I have to admit when I first started using spinnerbaits I had no confidence in them whatsoever. I’d tie one on, fish with it for a little while, and catch nothing. Subsequently I’d quickly toss the spinnerbait back into my tackle box opting for something I knew I’d catch fish with. However, because I’m cheap and hated wasting money on baits I couldn’t use, I decided I would start researching spinnerbait fishing in order to figure out what I was doing wrong.
Well what I found is that spinnerbaits do work but work exceptionally well under certain circumstances
and if used correctly. You see, I just thought i could just cast anywhere and I’d be successful also I was under the false belief that the spinnerbait was not for use in heavy cover. Well, I couldn’t be more wrong.
The first thing I learned when I started my research was that spinnerbaits are the all around bait. They are not limited to certain water, weather or structural conditions. In fact they function at their very best in heavy cover and along weeds.
This is because spinnerbaits are best used as contact baits in other words they reap the best results when they are bumping up against structure. That structure can be weeds, trees, stumps or the lake bottom. It’s when these baits are bouncing of structure that most predator fish will grab spinnerbaits as the contact alerts bass that there is something wrong with this meal size critter making it an easy target.
As well from what I’ve noticed I catch more fish on spinnerbaits when it is overcast outside or in murky water. In clear water you want to tone down the flash possibly going to singles blade spinnerbaits with copper blades to catch more fish.
Another thing I learned was that spinnerbaits fell into two categories and particularly the elbow or safety pin style spinnerbaits had some different characteristics that would make me use them differently.
1. Twinspins: Are great when fishing along the bottom making contact with any structure along the lake bed.
2. Long arm spinnerbaits: Can be fished anywhere the short armed spinnerbaits can but are especially suited for grassy or brushy cover as the longer arm works to keep the spinnerbait weedless.
3. Short arm spinnerbaits: Can be fished anywhere but is especially suited for being helicoptered along ledges and vertical cover.
4. Singles blade: Great for clear water, cool water or any other time when fish aren’t actively feeding. Due to their lesser amount of flash they are less likely to spook inactive fish in clear or cool water. Single blades with colorado blades can be retrieved slower with due to increased water resistance.
5. Tandem Blades: Work great in murky water or conditions where visibility is low.
Different Spinnerbait Retrieves
This retrieve is good when bass are resting deep along drop offs or submerged cover. Simply cast into shallow water that leads to the drop off where the fish are holding. With your rod tip pointed downward reel slowly allowing your spinnerbait to bump the bottom or the tops of any weedy or brushy cover following the lakes drop off to the bass.
Helicoptering your bait is almost self explanatory. Pretty much you real to the edge of some sort of vertical cover, like a wall or stump, and let the spinnerbait fall along the edge causing it to flutter like a helicopter into the strike zone of any fish waiting at the base of the vertical cover.
Waking or bulging:
Bulge a spinnerbait by retrieving so the blades spin just below the surface causing a bulge or wake in
the surface. This is one by casting past your intended target cover, lifting your rod tip and reeling just slow enough to make the blades spin just beneath the surface never breaking the surface tension. This technique will produce a unique sound and vibration that will attract bass in shallow murky water.
Buzzing: Buzzing is pretty much the same as waking or bulging. The only difference is that you need to speed up your retrieve so the blades break the waters surfaces causing the spinnerbait to buzz along the surface.
Rigging: Use medium to medium heavy rods at lengths of 6.5 to 7.0 ft in order to get long cast on your spinnerbaits while giving you the backbone needed to set the hook at longer distances. As well use high gear ratio reals in spooled with 12lb to 20lb test monofilament when spinnerbait fishing.
Trailer Hooks: If you’re gonna use trailer hooks make sure you use shorter shank hooks in order to increase hookups while staying as snag free as possible. As well if the structure permits rig the trailer hook upside down in order to increase hookups as well.
Overall I’ve learned quite a bit about fishing with spinnerbaits this last summer but I still have a long way to go. I’ve been lucky enough to catch quite a few 3lb smallmouth and largemouth bass on spinnerbaits after I developed some confidence in them. If you haven’t used spinnerbaits yet make sure you try them as soon as you can as they are truly big fish baits.