Spinnerbaits and largemouth bass go together like peanut butter and jelly. Although they have been around for a long time, the effectiveness and efficiency of these baits still makes them a top choice for bass anglers all over North America.
Use spinnerbaits for large expanses of water. For working big areas fast, there really is no better bait on the market.
But where do you start when it comes to choosing the right spinnerbait for the job at hand? Follow these simple techniques and learn to turn this simple bait into a deadly lure for bass.
The Big Three
Although there are hundreds of different types of spinnerbaits on the market, there are only three main design principles to each — blade configuration. Depending on what type of blade design you choose, the bait will run and react differently to each. The designs include Colorado, Indiana and willow-leaf-style blades.
These blades exhibit a round design, which makes them the top choice for giving off vibration in the water. For this reason, they can call fish in from great distances and work wonders in stained or muddy water. Colorado-bladed spinnerbaits will run the deepest of the three designs, and lend themselves well to slow rolling in deep water.
Indiana blades are a cross between the Colorado and willow-leaf design, showcasing a slightly more streamline and curved blade than the Colorado blade. The Indiana blade throws off a great deal of vibration, and ranks second in sound production among the three. It is a great bait for working medium-depth areas of the lake — especially when you want an in-between lure for covering a variety of water conditions.
Willow-leaf blades lead the pack when it comes to giving off flash in the water. They are highly visible for great distances and work well in clear water for roaming fish. Although they give off the least amount of vibration of the three, they do reign supreme for covering water quickly and efficiently — especially in shallow areas.
There are four popular methods of working your spinnerbait they include tossing it out and simply letting it sink a bit, a slow rolling retrieve, bulging the spinnerbait, and fluttering the retrieve.
Tossing It Out
This is the most simple and easiest tactic to master, yet it remains one of the top producers. Toss the bait out with a medium-length cast, let it sink for a second, and then begin a steady retrieve to bring the bait back to the boat. The spinnerbait should travel just under the water’s surface (between 1-foot and 4-feet deep) for maximum effectiveness, with the blades constantly turning throughout the entire retrieve. For anglers looking to cover a vast area of water in the shortest amount of time, “tossing it out” is the best way to go.
This presentation is a staple for coping with deep water while out on the lake. For water between 6 feet and 30-plus feet deep, a slow rolling spinnerbait can work where other baits may fail. The most important key to remember when following this technique is to keep the bait as close to the bottom as possible. That’s because letting your bait “bump” or “hit” any bottom structure, be it rocks, wood or weeds, will call fish in and improve your catch ratio.
Slow rolling is accomplished by casting your spinnerbait out, then letting it fall on a slack line all the way to the bottom. At this point, a slow steady retrieve along and just off bottom is all it takes. Make sure to keep the bait moving at all times for increased effectiveness.
Bulging The Top
Bulging a spinnerbait is a highly effective technique for targeting active bass, as it provides a cross between a surface and sub-surface presentation. Cast your lure out and quickly begin a retrieve that leaves a bulge or wake behind the bait. This is accomplished by keeping the blades just under the surface of the water, paying careful attention so as not to let them actually break the surface. The trail of bubbles and added attraction of the bulging water is very attractive to largemouth on the prowl. With a little practice this method of working a spinnerbait will become very easy — so easy, in fact, that you’ll be left wondering why you never tried it in the past.
Flutter Or Dead-Drop
Fluttering a spinnerbait is an ideal tactic when faced with neutral or inactive bass, or when the water you are fishing has visible structure areas in relatively shallow water. Fluttering your bait quite simply means stopping your retrieve and allowing the spinnerbait to “flutter” or spiral down on a slack line. This sudden change of direction can often entice following fish or bass waiting in ambush to strike. I’ve had great success by utilizing this tactic when fishing areas with brush, weed edges or clumps, and boat docks. Adding a slight variety to your retrieve will often pay off in a few extra bucketmouths.
1. Make sure hooks are sticky sharp. Also, using a trailer hook can help for short-striking fish.
2. Experiment with blade sizes and configurations such as one blade or two. And should you use Colorado or Indiana-style?
3. Try different colors to see what works best. Oftentimes a switch from dull to bright or vice-versa will do the trick.
4. Ensure that your blades spin freely and easily. A blade that constantly fouls or doesn’t run smoothly will not catch fish.
Test out these methods and techniques with your spinnerbaits the next time you hit the water. This type of bait is one of the most versatile when it comes to catching bass, and it is sure to help you in your goal at becoming a better largemouth angler.
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