Mark Fehner - Choosing the right Spinnerbait
Anyone who has been bass fishing on a regular has thrown a spinnerbait at one time or another. It is one of the most easiest and versatile baits you can own. In my opinion, if you dont have one tied on at least one of your set-ups, I would call you crazy. The spinner bait is absolutley my Go-To lure once a tournament has begun to reach the mid-day. I 90% of the time start my morning off with Top-Water. But once the sun rises and the winds pick up. A spinnerbait can be deadly. Now of course there are other factors... Water Clarity, Depth, Temperature and I always like to stick with colors that match natural prey. We had our June Tournament at Fort pond in 2017 and I was pre-gaming the night before. With a little research on the lake structures I had decided power fishing was gonna be the way to go. So I looked up all the species of fish and bait fish/minnows that also were naturally reproducing in the lake. And the one that stood out to me was White Perch. I tied on an all white tandem colorado and willowleaf strike-king spinnerbait. And then the fun began... I positioned myself parallel with a dock struture in the cove, and casted directly along side the length of the whole dock and just did a steady retrieve with a jerk every so often, and I got slammed by a 17.5" Fish. I had a total limit of 47.25" within the first hour of the tournament.
When it comes to choosing a spinnerbait, I like to keep it simple. There are so many veriations of colors, wire thickness, blade types and sizes, head weights and shapes, trailer-hooks, trailers... I could go on. I like to choose a 3/8 weighted head always with a trailer hook. My favorite color to throw on long island is White/Chartruese, BUT time of day and water clarity can change my mind. In warm clear water I always try to throw a tandem colorado/willow blade or a double willow blade because I can retrieve it pretty steady and on the faster side. But, in cold or murky water, i go
with a larger single colorado blade or a double colorado blade, because it can be retrieved so much slower, and displaces a lot of vibration and water, making the bait easier to find. ( This is also KILLER at night or right before daybreak ). A good all around spinnerbait for spring and summer is a colorado/willow with gold and silver blades. Try one with a No. 2 Colorado in front and a No. 5 willow in back.
Blades range from a No.1 to a No. 7 in willow leaf styles. You can take a No. 7 blade and put it on a 3/4-ounce head and fish it effectively in 3-5 feet of water because the head and blade work together and the big blade makes that heavier head fish more like a lighter head in shallower water. Conversely, if you put smaller blades on a heavy head, it makes it a lot easier to fish out in deep water. So a big blade on a light head would be for ultra shallow while a small blade on a heavy head would be for ultra deep.
There are several types of spinnerbait heads on the market, round heads, bullet heads and keel heads (minnow heads) comprise the three most popular.
Keel style heads are more for speed applications, fishing higher in the water column (like burning spinnerbaits for clear water smallmouth).
Round heads are more for fishing rock and stumps. They don’t have as many pinch points for wedged in branches or laying over on the side and getting hung.
Bullet type heads have a mix of both advantages although they can at times wedge in the crevices between rocks and branches because of their pointy design. They can be fished high in the water column and also slowly through cover.