How, Why, When, And Where To Fish Spinnerbaits

Spinnerbaits Catch Fish Period

 


Grab a hand full of spinners and let’s go fishing.

Today I get to talk about two of my favorite subjects: Spring time fishing and Spinnerbaits. No matter what your level of fishing expertise this article will help you put more and bigger fish in the boat.

First off let’s cover the why to fish spinnerbaits. Spinnerbaits are what I call a search bait, they cover water fast and without a doubt catch fish as well as any other lure. A spinnerbait is the most versatile lure ever maid, and can cover more of the water column than any other lure.If you look at the deck of my boat you will see 3 to 7 of my rods will have a spinnerbait tied on. No matter what the conditions, weather, or time of year. They really work that well, so let’s take a look at how I fish spinnerbaits.

How To Fish Spinnerbaits.

Buzz Them

One of my favorite ways to fish a spinnerbait is to buzz it. Just like it sounds, you fish the spinnerbait just like a buzzbait only just under the surface of the water. If you do this right you should see a boil or wake just behind the the spinnerbait without ever breaking the surface. The best spinnerbaits for this fast power fishing is a tandem willow leaf on back and a colorado inside blade or a double willow leaf blade ( see images below ). This type of fishing aggravates the bass and the strikes are often vicious.

In the springtime when bass are on the bed, this can be the perfect formula for catching the bass of a lifetime.

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Buzzing a spinnerbait works best in shallow water, but don’t be afraid to try this anywhere. Whenever and wherever game fish are chasing bait fish this will work. This is my go-to method for catching bass in weeds that come within 6 inches of the surface. The spinnerbaits above are as weedless and snag proof as any lure, so do not be afraid to run them through the thick stuff.

Slow Roll Them

Slow rolling a spinnerbait is just what it sounds like. Keep the bait moving fast enough to make sure the blades are turning and keep covering water. This is the perfect way to cover water from 3 to 10 feet deep. The faster you reel the shallower the bait will run, the slower you run it the deeper it will run. Throw a spinnerbait up shallow next to the bank and reel fast at first and gradually slow your retrieve as you move over deeper water to cover more of the water column.

Spinnerbaits of different weight and blade design will run at different depths, so change up until you find a depth that bass will strike the lure and then repeat. Bumping the bait off of logs, stumps, rocks, and even weeds will sometimes trigger violent strikes so do not be afraid to throw them around cover. Again spinnerbaits come through cover better than you would think, so bump them off of something and hold on tight.


Tandem willow and Colorado, single Colorado, and single willow blade spinnerbaits work best for slow rolling. They allow you to cover a lot of water fast. Remember you are using the spinnerbait to find fish, so even if you don’t catch the fish when they strike, you now know where the fish is. Throw a soft plastic to the fish and most times you can still catch them. Also do not overlook making several casts to any area that looks fishy. Often you will aggravate a bass and they will hit it once the fish has seen the bait more than once.

Stop It

Any time you see a fish following your bait but not striking, try stopping the bait. Just pause your retrieve for just a turn or two of the reel handle and then reel fast enough to start the blades again. This pause will cause the lure to free fall for a few inches and the blades will flutter. I can’t count the times this has caused a fish that was following the bait to smash it. Whatever way you choose to fish a spinnerbait this one thing will add catches to your next fishing trip.

On days when the fish just do not seem to want to hit anything you throw, sometimes this can turn a bad day of fishing int the catch of a lifetime. This is not just another Bass tactic, I have caught just about every species of game fish on spinners.

Snap It

On waters that receive a high level of fishing pressure, the fish have seen it all. Doing something different can give you the edge to be successful. Fish that have seen spinners that swim in a straight line by the dozens, can become negative towards striking another of the same thing. The easiest way to make your spinner stand out from all the others is by changing your retrieve and making the bait swim different from others the bass have seen.

