Our weather has been mild and I feel safe writing about bass fishing instead of switching gears and getting into deer or upland game hunting.
Over the years, it’s been seen on television and talked about on the radio where outdoor personalities are fishing for bass with their lure of choice being a spinnerbait.
Many have posed the question, “If I had only one choice, what lure would it be?” Most all will say a spinnerbait.
Spinnerbaits are good lures and there’s no doubt about it. They are great for searching for fish, they’re easy to use, and they have a variety of ways they can be used. Spinnerbaits are quite unique in that they glide through the weeds and brush, a hiding place where bass are often found without getting hung up. They truly are a versatile fish catching lure.
Unlike the smallmouth bass that relate to rock, the largemouth can most often be found relating to weeds. Find weeds and you will probably find largemouth bass. Use a spinnerbait and you’ll most likely catch one.
Whether it’s in a lake or river, there will be spots that have weed patches. The key is to present your bait properly. Do that and you will catch some fish. Let me rephrase that. Do that and you’ll catch a lot of fish.
Let’s look at a weed patch in a lake or river and analyze our approach.
Early on in the day, chances are that bass will be found between the shore and the inside edge of the weeds. They’ll be foraging for crayfish and minnows found in the shallows. This will be your first place to try. If you can get close to the bank, cast and retrieve along the edges of the weeds. This keeps your bait in the strike zone longer.
As the sun gets higher in the sky, the fish will move into the weeds for cover. Bass will use weeds for cover, for shade, as a hiding place from larger predatory fish, and as ambush points to prey upon smaller fish.
So as the sun goes up, your spinnerbait needs to go in… into the weeds.
At midday when the sun is at its highest point, bass will be on the deep side of the weed patch only if they missed their calling to migrate back to their deep water sanctuary. The important thing to remember about largemouth bass is that they love to hang out in the weeds.
Spinnerbaits are great lures to work weed patches. They’ll easily go around their sides, on the top of them and even through them. But remember that willow leaf bladed baits will have less hang ups in the weeds than a Colorado or Indiana bladed bait.
A good spinnerbait will flutter its way to the bottom. A good technique to catch bass during the day is to retrieve it over the tops of the weeds then let it free fall once it reaches the edge of the patch on the deep water side. A presentation like this will often have the bass jumping on the spinnerbait as it falls down the outside edge of the weeds. It’s fun to see the bait hit the water, flutter down then either disappear or flash over to one side. When the rod loads up, cross their eyes and it’s “FISH ON”. Hang on because sometimes they’ll come flying out of the water.
Making a presentation around the outside edge of the weed patches is as simple as a steady retrieve. Let the bait sink a little though. What so many anglers like about this type of fishing is that they can often see their lure coming back to them. Again, when the flash of the blades disappears and the line gets heavy with a bass on the other end the fight is on.
A quick retrieve over the tops of weeds can also bring that spinnerbait into the category of a buzzbait. You’ll need a high speed reel, like 7:1, for this to work well without wearing out your wrist in five casts.
Spinnerbaits and largemouth bass; it’s kind of like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, or milk and cookies. They just seem to go together so well.
Set out a couple spinnerbaits and leave everything else at home the next time you go fishing. Hit the weed patches on your favorite lake or river and hold on to your hat because you’re about to enjoy some great largemouth bass fishing with spinnerbaits.
I know we’re at the doorstep of the hunting season but don’t hang up your fishing rods just yet because great fishing is not that far away.