Through all the years of teaching students bass fishing skills and techniques, as well as many former guide clients I have taken on bass fishing trips, one question comes to mind that has been asked time and time again and that question is; "Are spinnerbaits really worth the money you pay for them?," and I have to say YES!
If I had a choice of 3 baits to fish a body of water for Largemouth, Smallmouth, or Kentucky Spots I would definitely have to say that a Spinnerbait is one of the 3 baits that I would choose. Spinnerbaits are one of the most versatile type of baits that a angler can use when fishing for bass.
There are several different presentations and techniques that one can use when fishing with a spinnerbait, such as;
1....."Chunk-N-Wind" This presentation is probably the most common used by most anglers. You just simply cast the bait and reel it back in at a moderate rate or retrieve keeping the bait just under the water surface usually no deeper than 4 to 5 feet deep. This technique works well when an angler wants to cover a lot of water territory in a short time, and can be found to be very effective at times.
2....."Slow-Rolling" This presentation is used quite often when you want to fish deeper water areas usually anywhere between 6 and 20 foot depths and sometimes even deeper. With this presentation, you want to try to keep the spinnerbait as close to the bottom as possible and bump or hit any possible structure that may be in the area you are fishing. With this presentation, simply cast your spinnerbait, and when it hits the water you can either immediately start your retrieve or "Count-Down" letting the spinnerbait fall to the depth you want to cover, then start your retrieve. Maintain a slow steady retrieve keeping the spinnerbait moving at all times.
3....."Waking or Bulging" This presentation can be a little difficult when you first learn it. You simply cast to your targeted area and retrieve or reel the spinnerbait back in just fast enough to create a "Bulge" or "Wake" just below the surface without actually skimming the top of the surface of the water. This presentation is a good pattern to use around submerged timber, rip-rap, fall-downs, vegetation, edge drops, docks, and just about any type of structure when the bass are active.
4....."Jigging-It" Jigging the spinnerbait can be one presentation of a spinnerbait you'll not want to forget because it's proven to be one of the more successful techniques when fishing a spinnerbait. The presentation is very simple and the results can be very satisfactory! Jigging the spinnerbait is done simply by pitchin' the spinnerbait in a targeted area like; patches of open water in vegetation, space holes in structure, next to and in-between pilings, in-between rocks, etc. let the spinnerbait drop to the bottom, lift your rod tip up and down 2 or 3 times then let the spinnerbait settle to the bottom again.
5....."Draggin-It" Some of the biggest bass I had ever caught was by using this presentation. You simply work the spinnerbait as you would a plastic lizard or worm. Cast the spinnerbait and let it fall to the bottom, reel or retrieve in the slack out of your line, lift your rod tip slowly from about the 9 o'clock position to the 12 o'clock position (or straight up), reel in the slack and repeat this technique all the way back to the boat. Make sure you try to keep tension always on your bait for this technique.
6....."Yo-Yo or Pumping" This technique can as well be very effective at different times, especially in and around vegetation areas. With this technique, simply cast the spinnerbait to the targeted area, using more of a "slow-roll" for a retrieve, while on the retrieve, periodically make a quick lift of your rod tip after 5 or 6 winds on your reel, stop reeling and let the spinnerbait flutter back down towards the bottom until the slack is out of your line, then repeat this process all the way back to the boat.
Although there are more, these are some of the most effective presentations that I have found to be quite successful and they have proven themselves time after time. I teach my students many different types of presentations and techniques with many different baits ranging from Top-Water, Crankbaits, Plastics, Jigs, etc. at my bass fishing school, and some of these presentations listed above can be some of the most effective at catching bass if you just give them a chance, but, like anything else it takes time and practice to build confidence in any bait.
There is a lot more to learn about spinnerbaits such as; blade size, blade shape, colors, weights, trailers, trailer-hooks, etc. and Lord willing I can share some of these things with you in future articles, or you can learn from me with Personalized Instruction by attending my 3-day "On-Water" Bass Fishing School.