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When faced with the problem of taking someone fishing that was new to the sport of bass fishing I tried to decide what would be the best bait to position them for success. Whether I was just taking a casual trip or guiding it seemed to be the easiest way to guarantee some action for the novice bass angler, hand em’ a spinnerbait. With lots of possibilities the safety pin style spinner has proven to be the best bet for new bass hopefuls in a kayak, wading or walking the bank. Many factors “weigh in” as to choosing the whirling, skirted versatile spinnerbait. In-line spinners can also be very effective for bass and most game fish. The in-line spinner is virtually forgotten by most fishermen. A long straight body, a feather dressed treble hook and a single willow type blade revolves around the in-line bait and is best utilized in a more open water environment and catches almost anything that swims.

First a spinner can be cast on any type of standard rod and reel. At home being launched toward largemouth on spincasting outfits, employed by a lot of starters, on the “open faced” spinning reels with the free flying, looping line or power fishing with a stout rod and baitcasting reels geared to winch bass and bigger baits back to the angler. Lightweight spinners even those smaller in size can even be used on fly rods. Suffice to say anything short of a cane pole can be used to cast and retrieve spinnerbaits.

Safety and successful, spinnerbaits are safe due to the fact that they have only a single hook. Some models come with a “stinger” hook or trailer hook for short striking fish. The second hook can be added by sliding the eye of the trailer hook over the point and barb of the main hook but isn’t necessary much of the time. When bass are striking short a quick clip and shortening of the skirt can solve the problem. Reducing the size of the skirt is just one of the many adjustments and altering of the spinner. Another plus for the kayak angler regardless of experience level is the spinnerbaits and be cast, worked and ultimately bring fish to your grip from the sitting or standing model kayaks. (Always wear your lifejacket on the water)

Busting Out the Blades – Size, shape, color and more are all qualities of spinnerbait blades. Each offers difference performance capabilities and ca be used to boat more bass under specific conditions. There are other odd ball blades but for the most part the Colorado (round) Indiana ((tear drop) and willow leaf, because it resemble the leaf from a willow tree are the most widely used. Combinations, colors and finishes are also considerations. All this being said you can imagine there are literally thousands of possibilities. The Colorado excels at creating dynamic water displacement aiding in increased wire arm vibration and a minimum of flash. That’s right, the arm not the blade vibrates. The Indiana creates less vibration and a bit more flash than the Colorado. The willow leaf based off shape gives a maximum amount of flash and a minimum of vibration. Best bet, a mix of color, blade type and size. A #5 ½ willow trailing a #3 Colorado on a 3/8ths ounce frame is universal in its appeal and fish fooling. Single blades, double blades, some baits are equipped with four blades. Black blades for night fishing and other colors for other angling applications.
Retrieve Tricks – The magic of spinnerbaits are they can be cast out and cranked back and catch fish. Pretty simple. Add a few wrinkles and more fish will come to the kayak. A “stop and go” retrieve makes the blades appear to flash and disappear like a fleeing minnow or bait fish. The bait is said to be “waking” when retrieved just under the surface and calling bass to investigate and attack the surface intruder. “Killing” a spinner is when the bait is coming back and an abrupt stop makes the falling bait blade helicopter down simulating a dying shad. Bumping the stump (or any cover) creates a deflection / reaction strike to fish hugging objects and sense the bait is injured or disoriented. As you can imagine presentation is not just a cast and catch proposition.

Spinner Spots – Working year round spinnerbaits like other artificial lures do produce better at certain times. If there is open water (no ice over) a single bladed Colorado is the choice of many winter bass anglers. As water warms, surface temperatures ranging from 55 to 65F, in spring bass feed heavily preparing for the spawn. Summer post spawn fish are recovering from the exhausting spawn and ready to reload and spinners looking like baitfish, minnows, bluegill and more are gobbled up. As fall approaches and surface temperature drops, days grow shorter the natural reaction of a bass is to feed heavily in anticipation of the winter layoff. Spinnerbait spots include bur are not limited to shorelines, submerged stump fields, boat docks, bridge pilings, aquatic weed beds, creek channel, on points and around submerged wood. Quite a list and gives the impression that essentially anywhere a bass lives it will strike a spinnerbait.
Experiment with weights, blade configurations and by all means each time out have one attached to the end of a medium heavy action rod and tied to 12 pound test line. Learn to recognize spinnerbait water and conditions and the payoff is a consistent bass catcher, seasoned angler or novice, spinners are winners.