Tips & Techniques on Spinnerbait fishing for Bass
In my last post Night Fishing, I touched on spinnerbait fishing in that particular application. since then I've had several request for more info on bass fishing with spinnerbaits; so today I'm going to talk more about the subject. There's a lot of information that you should know about this lure, so this will not be my only post on this subject.
Spinnerbaits or blade baits are one of, if not the, most versatile lures that a bass fisherman can have in his or her tackle box. And they don't just come in many different sizes and colors, but there's also a couple different types that you should know about and add to your tackle.
First I'm going to talk about the component of this lure that gives its name to get those of you that may not be familiar with spinnerbait fishing educated on the different blade types. The best spinnerbait blade to use depends on the fishing conditions. If you would like to know more about how to approach fishing based on conditions, you need to see Learn to Think Like a Bass
The Colorado blade as you can see in the photo is the shorter more round shaped blade. This blade gives of more vibration but less flash than the willow leaf or Indiana blade; and typically works better in low light or dirty water situations where the bass are more dependant on hearing or picking up on vibration through the lateral line than finding prey visually.
The Indiana blade is a happy medium for vibration as well as flash. This is a blade that you should consider in most any spinnerbait fishing situation
Willow Leaf Blade
The willow leaf gives less vibration, more flash and the shape mimics a bait fish very well. This blade is typically best in clear water situations where a more natural looking lure works best.
All the different types of blades can be mixed and matched on a single lure as well, when using the
Safety Pin Spinnnerbait
This is the most common type of spinnerbait used for bass. These come in weights from 1 1/2 oz down to 1/32 oz and lots of different blades and blade combinations. As you can see, this type bait has a stainless steel or some brands such as the terminator have a titanium wire arm which the blade and swivel are attached to. This arm also acts as a weed guard making the lure much more weedless and more suited for fishing in heavy cover such as brush grass or stumps. I use baits with both the stainless wire and the titanium. Personally I prefer the titanium; because when they bend they snap back into place. However they are quite a bit more expensive.
This type of spinner bait is normally smaller and usually can be found in sizes 1/32 up to 1/2 oz the inline as you can see doesn't have an arm and is more commonly used for trout or pan fish than for bass. However don't be put off by this fact. The inline can be a deadly bait for bass in situations of very clear water, heavy fishing pressure, or when bass are feeding on smaller bait fish; which calls for a smaller profile lure; and should definately be incorporated into you spinnerbait fishing tackle.
It's common practice and usually a good idea to ad a trailer to your spinnerbait. A trailer is simply added to the hook on the lure to give the bait a little more or different action or larger profile. There are many different types of trailers available in different sizes, with different actions. However I personally prefer to use a pork chunk or pinch a 6 inch plastic U tail worm in half and use the end with the U for a trailer.
A trailer hook is commonly added to the hook. This is simply a common type hook with an enlarged eye which slips over the point of the primary hook. Personally, I only ad a trailer hook if I'm getting strikes but having a problem hooking the fish; as the extra extended hook takes away much of the weedless aspect of the bait. However the trailer hook can be very useful in situations that don't require a weedless bait.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, Spinnerbaits are one of the most versatile lures used by bass fishermen. They can catch bass at any time of year, in most any type cover, or structure shallow or deep. I have caught fish on this lure in 8 inches of water and as deep as 50 feet on brush, rocks, grass and clean bottom as well.
This is a very effective spinnerbait fishing tactic and one of my favorite tricks for deep water bass. I normally like to use a heavier weight bait for this method. I use a 3/4 oz if I'm fishing depths down to 15 ft. Deeper than 15 I go to a larger 1 oz spinnerbait. The reaseon for the heavy bait is because I want to keep the bait down on bottom.
I typically use the slow roll method when fishing on structure such as ledges or points. I cast the bait up on the structure, let it sink to the bottom. Then I reel just fast enough to make the blades on the bait spin without losing contact with the bottom. You always want to keep the lure bumping into rocks, stumps or whatever is on bottom. If you're not beating the paint off the head of your spinnerbait, you're not fishing it correctly.
Bump and Flutter
This is a spinnerbait fishing technique that I use often when fishing shallow cover such as grass, weeds or brush. I will normally use a lighter weight bait for this; a 1/4 to 1/2 oz. Cast the lure into the cover and reel; when you feel the bait hit something stop your retrieve and let it flutter down on a tight line counting to 5, then resume and repeat. The strike will usually come while the bait is falling so be alert.
Pump and Fall
This is another very effective deep water tactic. This method is deadly on deep ledges, bluff walls or steep banks.
I cast the lure up to the bank or out on the ledge and let it sink to the bottom. Then I slowly pull the rod tip up from the 9 o clock position to the 11 o clock position and then let it fall back to the bottom on a tight line; then real up the slack and repete all the way back to the boat. Again the strike will often come when the bait is falling so be alert and ready to set the hook.
Burning the Spinnerbait
This is a tactic that seems to work very well in clear water and windy conditions and has been extremely productive for me on spotted bass on points or humps in the fall season. I normally want a 1/4 to 3/8 oz bait and a single or double willow leaf blade for this spinnerbait fishing technique. Also, a high speed reel helps. 6:1 or 7:1 gear ratio.
Simply make long cast up onto the structure and real the bait back very fast keeping it just below the surface no more than 3 inches. In clear water, bass will often come up from very deep water and nail the bait like a mack truck using this technique.
The same color principals apply to this lure that apply to all the others. I plan to devote a post to talking about lure color sometime soon but for now you can get more tips in the post Best Bass Lure.
The key to successfully getting a bass to strike a spinnerbait is to make the bait act erratic or different from every thing else in the bass environment; as is the same with many other lures . Always keep your bait bumping into obstacles, hitting the bottom, or change retreive speed. Keep experimenting until you figure out what the bass want and capitalize on that.
So no matter what time of year, or what kind of conditions you may encounter on the water, always keep spinnerbait fishing in your list of bass fishing tactics.
Unitl next time