Bass Fishing Tips Using Spinner Baits
There is a lot of debate as to what is the best overall artificial bait. Much of the debate depends on the type of fish you're fishing, some is based on where you’re catching, some is based on weather conditions, and some is based on the cover you’re fishing. Most of the arguments that fishermen have are valid arguments for all the main baits, Crankbaits, jigs, spinnerbaits or plastic worms if your talking about fishing for bass only. With all the varied opinions, no one would disagree that the spinnerbait is one of the top lures, and overall I feel is the best for all types of fish.
Types of spinnerbaits
I have caught all the main freshwater fish on spinnerbaits of some type. Crappies, Walleyes, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Pike, Muskie, Perch, Trout, salmon, and even a carp. If I had to pick only one lure to have in a survival situation, I would pick a beetle spin type spinnerbait, a jig with a spinner blade on it. I think it’s the most versatile because it can catch any type of fish, it can be fished in many different ways, and it can even be used as a jig without the spinner blade if you want. That is a topic for another article.
There are basically 4 types of spinnerbaits, inline, safety pin type, topwater and a jig with a spinner attached. They all have their place where they work best in different situations, and also work best for different types of fish.
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The inline spinnerbait
The inline spinnerbait is from my experience most effective in rivers and more open areas where you are fishing structure like points and droppoffs. It’s not an effective lure to use in weeds or submerged timber, it gets caught very easily because of the design and you spend more time trying to get it unhooked than fishing. The inline spinner works better for certain fish as well. I have had very good results using inline spinners for Smallmouth bass, Crappies, Pike and perch in open water and when fishing points, droppoffs and midlake humps.
I have also had good results fishing rivers with inline spinners. There are a variety of designs and colors that can be used. I have had the best results with yellow or white bodies with inline spinners because the water is generally dark or stained, with lower visibility. You can use some variation in retrieve, a yo yo retrieve can be effective, but this lure is most effective with a steady retrieve.
The topwater spinnerbait is generally an inline spinner bait that is made to be used on the surface, or just under the surface.This spinnerbait is mainly used for Largemouth bass and Pike, and works best in specific places and conditions.
My most exciting experience with a topwater spinner was one early Friday morning, the day before Bass season opened. I was with my brother on a nice lake in the Northeastern suburbs of the Twin Cities. If was just after sunrise and there was a fog hanging about 5 feet above the water, and the water was like glass smooth. We were fishing in a flooded area that had lots of submerged trees.
I threw out a propeller type inline topwater spinner with a big green hair shirt on it. I like this lure because you can keep it on top with a slower retrieve than most. I started cranking it in and was watching and listening to the lure coming across the top of the water. Off to the left, about 10 feet from the lure trail I see a wake moving toward the lure. She came completely out of the water when she hit it and the fight was on. I landed the fish and weighed her and she was just under 6 pounds, which is huge in Minnesota. I quickly put her back in the lake and she swam off.
I have caught many other largemouths and several Pike on topwater spinnerbaits, they are all exciting because most are extremely vicious, but none were more fun than that one. I have used them effectively with a slight chop on the water, but I have had my best success when the surface is calm.
Safety pin type spinnerbait
The safety pin type spinnerbait is the most common and works well for most types of fishing, and for many types of fish. This spinner is most common because it is very versatile and comes in hundreds of styles, colors, and types of blades. There are the round Colorado spinner blades that are most popular, but also willow leaf blades that work well also. There are combinations that have both on the same bait. The can be fished in most any type of cover because of their design, they will bounce off of most hard structures, and can be ripped through most types of weeds and fished back to the boat without weeds on them.
You can use a wide variety of retrieves, from steady retrieve, to a helicopter type that falls to the bottom and then is more or less jigged back to the boat. They also can be used to catch almost any type of fish. The also come in a wide variety of weights, from small light ones for crappies, up to very heavy large baits for bass and pike in heavy weeds.
They also come in just about any color you can think of, and the rubber skirts are replaceable on most of them, so you can even change colors on the same bait. it is also common to put a rubber trailer on the hook to use for extra size of extra lift and visual appeal. I have also taken off the rubber skirt and put on just a curly plastic worm to give a different look, and have had success with that combination as well. You can add the fish scented or flavored chunks or worms to give it smell also.
This bait is only limited by your imagination. There are so many options that you can try, and you may come up with something great that hasn’t been thought of before. This type of bait is by far my most used spinnerbait, because of the versatility and because I spend a lot of time fishing time covering the edges of weedlines and inside of weed beds.
Jig with spinner
The fourth type, the jig and spinner is also very versatile and very useful in many types of situations and cover. If I had only one lure I could use, it would be this one, if I had to pick only one lure for all types of fishing. The Beetle spin was the first of this type I had ever seen, and I loved it from the beginning. I have caught every type of fish on this lure.
You can set it up with so many options. My favorite for Bass is a black jig head with a black or dark purple rubber twister tail and a medium to large silver colorado blade. If you put a large blade on this bait, you can bounce it off structure, rip it through weeds, and reel it from fast to very slow if the fish are finicky. A smaller jig head and a small blade, and it’s a great crapping lure, almost as effective as live bait for crappies. For Crappies I like white, yellow and pink as my favorite colors.
I was slow rolling a small white one along the bottom in about 8 feet of water catching crappies one day, and I caught a 4 to 5 pound carp on it. Was shocked, I had never caught a carp on any artificial bait before.
I have also caught many walleye on a black jig with black twister tail bass fishing weed edges. I do not fish for Walleyes often, because I am not a bobber fisherman unless I am fishing for a meal and want some Crappies and bluegills. I have been pleasantly surprised by the numbers of Walleyes I have caught over the years not even trying.
Spinnerbait fishing tips
I have lots of jigs, plastic worms and a large assortment of crankbaits in my tackle boxes, and I use them often. The versatility and the effectiveness of spinnerbaits will keep them as one of my favorite fishing lures for the rest of my life. Experimenting and learning all you can do with a spinnerbait will make you a better fisherman, and will make it unlikely you will ever have those days when you don’t catch fish.