Learning to select the best spinnerbait for the situation can vastly improve your bass fishing catch rates, especially during autumn, when spinnerbaits excel but when conditions change quickly.
Autumn and spinnerbait bass fishing go together. The bass follow big schools of shad into creek arms of reservoirs, move shallower and feed heavily as the water temperatures moderate.
Spinnerbait bass fishing is fun and highly effective, and the core technique is simple, especially when the fish are fairly shallow. Make long casts past likely fish-holding cover or over structural features such as points and humps, reel back mostly steadily, and set the hook when a fish bites.
Like with any type of fishing, patterning is important for maximizing success. Begin where you see shad flipping on the surface and keep moving – whether you’re walking the bank or fishing from a boat – until the fish start hitting, which reveals locations and provides patterning clues. Vary retrieve speeds and depths, and add occasional rod snaps or hesitations. Take careful note of what you had been doing every time a bass hits.
That said, the most important thing you can do to make the most of every spinnerbait bass fishing trip is to select the best spinnerbait for the waters you are fishing and prevailing conditions. With so many spinnerbaits out there, that decision can seem overwhelming, and it’s too easy to just default to a specific spinnerbait that has worked for you before or simply to guess. A more systematic approach will make you far more effective catching fish consistently, even as conditions change. We’ll break down major variables and the selection process.
Important Spinnerbait Blade Variables
- Shape – Colorado blades, which are round, maximize vibration and slow a spinnerbait’s fall. Willow leaf blades send out more flash but less vibration and allows the bait to sink more easily. In-between shapes, like Oklahoma blades, fall in-between in vibration, flash and resistance.
- Size – Stock spinnerbait model blade sizes generally balance spinnerbaits properly. Where options exist for the same size of spinnerbait, larger blades of any given shape equate to more flash, vibration and resistance. Balance of blade size and bait size also affect the speed you can fish a spinnerbait effectively.
- Configuration – Spinnerbaits come in a broad range of blade configurations, with a big single Colorado blade offering the most thump and two or more willow blades sending out the most flash. Combinations of two different types of blades generally give spinnerbaits more versatility. Each combination offers a unique blend of vibration, flash and resistance.
- Color – Metallic blades are the most common because of their flash – with silvery blades often favored for clear water and bright skies and gold and copper excelling in dark water and under dark skies. Painted blades, interestingly, are the most popular in muddy water for added visibility and for burning in very clear water to prompt reaction strikes.
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