Spinnerbait Fishing Tips and Techniques
This article will cover spinnerbait fishing tips and techniques. Spinnerbaits are very effective fishing lures. While they really don’t resemble any type of natural forage, they put out flash, vibration, and action. Spinnerbaits consist of a wire arm that is shaped a bit like a safety pin. On the upper arm is a spinner blade or blades. On the lower arm is a hook, usually adorned with a rubber skirt or soft plastic bait. The line is tied in the center.
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Spinnerbaits are popular with anglers for several reasons. Due to their design, spinnerbaits are quite weedless. The wire frame allows them to walk over structure and through weeds and grass. Spinnerbaits have a lot of built in action and are very easy to use. This is important for novice and inexperienced anglers. They also allow anglers to cover a lot of water in a short period of time in search of fish.
Spinnerbaits are mostly used by freshwater anglers. They come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, styles, and colors. The tiniest versions will catch bluegill and panfish. The largest spinner baits will fool a trophy pike or musky. Saltwater anglers do use spinnerbaits occasionally as well, mostly for fishing for redfish in shallow water.
Capt Jim Klopfer is a fishing charter captain in Sarasota, Florida. While he mostly runs saltwater charters, he grew up in Maryland fishing rivers and tributaries on Chesapeake Bay. He also does quite a bit of freshwater fishing in Florida. He shares some tips and his favorite spinnerbaits in this article
Rods and reels for fishing with spinnerbaits
Anglers fishing with spinnerbaits use both spinning and bait casting tackle. The primary consideration is the size of the spinnerbait being used. Anglers casting small baits in search of panfish, small bass, and other species usually rely on spinning tackle. This is simply because it is not practical trying to cast a very light lure with bait casting equipment.
Anglers should match the rod and reel to the size of the spinnerbait being cast as well as the fish being targeted. An ultralight outfit with 4 pound or 6 pound line is excellent for panfish, crappie, bluegill, and small bass. 10 to 12 pounds spinning tackle works well for medium-size fish such as Bass, walleye, small pike, and other species. Anglers casting the largest of spinner baits for big bass, pike, and musky can either use bait casting equipment or heavy spinning outfits. Shakespear Ugly Sticks are available in many sizes at a reasonable price.
Spinnerbait fishing tips and techniques
One of the primary advantages of spinnerbaits is that they are so easy to use. The action is basically built in, anglers really only need to vary the retrieve speed. They can be used in a variety of depths. However, in most instances they are most effective when fished in reasonably shallow water. Also, in many types of fishing, especially using soft plastic baits, bites can be difficult to detect. This is not the case with spinnerbaits!
Spinnerbaits really shine when fished around cover. The design of the bait makes them relatively weedless. Spinner baits tend to walk over fallen trees as well as rocks and other submerged cover. They will also worked our way through weeds. However, just like most baits, spinner baits will load up on heavy moss.
Spinnerbaits are best when fished near cover
The most effective way to fish a spinnerbait is generally to work shoreline cover. The boat is placed at an angle, 45° or less, to the shoreline. This results in the spinner baits staying in the strike zone longer. The angler then casts the lure out past likely looking structure and then works the spinner bait back to it. If the bait can be bounced off a tree limb or rock, so much the better. This is often when a strike occurs.
As with all fishing, anglers should vary the cover, location, depth, and speed to determine what the fish want that day. In most cases, a fairly brisk and steady retrieve works best. However this is not always the case. Sometimes burning it just under the surface will produce. Other days slow rolling close to the bottom works best. Anglers can even combine the two and reel fast for a bit and then let the spinnerbait flutter to the bottom. Spinnerbaits are very effective when worked just over the top of submerged weed beds.
Spinnerbaits can also be used to work deeper structure such as points and rock piles in water between 10 and 15 feet deep. However, this is a bit more technical. It is a technique that produces when the water is on the cold side and fish have schooled up in these traditional winter locations.
Spinnerbait color and size considerations
As in all fishing, anglers who match the spinner bait to the locally available forage as well as the current conditions will almost always be more successful. Spinnerbaits come in a wide variety of sizes and just about every color pattern imaginable. The species of fish being targeted is also another factor to take into account. Obviously, anglers pursuing pan fish will use tiny spinner baits while those chasing pike will use the largest versions.
While color combinations are endless, there are a few patterns that have proven themselves to be productive over time. White is an outstanding color in many fishing situations. Lakes with clear water and those with a lot of shad are natural spots to cast a white spinnerbait. In fact, many forage species tend to be light colored or silvery. This makes white with a silver blade or blades an excellent choice for a variety of species.
Conversely, darker colors along with gold blades work very well in stained water conditions and in low light conditions such as morning, evening, and on cloudy days. Tannin stained water and gold just go together very well. Chartreuse spinnerbaits with either silver or gold blades will catch fish in just about any situation.
Spinnerbait blade options
The blades that are used on a spinner bait definitely have an effect on the action of the lure. The three types of spinnerbait blades that are commonly used are willow leaf, Indiana, and Colorado. Willow leaf blades are long and slender. They are an excellent choice in very clear water or and conditions when fish want more of a finesse presentation. Often times they are used in combination with a Colorado or Indiana blade.
Colorado blades are large and round and put out a ton of vibration. They are the best choice in dirty or stained water when used with a slow steady retrieve. The vibration and flash will draw fish into the bait. They are effective in clear water as well. Indiana blades are similar to Colorado blades, but they are just a little bit smaller.
