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  • How and When to Fish a Spinnerbait

    Lately I have received many requests about spinner-baits questions from how to use them? To when and where do I fish them?

    So I thought I would publish an article and try to answer the many questions I have received.

    1st let me state that a spinner-bait is a fun bait to fish, the hit you get when a bass strikes it is just unbelievable, the problem is most fisherman do not have confidence in using a spinner bait and if they do not catch a fish rite away they put it down. In this article I will try to explain how to use a spinner-bait as well as how to gain confidence when you do.

    There are many uses for a spinner-bait; it can be used as a fish finder, a deep water bait, a shallow water bait, a bait that covers a lot of area in a short time, you can drop it like a worm or speed it up like a rattle trap. All these uses allow you to make it one of the most flexible baits in your tackle box. A Bait that you could just about
    fish exclusively on a fishing trip and catch a good stringer of bass with day after day.

    The key to this is to understand what a spinner-bait emulates in the water and how to make it perform like you want it to.

    If you can imagine a baitfish in the water, erratically swimming along the top, bottom or in the thermo-cline you basically understand what this bait emulates. Now that we have established this, the next thing is to understand that bass are predators, and they love to strike what appears to be wounded, its kind of like the class room bully, they always pick on the ones that look like they can beat or win.

    Well a bass acts much the same; if a baitfish appears weak it will strike it in a heartbeat. So the key is to make this bait appear erratic in the water, act wounded, play hurt, or just plain loud so it aggravates Mr. Bass. If you can do this the sky is the limit on ways you can make this bait work, look or act in the water. So this is why this bait can be so versatile, you can fish it in shallow water by ripping it along the top of grass or structure. You can go heavy ¾ to 1 oz. And fish it in 10 to 15 ft. of water by just slowing down the retrieve and let it tick the structure at the bottom.

    You can make it act erratic by stopping, dropping and speeding up your retrieve. You can throw it around or under boathouses or docks. You can make it noisy by adding a Colorado leaf blade, or adding big blades that hit each other in the water. You can fish it with a single blade a double blade or a combination of a Willow and Colorado blade.

    Knowing that a spinner-bait has so many ways to use it fishing this bait now becomes easy. You want to examine the water your fishing, establish whether it’s deep, shallow and what the structure is around you, and dress the bait. In other words, add a trailer, and trailer hook, be aware of what you are using the bait for and get ready to start fishing.

    The biggest part now is to make sure you are rigged properly in other words match the correct rod and reel. A spinner-bait needs to be set up properly to get the effect we have been discussing, you must select a rod long enough to get a long cast a 7 ft. rod is my preference, soft enough in the tip to let the bait work properly and with a fast enough reel to retrieve it so it will stay on top of the structure. Today’s modern rods with IM6 in the base of the rod and fiberglass in the tip are perfect to match this up with.

    You get a rod heavy enough to hold a bait cast reel, strong enough to work the bait and soft enough in the tip to get a medium light action rod. Now all you need is a 6.3 to 1 bait cast reel, with either 12lb or 14 lb test monofilament line and you’re rocking.

    So let’s go fishing, the first thing you must do to fish a spinner-bait is start with a long cast. A spinner-bait works the best when you give it distance at the cast to perform, so get it out there 50 to 75 yards when you cast. This will allow you to start working the bait so it performs to the highest level of possible achievement, that being to stop it, drop it, change speeds or rip it over or next to the structure you are fishing. With a soft rod tip there are many ways to enhance the action of this bait. A spinner bait rig is fished with your wrist for movement, if you change the wrist position by moving your wrist back and forth it changes the action and hence the presentation. The only time this long cast process would not be preferred would be if your using it around boat houses or docks. Then you have to get it up under the structure and let it drop and pull it changing speeds and using your wrist quickly to create some quick action with the bait. It can also be yo-yoed by fishing the tip of the rod high and dropping it to get the bait to fall, like a baitfish that has been struck and is dropping. Remember imagine this being a baitfish and you want that predator bass to act like the class bully and strike this wounded, weak meal. Make it act wounded and I’m telling you it will perform, you will catch fish and have fun doing it. Check Food Lovers Specials and Game Specials.

    Lastly setting the hook while fishing a spinner-bait. Many times the strike alone will hook the fish, however there are times that you get a strike especially on a big fish and you just know its not hooked good. While your reeling this fish in, yank that rod toward you with the tip down to get the hook set deeper into the mouth of the fish. If the fish is not hooked good the first time it jumps it will throw the hook and this will ensure a deeper hook set, I have lost some fish this way over the years but I believe I have kept many more that would have thrown the hook anyway than I have lost.

    My preferences of spinner-baits are as follows:

    1. In the summer I like colors that match the color of the water, in the spring I like them a little lighter. I want red somewhere on the bait always, on the skirt, or a blade or hook again this is for reasons of the predator bass, and red looks wounded.
    2. I use a trailer that offsets the color of the skirt, generally gray or silver with a dark color and bright green or white with a bright color.
    3. I generally use a 1.0 or 2.0 trailer hook; again I like red hook trailer with dark colors and silver hook with light colors.
    4. I use a ½ to 1.0 oz. Most of the time, unless I have some real thick grass I am trying to fish over then I go lighter.
    5. I use a combination Willow leaf and Colorado blade most of the time unless I want more vibration to trigger a reaction bite like in the spring then I use a single Colorado blade. I use a double Willow leaf blade if I want a lot of clanging noise.
    6. I want a spinner-bait that does not rollover, I have found only one that you can bet on will not and that’s “Punisher Lures,” “Flame spinner-bait”

    Now that you know how to fish, what to fish it with, and how to make it act in the water you can go out there and fish with confidence that you will catch fish. If you don’t believe me, try this little trick. Get in your boat, leave your entire tackle box home except your “Flame Spinner Baits” your rod and reel, and make your success depend on this bait. This will make you think like a wounded baitfish and you will catch fish, learn to use your spinner-bait and have fun doing it.

    I have one more suggestion; let me personally teach you to fish the “Punisher Lures Flame Spinner-bait” come fish with me on beautiful Lake Guntersville Alabama. I will supply the tackle, boat, teach you these techniques and help you catch bass.