This retrieve takes some practice, but will make your bait look like a baitfish that is injured and will attract more strikes than one that is swimming in a straight line. To start with let out about three feet of line and drag the spinner under the water where you can watch it swim. This will give you a good idea of what the fish is seeing as the bait swims past them. Now add a few short sharp snaps to the rod tip and watch how the blades flutter and the skirt flares. Make a few short casts and watch the lure while it swims, adding a few short sharp snaps.

You will notice that it doesn’t take much movement in the tip of your rod to make the skirt flare and blades flutter, so don’t over do it. Keep the blades turning at all times, and just enough snap to make the spinner react. Too much snap and the lure will rise, too much time on the free fall and the lure will fall out of the depth you want to run. This is a great way to cover open water or the tops of submerged weeds. This signals an easy meal to the fish and the strikes will be hard and fast.

Drop it


My favorite time to fish spinnerbaits is in the spring. When you get spring rain you get high water. When the water rises it floods all the shoreline cover and the baitfish will fill the new found hiding places. As the water recedes the baitfish are forced to move out from the cover to the edges of open water where gamefish are waiting to feed on the feast. These conditions can be the start of a few days of the best fishing you will ever encounter. To take advantage of this gold rush, grab a hand full of spinners and drop them on the fish.

Dropping a spinnerbait is the best way to cover sharp drops and edges where the water transitions from shallow to deep. With practice you can keep the bait moving and coming in contact with structure over falling depths. With your boat sitting over deeper water cast to the shallows and retrieve towards deeper water. Reel a few turn of the handle to get the blades turning and then stop reeling, hold your rod tip at about a 45% angle to the water and keep the slack out of your line.

With practice you will be able to tell when the bait has fallen close to bottom or you will feel the bait contact something, this is the time to give it a sharp snap to get the blades turning again. Take a few turns on the handle and let the bait fall again. Most strikes happen on the fall or just after the snap.

Tandem spinners with willow blades on the back work well, or a single willow bladed unit would be my choice. 1/2 or 3/4 ounce models are needed to get the right fall rate. If you don’t like the fall rate, try changing the rear blade. Smaller blades will let it fall faster, larger blades will slow the fall. Stay as close to parallel to the bank as needed to stay close to to bottom as the bait falls.

Jig It

A jig has been the choice for fishing structure in deeper water because they get deep and stay in contact with the bottom. The problem is they are slow. You can use a spinnerbait to cover the bottom in water down to 12 feet at a much faster pace. Heavier spinners with smaller blades can be run deep and can cover water quickly. I use thinner blades and premium swivels to make sure they will turn with slower movement. Experiment with speed of retrieve until you can cause the bait to run deep and keep bumping off of bottom objects. Larger fish love to hover off the bottom a fer inches in 8 to 12 feet, and this can be just the ticket to get them to eat.

Final Notes

  1. Spinnerbaits will catch any gamefish that feeds on baitfish
  2. You will improve your success rate by doing something different than the straight retrieve.
  3. Spinners will cover more of the water column than any other bait.
  4. If you are not getting bit change retrieve speed or depth
  5. Don’t just throw a spinnerbait a few times and give up on it.

If you are new to fishing grab a Zebco 33 and a few beatlespins, and go panfishing. Bream, Crappie, and perch all will hit smaller beatlespins, and this is the basics of fishing spinnerbaits. Catching a mess of panfish on light line, and light tackle can be the most you have ever had, even if you are used to catching monsters.

Strike King Kvd, Booyah, Terminator spinnerbaits are my choices for spinners that work straight out of the box. In part two of this article I will teach you my tips and tricks for getting more out of any spinnerbait. Until then I have listed some of my favorite baits. Do yourself a favor and pick a few up and go fishing.


Feel free to leave comments or ask a question. Have a few tips of your own, or want me to cover a specific topic, let me know what’s on your mind.

Get out there and go fishing. The fish of a lifetime is only a cast away.

 

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