatterbait (bladed jig) around weeds and rock. it tends to attract large fish.

I always use a trailer. either a twin tail, paddle tail, or fluke.

It is terrible in timber.  when the blade deflects off of wood it often drives the hook into the snag.

there are weedguards you can buy to make it better around wood, but I have missed several fish using them.

When fishing around wood I throw a spinnerbait.

 

 

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Thanks fellas, I’ll try to keep it away from the logs. I have some hand poured craws and swimbaits I can use for trailers. And I like the used worm idea, I usually do pretty good with a swim jig with worm/grub trailer in grass but figured I would try the chatter bait. Especially on account of how muddy the water is this year

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I just bought the same exact lure. I fished it today in some really muddy water but didn’t have any luck. Any ideas on how to fish chatter baits exactly? What’s the most effective way for largemouth?

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8 minutes ago, TheNickFlair said:

I just bought the same exact lure. I fished it today in some really muddy water but didn’t have any luck. Any ideas on how to fish chatter baits exactly? What’s the most effective way for largemouth?

The most effective way for me is to fish it along and in top of grass/weed lines. Keep it just above the vegetation with as slow of a retrieve as possible. Works well around rocks, bumping them every now and again. Has also been a good deep water bait for me slow rolling it along the bottom just fast enough to feel the vibration

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2 minutes ago, CroakHunter said:

The most effective way for me is to fish it along and in top of grass/weed lines. Keep it just above the vegetation with as slow of a retrieve as possible. Works well around rocks, bumping them every now and again. Has also been a good deep water bait for me slow rolling it along the bottom just fast enough to feel the vibration

Thanks man!

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22 minutes ago, CroakHunter said:

The most effective way for me is to fish it along and in top of grass/weed lines. Keep it just above the vegetation with as slow of a retrieve as possible. Works well around rocks, bumping them every now and again. Has also been a good deep water bait for me slow rolling it along the bottom just fast enough to feel the vibration

that is how I fish it. Much slower than I fish a spinnerbait.

slow rolling them along deep weed edge produced several quality fish  last summer.

sometimes a lift and drop retrieve works well for deeper summer bass. 

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I like a Havoc Pitboss for a trailer on the black and blue ones. Fish it slowly and steady in cold, muddy water.

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I've also fished it off the bottom like a blade bait -pull it up for a few vibes, then let it fall back down.  I have used 3.5 inch swim baits or curl tail worms as trailers. You won't save any money by making you own, but you will be able to choose you components, colors, etc. check out the major parts suppliers. Good luck!

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15 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

I broke down and bought my first ever chatterbait today, 3/8 oz black and blue z-man for $4. Wish me luck! All suggestions welcome, I’m too cheap to put a rage tail trailer on it. I save those for special smallmouth occasions. Before I go tossing it into a log jam, just how weedless are these things and how easy are they to free when snagged? I’ll be using thick line 

 

9 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

Thanks fellas, I’ll try to keep it away from the logs. I have some hand poured craws and swimbaits I can use for trailers. And I like the used worm idea, I usually do pretty good with a swim jig with worm/grub trailer in grass but figured I would try the chatter bait. Especially on account of how muddy the water is this year

 

A-Jay

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I generally fish my chatter bait like a spinner bait, but I only use it when the water is muddy. My favorite is probably swimming it over Eel Grass.

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Hmmm. I’m starting to see an issue. Does anyone fish these lures when there isn’t grass??? We don’t have much grass and what we do have won’t be around until August....... the only place I know with grass is in the Rapids in clear water 

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I actually fish a white (threadfin shad color from TW) chatterbait w/ a Reaction Innovations Little Dipper trailer in open water a lot during the Fall from my kayak. Late summer and Fall, I prefer paddletails with a constant retrieval (not too fast and not too slow).  

 

During pre-spawn, totally different approach,  I'll use the same chatterbait but use a Zoom Super Fluke Jr (white ice) as a trailer. It's all about the Yo-Yo technique, exactly how you would fish a lipless crank or a blade bait, in drop-offs close to where I'll think they'll spawn. Mouths of coves, for an example. The chatterbait at night is one of my favorite search baits of all time! No grass needed! 

 

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@Dorado, that last sentence is music to my ears! 99% of the grass in the TN river is 1 hr or more south of where I live 

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I usually throw a fluke as a trailer. They last a long time too.

 

EDIT: You could also try a addletail swimbait like a Keitech 2.8 as well. Throw on whatever you have.

