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Basic,Advanced, and Technical Fishing with spinnerbaits


Me with a really nice large mouth caught on a spinnerbait.  Notice the colour of the blades.  Chartreuse and white combinations can be very effective at times.  This bass was caught in very clear water with overcast conditions. 

Spinnerbaits catch fish-period.  I have caught multiple species on spinnerbaits including walleye, largemouth, smallmouth, pike, and muskies, (although the muskies were just hits as I missed my hook sets on several occasions-I thought I had snags until too late).

My love affair with the spinnerbait began this past year.  I am hooked.  It is an effective bait when the wind is strong.  A 3/4 ounce spinnerbait will not be affected drastically by the wind.  It is also a phenomenal performer when the weeds are choking a bay.  Burn the spinnerbait fast across the top of a weed bed and wait for some action.

With a baitcaster, you can cover a large territory quickly and locate active fish.  I recommend the baitcaster over spinning gear for a couple of reasons.  First is the accuracy of the cast.  With very little effort, you will be able to quickly learn how to properly cast.  Secondly, these larger baits go a mile on a baitcaster.  Correct me if you know better, but a 7′ medium baitcaster will chuck a 3/4 ounce spinnerbait a country mile and get it right to where you want it.  The gear ratio I like is 7.0 to 1 as it is quick on the retrieve.  I fished with a buddy recently and I was able to cover twice as much water – maybe more, as he could not retrieve as quickly or cast as accurately as I could while using spinning gear.  This might not be important to you, but it is an advantage if you are trying to boat fish.

Rod’s appropriate for spinnerbaits.  Notice that I have chosen a selection of baitcaster outfits.  The baitcaster is the most accurate and fastest way to deliver a spinnerbait to your target.  Spinning rods take more time to cast, do not present the bait as accurately, and do not burn the bait as fast, which is key to the presentation. 

The spinnerbait will catch most of your bass as the cast hits the water, but at times, you will get hits during the retrieve.  Pike and musky follow the baits before committing, especially musky.  I have not had an immediate reaction bite from a musky yet.  All the bites have been late in the retrieve.  Sometimes, even right at the boat.   I haven’t had as much experience on walleye waters with spinners though, so don’t get too excited about what I say if it doesn’t make sense to you for this species.  I am only trying to advocate the use of these versatile  baits when conditions such as wind or weeds dictate the use of a bait that won’t be hindered by either.

As a tip, I bought all of my spinnerbaits at the same weight – 3/4 oz.  I know you may think this is heavy, but It isn’t.  With large enough willow blades, it will helicopter down when you end the retrieve, and it will burn quickly without breaking the surface.  Having all the same size baits makes for very quick changes if you are using leaders with snaps.

Notice the snap.  Make sure if you are using leaders like this titanium one in toothy waters, that you buy baits that they will fit into.  This eye where the arms of the bait meet is almost too small to get through with this leader snap.  The 130# ones I have for musky wouldn’t make it.  Don’t think you can’t catch early season musky with this size bait.  You can and will!

Although I haven’t actually caught a fish on a stinger hook, many people advocate the use of them.  It makes sense that if you are burning a bait across the surface of the water, that a fish may strike short.  Use siwash hooks with open eyes.  I prefer certain brands of hooks for being sticky sharp,  one of which is a Gamakatsu.  I use a number 4 size hook.  Close the eye around the shank of the primary hook.  Some folks believe in putting silicone tubing around the eye of the siwash hook to anchor it in place.  I believe  that you will get better action from the hook if you anchor it under a piece of silicone, leaving the hook free to move.

Here is an example of how I prefer to rig a cheater hook or “stinger”  hook.  The silicone tubing is slid over the  primary hook in order to prevent losing the cheater.

Some spinnerbaits have anchor points molded into the lead head.  This helps in securing a plastic or live bait to the spinnerbait.  I have fished the spinnerbait with minnow style swimbaits.  There are many choices on the market for trailers of this nature.  I like the yum money minnow or the berkely hollow belly swimbaits.  I rig both of them flat.  They look awesome in the water.

This bait has an anchor for holding onto trailer baits such as swimbaits.  I have read that minnows and worms are also very effective on a spinnerbait though I have to admit that I haven’t felt the need to enhance the rig with live bait yet.  Maybe when the fishing gets tough, this would be a good tactic to have in your tool kit of tactics.


This is a convenient storage solution for spinnerbaits.  They hang nicely and can be organized into patterns and colours.


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