Trailers and trailer hooks
Anglers can tweak their spinnerbaits a bit more if they desire. Most spinner baits come with a skirt with rubber legs. These undulate seductively in the water and look very realistic. However, many anglers enhance this action while adding some bulk to the lure with the addition of a soft plastic trailer.
Basically any paddle or curly tail grub can be added to the hook of a spinnerbait. This adds both bulk in action to the lure. Even larger soft plastic baits such as frogs can be used. Back in the day, anglers used a chunk of pork with undulating legs on. Soft plastic baits have pretty much replaced that now.
Some spinnerbaits come with a trailer or stinger hook. Anglers can add them to the lure as well. This is another hook that slides over the point and then down to the bend of the spinner bait hook. There are many times when bass and other species will short strike a spinner bait. On these days, the stinger hook can make all the difference in the world.
There are many different spinnerbaits on the market for anglers to choose from. There really is no right or wrong lure and all of them will produce fish when used correctly in locations were fish are present. Here are some of the best spinnerbaits that Capt. Jim has found to be productive. The list will be given from the smallest spinnerbaits for panfish up to the largest for pike and musky.
The Johnson Beetlespin is an unassuming looking little bait. However, it is an extremely effective spinnerbait for bluegill and panfish. The 1/16 ounce size works very well in most situations for panfish. Anglers chasing larger bluegill as well as crappie can bump it up to the 1/8 ounce size. Finally, the one quarter ounce size is extremely effective for bass and ponds and streams.
Beetlespins come in a wide variety of color patterns. Capt. Jim’s favorite is the simple silver blade with a black grub body with either a white or yellow stripe. Green would be his second favorite, followed by white. These lures look very simple in the package, but they really are incredibly effective fishing lures.
Mister Twister spinnerbait
The Mister Twister spinnerbait and they 1/8 ounce size is a terrific lure for panfish and small bass. The flash of the blade and the incredible action of the curly tail are irresistible to many fish. Like most spinner baits, especially when chasing panfish, the slower the retrieve the better. As long as the blades are rotating in flashing, it will produce fish. Chartreuse is by far Capt. Jim’s favorite color.
Strike King Mini spinnerbait
The Strike King Mini spinnerbait is an excellent “transition” lure. It is an excellent choice when fishing smaller bodies of water such as ponds, streams, and smaller rivers. In situations where larger spinner baits land too loudly or are too large and flashy, these mid sized spinner baits work extremely well. The one quarter ounce size in black with a silver blade is Capt. Jim’s favorite. White can be extremely effective right after a shad spawn when game fish are feeding on fry bait.
Booyah Pond Magic spinnerbait
The Booyah Pond Magic is another spinnerbait designed to fish smaller bodies of water. It is a tandem bladed bait and is a bit larger than the lure listed above. These baits come in some very enticing and unique color combinations that were specifically designed for fishing in small ponds and rivers.
Full sized spinnerbaits
There are many companies that manufacture quality spinnerbaits. It would be impossible to list them all and no slight is meant for those that are omitted. Most of these larger spinner baits are tandem bladed baits. They are offered and combinations of willow leaf, Colorado, and Indiana blades. The following is a list of larger spinnerbaits that are available in multiple sizes and colors for anglers to use.
Strike King Spinnerbaits
Strike King is a leader in the industry when it comes to spinnerbaits. We have already listed the many spinnerbait above. There are several strike King spinner baits that anglers should consider. The premier plus spinner bait by strike King is an outstanding lure. It is a tandem blades spinner bait, sporting a Colorado and a willow leaf blade.
The Strike King Finesse KVD Spinnerbait is a bit smaller in size and profile. It is an excellent choice in very clear water, especially in the cooler months when bait tends to be smaller. It is a tandem blades spinnerbait that has a smaller profile skirt. Like all Strike King spinner baits, it is a stout lure made with quality components.
The Terminator line of spinnerbaits is well-known throughout the industry to be an incredibly tough and durable fishing lure. It is made from quality components and has a frame that bounces back into shape. It uses quality ball bearings swivels on the blades. The head of the jig was specifically designed to be especially weedless. Terminator spinner baits come in a variety of color combinations.
Booyah spinnerbaits have taken the market by storm in a relatively short amount of time. They offer several different spinnerbait models that are both durable and effective. These super shad spinner bait is unique in that it comes with four willow leaf blades. This results in the lure mimicking a small school of fish, similar to the Alabama rigs, but much easier to cast.
Booyah offers a complete line of spinnerbait options for anglers. The choice is endless, single and tandem bladed baits with combinations of Colorado, Indiana, and willow leaf blades are available in a variety of sizes. The Booyah Pikee spinner bait is the best lure on the market for anglers who want to cast a spinner bait for pike or musky.
Z-Man is another company that offers quality spinnerbaits to anglers. They are all tandem bladed baits that are available in a combination of blades along with skirt color options. These baits are constructed with quality components and are both durable and effective.
Molix spinnerbaits are premium lures that use high quality components. They are Kayla’s personal favorite baits. Discerning anglers who want to use the best may choose to use these lures. Like most manufacturers, Molix offers anglers a variety of color combinations in both skirts and blades.
Redfish Magic Spinnerbait
The Redfish Magic is the first spinnerbait designed for saltwater anglers. It is an excellent search bait that can cover a lot of water when fishing expansive flats. While primarily designed for redfish in the shallows, it will catch spotted sea trout, snook, jacks, and other species as well. It comes with a large, single gold blade with a paddle tail grub body.
In conclusion, this article on spinnerbait fishing tips and techniques should encourage anglers to take advantage of these very effective lures which are easy to use!