Late summer and early fall can be
a roller-coaster ride when it comes to catching bass. One day it is
in the upper 90's and the next it never gets out of the 60's. Where
to go and what to throw? Are they deep or are they shallow? All good
questions this time of year and not very many good answers as the
bass are not even sure what to do. It is a time when a cold
front can actually turn bass on as they need to feed up for the
The old spinnerbait is hard to beat
at this time. I personally prefer to go after bass that decide to
move shallow, mainly because I have yet to learn enough about catching
deep water bass to have the confidence to stay with it. Largemouth
bass move to shallow water in the backs of coves in search of shad
that have done the same. These bass are not always in the mood to bite. High
pressure, blue skies and high temps tend to put the bass a little on
the sluggish side. The spinnerbait is great because it will
generate reaction strikes from these bass.
Long cast with the trolling motor on high
is the way to go when bass are scattered all over the lake and big
bass, being territorial, are less than likely to share a
shad producing cove or creek mouth with other bass. I like to keep the spinnerbait in
the water with quick long casts and fast retrieves. I prefer to cover
water looking for aggressive bass that want to strike as apposed to
fishing the same stump for 20 minutes just because it looks like
there should be a bass holding there. Some anglers do this with great
success but I prefer to keep moving in search of the bass that want to strike.
There are many spinnerbaits to choose
from today and many colors to go with them. You can even
build your own spinnerbaits. I have not yet built a
spinnerbait from scratch but plan to in the future. My preference is
to gather old spinnerbaits from garage sales and eBay and build from
there. The newer spinnerbaits do have better hooks so I usually start
with a new spinnerbait and add or subtract components as needed. I
may want to throw a single Colorado blade one day then go to a double
willow spin the next and they all have their place depending on
what the bass want that day. Depth and cover can determine the
blades and trailers you might want to throw. When you need your spinnerbait to ride high above the cover you should use a tandem bladed spinnerbait. The two blades increases lift on the retrieve and can help you slow way down to get those sluggish bass to bite. Monofilament line is the choice here because it floats and will help you keep the spinnerbait up in the water column. If the day calls for a deep presentation then a single blade spinnerbait is the best choice as well as fluorocarbon line as it will sink and you are not fighting the floating properties of mono.
White is usually the color for
fall as it seems to emulate the shad well. Many times I like to
dye the tip of my skirt if I think it might generate more bites and
that just comes with being on the water and trial and error. White
seems to work fine even in muddy water but some anglers like to throw
chartreuse or chartreuse and white. You can even use colored blades
but I stick with nickel as I am just old fashioned. I have noticed
some spinnerbaits with rattles but have yet to experiment with these
but plan to the next time I fish for bass in muddy water with a spinnerbait.
I always use a
trailer hook and will suggest one as it will only help with your
hook-ups. I do use skirts with a tail that sparsely covers the
trailer hook and this is the section I dip into spike it dye with
garlic. I think the red helped but I am
convinced that the garlic really did the trick as I would dip the
skirt when the bite slowed and start getting bites again. I did not
buy this product for the garlic and in fact did not even realize it
had scent until I opened the top. I
could smell garlic when I made a cast for several casts after dipping
the spinnerbait skirt. Garlic scented was printed all over the bottle
but I just wanted the color so I really did not notice it. I dip my
jig trailers and tips of my worms now for the scent and the bass do
like it, that is for sure.
The spinnerbait is a great bass lure
with many applications. You can effectively fish the spinnerbait
nearly on top all the way down to 25 or 30 feet. There are many
styles of the spinnerbait and each one has its own application. This
article will explore several styles of the spinnerbait and explain
the applications of each one.
BLADE spinnerbaits put off
much more vibration and are great baits for muddy water as well as
cold water. The added vibration the colorado blade provides gives
the bass something to key on making it easier for it to locate the
spinnerbait. The design allows the blade to displace more water
which creates more vibration but it also allows the angler to slow
their retrieve way down for those lethargic cold water bass.
LEAF BLADE spinnerbaits are
great for clear to stained water. This type blade is a little more
subtle in the vibration it puts off and will spook bass less when
the bass don't need so much commotion to locate their prey. The
willow leaf spinnerbait can also be fish a little faster than other
types and will glide over heavy cover with less hang-ups than other
types of spinnerbaits due to its more stream line design.
spinnerbaits are in between
the colorado and willow. The indiana blade creates ample vibration
to attract bass and enough flash to get their attention. Indiana
bladed spinnerbaits are great in dingy to muddy water but when the
bass are more active.
BLADE spinnerbaits are great
for versatility and are great for a variety of retrieves. They can
be Yo-Yo'ed in deep water or allowed to flutter into heavy cover.
The biggest draw back to the single blade spinnerbait is its
tendency to roll when retrieved too fast or is the wire shaft is
bent to one side or the other.
BLADE spinnerbaits provide
more flash as well as more lift. This lift is important when the
bass are active and cruising the shallows because with a fast
retrieve the tandem bladed spinnerbait stays up near the surface and
the second blade helps the spinnerbait run true at high speeds. The
tandem is great for waking the spinnerbait where the retrieve is
such that the bait is just under the surface and the turbulence
pushes water to the surface causing a wake or disturbance on the
water's surface. The tandem spinnerbait is not the best choice for
very slow presentations.
BLADES have been around a long
time but have recently made a comeback in popularity as more anglers
learn the importance of color and water clarity The
most common finish on a spinnerbait blade is copper, gold or nickle
or silver. Spinnerbait blades can have a smooth finish or a hammered
finish. The hammered finish tends to emit flashes into several
different directions resembling a school of baitfish. Painted
spinnerbait blades have their place and offer the angler many
choices. Match or mis-match the colored blades with the skirt of
your spinnerbait which is described below.
are made of several different materials. Silicone skirts are the
most common but marabou and many different types of hair can also be
used. Matching color with water clarity and available food sources
in your body of water is no different with a spinnerbait as it is
with other types of baits. Muddy water calls for chartreuse or other
bright colored skirts. When fishing clear water you want to go with
a more natural colors and more translucent materials so that the
color does not alarm the bass when he can see it well.
Spinnerbaits have stood the test of time. Like other baits the
spinnerbaits takes some getting used to and building up the
confidence to use the spinnerbait is crucial and may require many
days of fish-less casts to build that confidence you need but once
you have it the spinnerbait will probably be tied to at least one of
your rods on deck.
For those of you who watched the The Bassmasters television show that covered BASSfest from Lake Chickamauga, you’ll have seen the KVD vs. Ike mini-confrontation. While I wasn’t involved, nor do I know all the details to comment on it directly, it did give me the idea for this column.