Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro angler, spinnerbaits will give you the ability to break down a large area of water in a short period of time. They are extremely versatile; you can fish them from top to bottom, fast or slow, in tight cover or open water, by day or at night. You can alter its action by changing the blades and the skirts. You can also experiment with different sizes, shapes, and finishes of blades. There are so many things you can do to spinner baits making it the most versatile bait in your arsenol. With the right combination of blades, skirts, and sizes, you will catch a bass. When selecting the size and color of the lure you must take into consideration the time of the year and water clarity.
There are many factors that can cause a bass not to bite your lure. There could be a cold front that just came in, or it could be the post-spawn “lock jaw”, or it could be your presentation. But a change in color, speed, size, or shape, can result in a full limit. The average fisherman is the weekend angler, and the weekend angler may not be able to afford hundreds or skirts, hundreds or blades and hundreds of spinnerbaits. Here are the basic colors and sizes for each scenario.
Water Clarity/ Time of Year
When the water visibility is 0-4 feet, you’ll want a spinnerbait with a lot of vibration. In murky water, a bass relies more on sound and vibration rather than sight. The Colorado Blade produces a lot of vibration; this blade is wide and more circular than normal for more water movement resulting in more vibration. When fishing murky water, always remember the fishing adage “match the hatch.” Have you ever fished a very dark body of water and noticed that the fish are also dark? Well, you need to “match the hatch” when fishing at all bodies of water. If the water is dirty, you’re going to want to use a darker spinnerbait. Something like, black and blue or brown with gold blades is a good selecting for this scenario. This tactic can be applied when fishing on cloudy days also.
When the water visibility is 5-8 feet, silver or white baits are a good choice. Again, match the hatch. Clearer lakes generally have lighter fish than murky lakes. With clearer lakes, flash is favored over vibration. When choosing a blade for this circumstance, a blade known as the Willow Leaf blade is ideal for creating flash under water. The Willow Leaf blade is very narrow in comparison to the Colorado blade. This design gives off a lot of flash and very little vibration. Willow Leaf blades produce an even longer figure in the water because of their narrow shape and tight rotation. This blade is extremely effective in clear water, where bass tend to use sight as their primary sense.
Northern lakes contain very clear water. Water visibility is 10+ feet. In lakes such as that, a chartreuse color can be deadly for catching smallmouth bass. Chartreuse is a yellowish color with a tint of green. The double willow leaf set up produces the most flash and produces many fish. These two tactics can be applied when fishing on sunny clear days.
During the spring, downsizing baits is a productive technique for catching sluggish pre-spawn bass. During this time of year large bass are caught on baits as small as 1/8 oz. During the fall, big bass can be caught on baits as big at 1 oz. Though these sizes are a good investment, 3/8 oz is between the two and most bass anglers prefer this size.
Night fishing is a great time to fish for lunkers as they come out to feed. A spinnerbait is a prime lure when fishing the night prowlers. The best color for night fishing is a black spinnerbait with a single black Colorado blade. This night lure contains an unusual large Colorado blade for maximum vibration.
By taking into consideration the multiple aspects of each fishing situation and analyzing each individually, an angler can more effectively choose the proper spinnerbait. Develop a simple checklist for choosing the appropriate bait. Determine such factors as depth, water clarity, retrieval speed; also determine which configuration and size bets suites your needs. By doing so, you will greatly increase the number of bass you catch on spinnerbaits.
Travis Foster (minijhouston)
Junior Secretary of Sail ’em Bass