Spinnerbaits For Bass

One of the ten bass the author caught on Wednesday, May 20th in some fairly dingy water. The vibration of the multi bladed spinnerbait produced quite a few strikes.

It had been a difficult week to get any bass fishing done. On Sunday, I went to one of my favorite lakes and took the family with me just to check things out. The water was about the color of chocolate milk, but I felt that I could get something to hit when I went back on the next day. The next day was cold and windy with rain. But I did take a moment between showers to put my ten foot boat onto the roof of my old hunting vehicle, so I would be ready to go when the weather broke. The nice thing about being retired is that you are not limited to having to fish when you can, and if is one day is bad then you wait for the next day. In this case, the next day was worse with wind and drizzle, so another day that I chose not to go fishing. My Wednesdays are spoken for, but I would be done by 3:00 p.m. so I tossed in two open faced spinners and tied on a spinnerbait on each rod.

I like spinnerbaits for several reasons. Among those reasons is that I can cover a lot of water with them. Also it isn’t finesse fishing like when you are working a rubber worm in cover and casting to a log or structure and working the worm at a designated target that you think would hold a bass. They are also the perfect lure in dingy, muddy water in that although the water clarity may make it difficult for the fish to see, the fish will sense the vibration coming of the spinning blade and strike for that reason. 

The other thing that makes the lure easy to fish is that you can simply cast it out and retrieve it although you can vary the speed of your retrieve and you can even stop and start your retrieve or even twitch it from time to time.

Due to just being lazy, I decided to fish a pond a little closer to home, and that way I could get back home and do some unfinished chores that I had to do. When I arrived at the pond, I decided to walk the bank rather than get the boat off the vehicle. The pond was dingy just as I expected it to be, but when I arrived I noticed some fish working the pond’s dam. So I took a stand almost in the middle of the dam allowing me to cast both directions along the dam. I decided to go with a chartreuse and orange body and skirt on the spinnerbait with two blades one yellow and the other orange. I had a strike on the first cast and felt I had been correct in making that choice, but because the spinnerbait only has one hook unless you attach a trailer hook you can or at least I can miss a lot of strikes. I had about an hour to fish and had not taken a lot of gear with me, such as trailer hooks. Slowly and surely, I began landing fish and even though the water is still fairly cool they put up some spirited fights on my Billy Westmoreland smallmouth special rod with a Mitchell 308C reel. While no monsters, it was a riot catching them and I would end up catching and releasing ten fish. All were caught on the same spinner bait as I saw no need to change as long as they seemed to hit it fairly often. I probably missed just as many fish as I caught.

For those who may be unfamiliar with spinnerbaits, although I doubt it as they have been around forever, a spinnerbait is simply a wire bent at ninety degrees with a jig head on one end and a blade or blades at the other end. The jig head will also have a rubber skirt on it and the blade end will have a swivel connecting the blade to the wire. The swivel allows the blade to spin. You tie the fishing line where the wire is bent. A couple things control the spinnerbait’s depth and vibration. Of course, how heavy the spinner bait is will determine how fast it drops, as well as how fast you choose to retrieve it. For the most part, sizes will range from a 1/4 ounce to a 1/2 ounce. Blades come in three styles and each has a way of producing different vibrations, as well as to a certain point how fast you retrieve it since the larger the blade or blades the more water it with churn and the slower it will go. You can also change the speed of your retrieve aside from simply slowing down your reel speed by spreading the wire frame of the spinner bait. The wider the bait is spread the slower it will go, by the same token the narrower it is the less water it will displace and the faster it will retrieve. 

I mentioned three different style of blades and those styles are Colorado blades, which are more rounded and the slowest of the blades because they churn more water because of their shape. Because they churn more water they also supply the bait with a little more lift, as well as more vibration making them ideal for dark dingy water. The willow blade is long and skinny and cuts through the water a lot faster and they are certainly a good choice when fish are aggressive and more active. They are also a good choice for clear water. The Indiana blade is sort of a combination of the two other blades in that it is oval shaped and because of that it covers the middle ground between the two other blades in speed and vibration. I like to use blade combinations, such as I did Wednesday afternoon. This allows the fisherman to have more vibration, as well as more flash. It’s sort of like having the best of different blade styles.

I mentioned earlier in the story that spinnerbaits were easy to fish and that’s because for the most part they supply their own movement in that you do not have to pop them or jerk them, but you can and it sometimes will produce more strikes. If you are going to simply cast it out and retrieve it you will have more luck if you do look for areas that might hold bass, such as along the weed edge of a pond dam, such as I did, or along the edge of structures, such as logs and rocks. The wire on the spinner bait nearly makes the lure weedless over large cover as the blades flutter over the hook keeping it from becoming embedded in things. That doesn’t mean it will not happen as the lure can drop down between limbs and logs as nothing is 100% weedless, at least not when I fish it!