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2007 Stratos 486 FS
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Year Around Spinnerbait Tactic
By Steve VonBrandt

Spinnerbaits are not just a tool for the spring and fall. Spinnerbaits can be deadly, if the right ones, were fished in a variety of situations weather it be the East Coast or the West. The trick is to be able to distinguish, which is the right one for the right situation? Spinnerbaits can fished in so many different ways, all of which, produce BIG BASS from north to south, east to west. They can be fished through the water column top to bottom. They are really a versatile bait if you know the little tricks it takes to fish them effectively. They can be fished many ways by varying the retrieve, weight of the bait, blade size, the trailer, color, etc. You have a bait here that can work a water column that can catch fish from 1-25 feet, and because it is so versatile, you can fish it fast, slow, and in all seasons of the year. The first time I discovered this, I was amazed at how many fish I had must have missed in my youth, by not knowing how to fish a spinnerbait here in the Northeast. When it was October here in Delaware, I went hunting until the end of Quail season. Soon after 1976, I read my first issue of Basssmaster magazine, I decided that if they could do it, Then I could too! Soon after, in late December in Delaware, I caught my first bass on a "Stan Sloan" single nickel Colorado blade,( with a purple skirt, with rattles on the arm,) by letting it flutter into a sunken tree, in 10 foot deep, 36 degree water, I soon felt that sluggish pull on the line ;" like a pile of leaves or grass", not until then, did I realize that I could catch bass year round on the right lures, with the right presentaion,sound and color. and patience was well over 6 pounds, and it was a different fight when she got close to the boat and saw me and the trolling motor. Since that time I have fished all over the United States, from New York to California, and found the right spinnerbait and the right technique produces BIG bass from all sorts of waters all year long. They key is to keep it in the strike zone, and most lures are made so that you can work them as slowly as you want to, while still keeping them in the strike zone.


I like to use the spinnerbait as a search tool, and kind of a depth finder, and bottom contour device also. What I do is check out the structure of the lake by bumping objects, and increasing my chance for a reaction strike right then. The spinnerbait will make a different sound bumping off different things such as, stumps, rocks, sand, pea gravel, etc.I also vary the speed a lot, and even shake the rod if necessary, trying to give the bass a different look, which is important in highly pressured waters at times. I work buzzbaits in a different manner also, which I believe is what accounts for some real Lunkers that I might have missed. There are times when using the spinnerbait is effective, but never overlook another good lure when just a few are hitting the spinnerbait, but maybe more, and even bigger ones would hit a different bait, such as a worm, or a "Senko," but all around it is a VERY GOOD bait. When fishing the bait in heavy cover such as pads, I employ a technique that I now know that it is called fluttering by some anglers. Basically what you do is to cast the spinnerbait out into the pads, and by moving your rod tip, and other parts of your body positioning, you maneuver the bait through the pads, and when it comes to an opening, stop it, and let it flutter down. Many strikes comes as a lure sinks, be it a spinnerbait or soft plastic, or a jig. You should make a lot of csta to the areas where you really believe the bass are, or see them, as they CAN be irritated into striking, after the bait is presented in enough variations and positions. Slow rolling can be extremely effective in deep water as it designed to imitate a a crawfish on the bottom, or another type of bass forage. The trick to it is rolling it down the side of a sloping bank, a rock bar, a hump, or any underwater structure, and then slomly pump it back to the boat. We employ the almost identical technique with a lipless crankbait also with great success. There are also better types of spinnerbaits for different types of cover. C shaped baits tend to work better than heavy pads and grass, but a V shaped bait gets hung up more easily.

Riprap is another good area to slow roll spinnnerbaits.Over the rocks and debris mixed in, many large bass are waiting in ambush for prey to come along, and a re primes areas to slow-roll spinnerbaits. The spinnerbaits should be slowrolled over the rocks and such, and extra action imparted to the bait is not really necessary. It should crawl over the bottom, and sometimes I give it a little twitch. All you have to do is raise the rod a slight bit, lightly shake it, and then continue slowrolling it back to the bait.


When the bass are really deep I employ a technique I call deep pulling; its like a yo-yo method but a little different. I let the bait flutter all the way down, and then let it sit, then I pull it hard and way up near the surface and do it again. I use real heavy baits with Colorado blades for this, usually in a chartreuse, or a chartreuse and white skirt when I fish in places that have dying shad in the winter, but anywhere else, I always use black, or black/purple combinations. I always add a little Yum attract or baitmate in Shad or Crawfish.


I always like to use a 6 to 6 1/2 foot rod for this but sometimes I like to use a 7 foot rod, for different occasions. Many time situations come up when a 7 foot rod suits the situation better that a 6 or 6 1/2 foot rod for distance and control. Most of my rods I use for this technique are in a medium heavy action. I really like a Fiberglass rod for these baits, but there are many new rods that are very good for spinnerbaits and crankbaits, made by G.Loomis, St.Croix, and Shimano. Sometimes on the smaller baits I use a spinning rod with Spiderline. but the rest of the time I use a baitcast rod with a Shimano Chronarch, with 14-20 pound line.


When I choose a color for a spinnerbait, a lot of factors come in to play. The first thing I do is pick a Shad pattern, or whatever is the dominate and new dominate species in the lake. I usually double up the skirts, to give them more bulk. I usually use Blue and White, Black and white, and chartreuse and white. Sometimes I use red also, depending on the location I'm in. All of these colors give a good range of visibility under water.

In muddy water, I have always used the same colors, Black and Blue and Red, the same goes for the nighttime. I like to use the forage in the lake if I can,such as rainbow trout, shad, whatever, and to make it appeared injured to trigger that genetic response. I like to use BIG spinnerbaits in the spring, when I'm in big fish waters, some right here in Delaware, Maryland, Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Mexico. When fishing strictly for big bass with spinnerbaits I add on a double or triple skirt for bulk and lift, and use really big blades. Terminator makes some big blades that I really like on our spinnerbaits. This year here in Delaware, we landed 3 bass in one day on big spinnerbaits, that went 7 and 8 pounds. Some times we even break off the tails of worms for trailers, but many a time in the spring, I have caught some huge bass from 10 inches of muddy water with a big spinnerbait with a trailer. We have had a great response from bass in the Delaware, Maryland, New jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania areas. using a double Golden Shiner skirt. The bluegill, and Shad patterns top the list overall though. Sometimes, reversing the skirts on the baits presents a different profile, and also will also trigger hard to get strikes. The spinnerbait isn't just a bait for beginners, although it is a great bait to break in a novice or child to the sport of bass fishing. But in the hands of an expert, it is a versatile all year round bait, that can catch "HUGE" bass.

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