The spinnerbait is one of the most successful bass fishing lures, yet it has seen a decline in popularity over the years. One reason for this is because of wide array of spinnerbaits available in the market nowadays which makes the choice a daunting one for many anglers. And although they may know about the basics, they’re not really familiar with what makes spinnerbaits more effective than other types of lures, or even what makes one spinnerbait better than the other. If you identify with this group of anglers, worry not because we have here a breakdown of what you need to know about spinnerbait for bass and how to use a spinnerbait when fishing for bass.
What is a Spinnerbait?
Simply put, a bass fishing spinnerbait is a lead head molded onto a hook with an elbowed wire to form the arm. The arm can hold a single blade, a tandem blade, and sometimes even more. When you reel the lure in the blade or blades spin, either on a swivel or around the arm, causing vibration and drag.
Because of the material it is made of and the inherent design, spinnerbaits and the blade used for spinnerbait fishing may not look anything like something that a bass would normally eat. However, it does appeal to the predatory instincts of bass fish mainly because it looks vulnerable and the vibrations that it produces are enough to attract bass and encourage it to bite.
Spinnerbaits are available in a variety of colors and shapes, and are great for fishing in and around fishing spots with a lot of cover like lily pads, grass, brush, and others. They can also be used when fishing in rock piles, boat docks and other similar fishing spots.
Types of Blades
Spinnerbait blades are available in a variety options, but there are three shapes that are more commonly used than others. These are the Colorado blade, Indiana blade, and the willow leaf blade. Manufacturers have come up with variations for these three, but the main features were all retained and standard across brands.
- Willow Leaf. A willow leaf blade is slender and have rounded points on either end. Compared to the two other blade shapes, this one spins faster. Anglers typically use this type of spinnerbait when fishing in grass-laden waters and in clear waters where a fast retrieve is essential to catching bass. Although a willow leaf blade flashes more, it tends to vibrate the least.
- Colorado Blade. Colorado blades look more like a teardrop, with a huge rounded end and a pointed one at the opposite. Unlike a willow leaf blade, a Colorado blade spins less and will make a huge thump when it hits the water causing bigger water disturbance. Colorado blades are often the go to spinnerbait for anglers fishing in muddy waters and during nighttime. In muddy waters, anglers will generally go for a brightly colored blade and skirt that creates a good contrast against the water’s color. For those who are fishing for bass at night, a dark colored blade and skirt if often what anglers use. Of the three types of blades here, the Colorado blade vibrates the most but flashes the least.
- Indiana Blade. The Indiana blade is a sort of compromise between a willow leaf blade and a Colorado blade. It doesn’t flash as much as a willow leaf blade, but it does flash more than a Colorado blade. In as much, an Indiana blade doesn’t vibrate as much as a Colorado blade, but it does vibrate more than a willow leaf blade. Because they are somewhat of an in-between, they are pretty versatile and good for most bass fishing conditions.
Color Choice: Keep It Simple
Spinnerbaits are available in a wide range of colors, and it can sometimes be confusing when it comes to which color to use. However, experts generally recommend keeping colors simple and sticking to the basics. For instance, when fishing in clear waters you’ll want to go for one with natural, subtle tones. However, during those times when bass are not very aggressive, you may want to throw in some bold colors to attract them. In stained and muddy waters, you’ll want to go for colors that create a good contrast against the water. And the muddier the water, the more contrast and color you want in order to help the bass hone in on the bait.
Wire diameter is not something that many anglers look at with regard to spinnerbaits, yet they may have a huge impact on sensitivity and durability. In general, spinnerbaits with lighter wires have more vibration which is great when you’re fishing for bass in shallow waters. Once you move to the deeper waters though, you’ll want to go for a thicker wire since a thin one may open up on the hookset and during the fight. Wire diameter varies from one manufacturer to another, and some even came up with tapered wires (heavier gauge near the head and lighter gauge near the blade) which appears to have struck a balance between vibration and durability.
Use a Baitcasting Tackle
Although there are plenty of great bass fishing rods, many anglers prefer to pair their spinnerbaits with a baitcasting rod and reel combo. For the rod, most will look for one that is stout enough to make long casts and has enough backbone to pull a large bass fish out of the cover when needed. For them, using a seven feet baitcasting rod with a medium-heavy action is often called for.
In general, anglers will use a baitcasting reel with a moderate or fast retrieval ratio since fishing for bass with a spinnerbait usually calls for a moderate to fast retrieve. A high-speed reel can cause anglers to fish their spinnerbaits too fast, which is never a good thing during those times when it is necessary to fish slowly. A slow retrieval ratio is also advantageous for slow fishing. In any case, you’ll want to fill your reel to the recommended capacity for the sake of casting efficiency and retrieval, although a baitcasting reel does not really need a lot of line capacity.
Deep Spinnerbait Use
It has long been believed (or preached, at least) that spinnerbaits should only be used for fishing in shallow waters. However, this is not really the case since many anglers have been successfully using spinnerbaits when fishing for bass in deeper waters.
Many anglers have been told to use deep-diving plugs and other similar rigs when fishing for bass in the deeper parts of a lake or reservoir. However, spinnerbaits (especially ones with big blades) create a lot of vibration that entices larger bass fish.
Now, as to whether you should use single or tandem blades in deep water, it appears that a large single blade spinnerbait is the more favorable choice. Some anglers make use of a large single Colorado blade and are successful enough in catching bass. Aside from creating a lot of vibration to entice the bass, it also spins while descending which makes it even more tempting (something that tandem blades do not always do).
Fishing Technique: Shallow Retrieves
The most common technique that anglers used when fishing for bass using a spinnerbait is to retrieve it anywhere from between a few feet to a few inches from the water’s surface. When fishing in clear waters, you can easily watch the lure coming out of the water (the point where the bass is most likely to strike) which is something that excites many anglers. However, even if you’re fishing in murky waters and aren’t able to see the lure, you will still know where the lure is at and when a bass strikes it because is causes a splash on the surface.
Another reason why anglers like this style of fishing for bass with spinnerbaits is because they are able to see when the fish comes close to the lure to inspect it or when it strikes at the bait but misses. When this happens, anglers simply take a second cast at the same area and catch the fish.
Also, when fishing in shallow waters you’ll want to begin retrieving the spinnerbait the moment it hits the water. This will help to prevent the lure from touching the bottom or any other item submerged under the water which can prevent the blade from spinning. Remember, you want the blade to spin in order to attract the fish.
Globo Surf Overview
As mentioned, using a spinnerbait for bass fishing can end up being a productive fishing trip for any angler. And although there are plenty of types and styles of spinnerbaits being sold in tackle shops or local fishing outfitters, you don’t necessarily have to go nit-picking at each and every one of them. Stick to the simple and proven types and colors and see your chances of landing bass fish increase. Of course, you can continue studying about the different types and styles of spinnerbaits as this can help further increase your knowledge about how to use a spinnerbait and which ones can provide you with the most success, but if you’re fairly new to spinnerbait use consider sticking to the fundamentals first.