Chatterbait Fundamentals

Since the release of the chatter bait there have been a lot of questions over the years on how/when and why to use them. I’ve spent the vast majority of time using the KaRu product called the Vibrashock [] because this lure just…

Since the release of the chatter bait there have been a lot of questions over the years on how/when and why to use them. I’ve spent the vast majority of time using the KaRu product called the Vibrashock [] because this lure just out performs any other chatter style bait for me. I use a 6.5 MH or 7 foot MH rod with a 5-1 or 6-1 retrieve reel with 17 lbs fluorocarbon or 65 lb braid. I use fluorocarbon for most everything, but if I’m around docks, pad fields or heavy vegetation I’ll go with the braid. You can feel every little thing and the strength of the braid will let you get the fish out fast before it can dig into the grass or wrap you up under a dock. These suggestions can be used with any chatter/blade lure you chose and I hope in the end they help you put more bass in the boat.

The best thing in my opinion is you can’t work these lures wrong, there is a time and place for them as they are not a magic bait that will put fish in your boat no matter what but it is the best over all lure I’ve ever used and I always have at least one tied on and more often then not 2 or 3 to cover the color selection one any given body of water.

In my experience the only time I found a chatter/blade bait to not to work as well as another lure is when fish are in a funk the vibration this lure produces turns them off. We all know there are times when a willow leaf spinnerbait will out produce a big old Colorado blade and the same holds true with these because there is nothing on the market today, in my opinion, that will vibrate and call fish in as well as a Vibrashock but you need to remember there are times bass may want something different. The key is to use the correct presentation and give the fish what they want rather then force feed them your favorite lure.

Often the slow roll retrieve style is all that is needed, by just casting the lure out any place you would fish a spinnerbait and real it back in nice and easy can be killer on cypress tree lake or around any stickups or logs. I think it acts like a big dumb shad or bluegill out for a swim and as it comes around a cypress tree/log/stickup — BAM a bass will crush it.

I’ve also had great success with burning it over grass beds; make sure to engage the real as soon as the lure hits the water to help keep it on top of the grass. You will want to raise your rod tip up high and reel in the slack line very fast also to help keep it from getting hung up in the grass. Once all the slack is taken out you can hold your rod tip down pointing it at the water and off to one side or the other of the lure so you’re in position to set the hook. Now reel fast and add some hard rod twitches from time to time, the strikes typically will be one of two types, a hard hitting one that tries to pull the rod out of your hand, or a more subtle strike where a large fish will come up and eat the whole lure and continue to swim towards the boat with it. The first type is a self hooking fish but the second can throw you off for a second while you try to figure out if grass got hung up on the blade or if you have a fish. If you no longer feel the thump of the lure Increase your retrieve speed and if you feel any weight or the slightest twitch it’s a fish and set the hook. If not, you might have some grass on the blade and to help recover the cast, snap your rod hard a few times to knock it lose. This is very similar to fishing a rattle trap and when ripping it loose you might draw a fish to strike so hold on because if you do it will be hard and fast.

Sometimes I mix up the retrieves around the wood cover by casting past a target and swim it erratically up to a tree/log/dock/grass clump and then kill it. By letting it sink for a sec or two and then start a slow steady retrieve back up you are able to entice those bass that might pass up a faster presentation. If your working a row of trees you can duplicate this over and over, by working it quickly to the first tree, kill it, then start out slow and speed it up to the next tree and kill it again, doing this over and over until you get a bite or move on to the next set of trees. This same approach can be used on dock or bridge pilings or any cover you find lined up.

I’ve also found people are hesitant to use this lure in heavy cover because most on the market doesn’t use a weed guard. They are naturally very resistant to snags because the blade will help deflect the lure much like the bill on a crankbait so don’t be afraid to pitch this lure into a brush pile or other thick cover because that’s often where some of the biggest bass live. When fishing brush tops you can just let it fall like a jig or cast it up into a clump of trees or brush piles letting it sink a few feet and then start your retrieve out of the stuff. Or you can work it like a normal jig and shake it, or hop it up over sticks and limbs. Should you get hung up, don’t panic, give the bait some slack line and pop your rod tip up a few times and it should hop over or out of whatever it’s hung on. If this fails to get your lure free then use the bow and arrow trick by snapping the line bowing the rod and popping the lure free. If it still won’t come out continue to use the bow and arrow trick as you move the boat up closer to where you were hung, with your rod tip high pluck the line pulling the bow in an arc and then snap the line loose do this a few times and you will almost always get your lure back. The only lures I have lost to date have been snagged on a cable to far under a dock to reach. Speaking of docks; pitch or flip these lures as far as you can under them hitting all the pilings on the way out. Do this a few times and if there is a fish under there it will bite, make sure you remember where it hit so you can repeat that same cast from dock to dock.

When working deep water, use it as a jig and pitch it next to a tree or cover and let it fall all the way down, then quickly raise your rod tip feeling the thump, one, two, three feet or so and then let it fall again. Based on your electronics and the strike of the fish you will soon know how far to lift the lure off the lake floor and how fast to work your retrieve; this also works well on humps and channel bends.

Finally I would recommend that people experiment with the lure, for example take off the skirt and use some sort of soft plastic. I like to take a 3/8 ounce vibrashock without a skirt and put a 6 or 8 inch lizard on it in the spring and swim it. From just after the start of the spawn I’ll replace the lizard with a soft plastic swimbait and when the bass get finicky and don’t want such a large profile I’ll add a sweet beaver without a skirt in whatever color best matches the hatch. I hope this gets you started off in the right direction and other then Fogy Green “my favorite” use the colors you have most confidence in. If you like a chartreuse and white spinnerbait go ahead and use that color combination along with past experiences on the water to help you build confidence in this lure, because at the end of the day without confidence in your equipment you won’t be happy with it.

See You on the Water

Ronald S. Fogelson

Forum Admin for

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