The spinner bait has to be one of the best and most popular bass baits out there but when I watch people fishing them I often notice that they are not getting the most out of them. It seems to me that many of us just get hung up in the easiest way to fish this bait which is to just straight retrieve it at a constant fairly rapid speed in shallow water over weeds or around other cover. You will catch fish this way but probably not as many as you could. In order to have more success you have to start to think out of the box. Next time you are out and you feel like a spinner bait might be what you want to fish try doing some of these:
The Slow Roll
Really the name tells it all. To slow roll a spinner bait just retrieve it at the slowest possible speed you can where you still can feel that the blades are working. What this does for you is allows you to work the bait on or really close to the bottom. This tactic can be deadly when used over deeper weed beds or if you have found some deep structure such as hump.
Change the Pace
Instead of just retrieving at one speed mix it up. As you reel the bait in speed up and slow down your retrieve as you go. A lot of times the fish will hit as you speed up. It must trigger an instinct that the bait is getting away or something. Anyway if you think about this it makes sense as if you watch bait they rarely are swimming at one constant speed.
You can do this technique combined with any of the above. Just add a yo-yoing motion as you go through your retrieve. To do this as you reel you can drop your rod tip down. Then as you continue to retrieve lift the rod up this will cause the bait to rise and fall as you retrieve. I have found this works really well combined with a slow roll over deeper water.
Do any of the above retrieves or combination of retrieves but every once in a while just stop and let the bait flutter down. You can vary the amount of time you let the bait flutter from very short to long enough to let it come to rest on the bottom. When restarting your retrieve just give the rod a quick pop upward to get the blades spinning again and then continue on with your retrieve. This works really well when you are retrieving past cover like stumps Retrieve until you are near the cover and then "kill it' and allow it to flutter down along the cover. I know someone who employs this tactic and who catches some real hawgs by doing it.
Rather than going with one of the retrieves above you can actually jig it. Cast then allow the bait to fall all the way to the bottom. Then sweep the rod up quickly. Then slowly reel in retrieving line until the bait flutters back to the bottom. Just keep repeating until you bring the bait all the way in.
There are really infinite possibilities you can employ when fising a spinner bait. Just use your imagination. That is what makes this such a fun bait to use.
Jeff Banko (vafishing)
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