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17 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

@Dorado, that last sentence is music to my ears! 99% of the grass in the TN river is 1 hr or more south of where I live 

Don't get me wrong, post spawn, ripping a chatterbait thru grass draws such viscous reaction bites. However, that's a short window for me in Arizona because the vegetation will eventually get too thick. They're not weedless let's just say that. Last year, I finally discovered the swim jig and that was a game changer when the weeds got thick. It was love and first sight when it came to swim jigs. Good luck buddy!

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1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

Hmmm. I’m starting to see an issue. Does anyone fish these lures when there isn’t grass??? We don’t have much grass and what we do have won’t be around until August....... the only place I know with grass is in the Rapids in clear water 

Most of the fishing I do is around rocks and shallow cover. They're great around grass, but they're great around a lot of other stuff too. 

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1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

Hmmm. I’m starting to see an issue. Does anyone fish these lures when there isn’t grass??? We don’t have much grass and what we do have won’t be around until August....... the only place I know with grass is in the Rapids in clear water 

I've had success slow rolling it and bouncing it off the rocks. A lot of bites are directly after making contact.

 

At Norris I will also toss it out along the bluff walls and fish them in thirds along the walls top third, middle third and then along the bottom third. I have found at times the fish can be in any of these ranges on the bluff walls.

 

Last year when the water was high it was good around all that cover that was submerged. A real nice compliment to my usual toad fishing.

 

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1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

Hmmm. I’m starting to see an issue. Does anyone fish these lures when there isn’t grass??? We don’t have much grass and what we do have won’t be around until August....... the only place I know with grass is in the Rapids in clear water 

like @Bluebasser86 said they work great around rock. Here in Kansas a lot of our lowland lakes and reservoirs are silted and lack vegetation. on those lakes i fish them along rocky shore lines, boat docks, and scattered timber. I stated earlier they were terrible in timber. running them through brushpiles or standing cedars will probably result in a lost bait.

they do work fairly well around sparse standing timber.

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12 hours ago, TheNickFlair said:

I just bought the same exact lure. I fished it today in some really muddy water but didn’t have any luck. Any ideas on how to fish chatter baits exactly? What’s the most effective way for largemouth?

Fish it multiple ways.  You can cast and retrieve like a spinner.  Retrieve it slow or fast.  Use it like a jig, letting it sink and hop it on the bottom.  Use a yo-yo type retrieve by letting it sink then pull it through the water then let it sink again.

 

Most of my fish are caught on a normal retrieve like a spinner or they hit it as soon as it drops in the water.  I cast it to the shoreline and try to find brush or trees.  That's usually when they hit it right away.

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19 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

I broke down and bought my first ever chatterbait today, 3/8 oz black and blue z-man for $4. Wish me luck! All suggestions welcome, I’m too cheap to put a rage tail trailer on it. I save those for special smallmouth occasions. Before I go tossing it into a log jam, just how weedless are these things and how easy are they to free when snagged? I’ll be using thick line 

The good news is that you won't be looking to spend a ton of money on chatterbaits any time soon. 

 

I took your approach a number of years ago.  After hours of use, maybe two hits and zero fish.  I didn't use a chatterbait again for a long, long time. 

 

Now, its a favorite.  But....I went against a lot of the grain written above.  Slow rolling a chatterbait more than a foot from any sort of cover (or along the bottom) yields absolutely nothing, nearly all year.    The only exception is for a couple of weeks post-spawn.  And maybe that's because they'll eat anything then...IDK.  But I throw a lot of chatterbaits along secondary points in creeks for a time in the spring.

 

1.  Standard Z-Man chatterbait was one of the worst baits I've used for hook-up ratio -- hopefully, that has improved....I'm sure it was partly me, but I'm convinced something was wrong with the design, or materials.  Get some from @Bluebasser86 or Sieberts next time.

 

2.  I ALWAYS use a trailer.  I use Rage Bugs 80% of the time.  And the other 20%, I use Incrediclaw (Slim).  Those will be a little cheaper and more durable than Rage Bugs, if that's a big concern. 

 

3.  I have little problem throwing them into wood.  A lot of my chatterbait fish come from deflections off of laydown branches.

 

4.  The other time that I find them particularly useful is when there's three feet or less between the grass tops and the surface.  Many days, there's no better bait for pulling them up out of the grass up here

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20 minutes ago, Choporoz said:

 

1.  Standard Z-Man chatterbait was one of the worst baits I've used for hook-up ratio -- hopefully, that has improved....I'm sure it was partly me, but I'm convinced something was wrong with the design, or materials.  Get some from @Bluebasser86 or Sieberts next time.

 

 

I agree .

C&C custom baits  bighead wobbler bladed jig. You can buy them online at mondo tackle. They seem to go through cover better and have a high hookup ratio. I use 3/8 oz. Almost exclusively. Love the baby gill color.

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