Spinnerbaits! An OverviewSpinnerbaits! An Overview Spinnerbait blues got you down? With these tips you should be able to land more big bass with spinnerbaits.
By Daniel Langton
When choosing a spinnerbait rod and reel, You should look for a high quality graphite rod, and a reel with a high speed 6:3:1 gear ratio. Select a 7-foot medium-heavy rod with a long cork handle, or a trigger rod. The long cork handle will give you more solid hooksets than if you were fishing with a casting rod. Many pros wouldn't disagree that a high speed Daiwa TDX reel, and a Daiwa Davey Hite spinnerbait rod would be the best pick. The 7-foot length and medium-heavy action will give you the power to make the hookset, feel the spinnerbait's vibration, and land the biggest of bass.
When selecting a quality line, many pros go with Stren Extra Strength. You can use a heavy line because it is mainly a reaction strike.
The bass don't have enough time to really examine the spinnerbait or the line. I like to use Stren Extra Strength in 17-pound because it will get the fish out of cover, and resists nicks and cuts when you bump the bait against cover.
Using either green or clear line doesn't seem to matter in most water clarities. Using clear line seems to be a little bit more reasonable because the bass are usually looking up to the spinnerbait, with the surface and the sky as a background; although this is not true when you are working the spinnerbait on the bottom.
Companies like Strike King have a good selection when it comes to spinnerbaits. They have small spinnerbaits like the Rocket Shad, all the way to the larger pro-elite series made with titanium for extra sensitivity, and a jig/spinnerbait in one lure. This jig/spinnerbait lure comes with a weedgaurd and a Colorado blade. This is a great bait for stop-and-go retrieves around laydowns. The little Rocket Shad is great for when the bass get a "lockjaw" in the fall.
Clear, sunny days are NOT the best days for spinnerbaiting. Of course you could go for a reaction strike by bumping the spinnerbait up against the cover, but what you really want is a cloudy day with a little chop on the water. Try throwing into the wind, and retrieving with the current. You may want to select a heavier spinnerbait for this situation. On sunny days, the bass will position themselves right up on or under the cover.
For this kind of day, you should select a neutral color for the skirt. Chartreuse can sometimes be too bright, but not always. On sunny days, white, alpha shiner, or a translucent skirt will work good. These are the best conditions for silver or nickel blades. You will have to slow down your retrieve on these "bluebird" days because the bass will be a little less active.
Cloudy days call for Gold, and holographic blades. Chartreuse/white, firetiger, and pink skirts work well. Bass will almost cruise around cover rather than getting under it on cloudy days. Bass may cruise up to six feet around the cover. Some will stay in ambush points, which may be in the cover.
Spinnerbaits are great for throwing around or under docks, around rockpiles, banks lined with rip-rap, laydowns, around weedlines, and even ledges. To fish ledges, a heavy 1-ounce spinnerbait is almost a must. You need to keep the bait in the strike zone as long as possible.
Remember that in the depths, your bait will loose its' color. There are a few colors that keep their color in the deeper waters. These include purple, chrome, and a few darker colors.
One thing to keep in mind is to match the forage your bass are feeding on, or "Match the Hatch" as a fly fisherman says. If the bass are feeding on gizzard, or threadfin shad, the alpha shiner pattern should produce fish. If the bass are feeding on crawfish, like in the spring, and you want to cover a lot of water quickly, a red, black, or brown spinnerbait should put out results. You should also try to match the spinnerbait size with the forage. Most Gizard shad don't get over 4-inches, so a 3/8-ounce spinnerbait should be good. If your fish are feeding on threadfin shad, a small Strike King Rocket shad should do well.
You need to have a good amount of confidence in your colors. Sometimes your gut instinct will tell you the best color. You may ask, "How do I find out what the bass are feeding on?" Well first you should check out the banks to check for crawfish holes. Then see if you have schools of shad or baitfish on your depthfinder. Sometimes you can even visually spot the schools.
Once I was fishing down at Barkley Lake. There were a ton of boats out that weekend and the waves pushed schools of baitfish into a small cove. You could see the bass chasing the shad out of the water because the shad would just jump all around the cove. Because when one changes direction, the others follow. They sort of work as a team by keeping lookout for one another.
If you're fishing around a boat dock, there are many different kinds of forage. You could have shad, bluegill, and crawfish from the rip-rap bank. When you're fishing an underwater hump, shad will be the main forage. If you're fishing a rocky area, crawfish will most likely be present. Chartreuse, or firetiger is a good color to represent a bluegill. Brown, black, or purple can imitate a crawfish. Alpha shiner, white, and white and chartreuse can be for shad.
When you're fishing clear water, a willow leaf blade will produce more flash than vibration, so this will be your best bet. Chartreuse blades have been known to catch a good amount of smallmouths on northern waters. When fishing stained water, an Indiana, or Oklahoma blade is a good choice. It will produce an even amount of flash and vibration. In muddy waters, a single, large Colorado blade works well. A single blade produces more vibration because it resists water flow over the blade, so it creates more vibration. Use black or gold blades in muddy water.
Large Colorado blades are best for slow-rolling a spinnerbait. The large blades produce more lift than other blades styles.
Most pros like to use titanium spinnerbaits because they always retain their original form, and always run well, cast after cast. They may cost a few bucks more, but in the long run, they'll last longer.
I always tie a uniknot on all of my spinnerbaits. Make sure you wet your line before you tie this knot. If you fail to wet the line, it will weaken your line when you pull the knot tight.
Most pros would agree that sharpening your hooks is very important. Most like to use a 3-point technique. You can do this by getting a file and sharpening at 3 different points at the hook. It would be like a triangle. This triangle point will be very strong. You only need to make about 3 strokes per side on the hook.
Have you ever thought of adding a trailer to your spinnerbait? There are different kinds of trailers for spinnerbaits. You can have a trailer hook, or a trailer. The trailer hook will help you land more bass when they short-strike it. Some like to add a piece of pork or plastic to their spinnerbaits. I like to put a Kidlizard Huffer on the back of my spinnerbait. It has 2 curly tails that will entice those bass that prefer a larger meal. Trailers should be used in muddy water to increase the size of your bait. This will allow the bass to find it easier. I will put a little Huffer on if I'm using a smaller spinnerbait.
With these tips you should be able to land a few more bass with spinnerbaits. Apply these tips on the lake and you should be in for a great day of Bassin' out on your favorite lake. See-ya at the scales!
Grow your fishing skills and improve your angling effectiveness.
Subscribe to the free weekly BassResource newsletter.