it's more than a chunk and wind technique.
I want to talk about one of my favorite ways to catch fish, spinnerbaiting. My heart goes nuts every time I bring a spinnerbait by a stump and I see that swirl of water and flash of white. There are some tricks to fishing a spinnerbait however that most people donít do that will help you catch fish. I have three primary ways I fish a spinnerbait. My 3 favorite ways to fish a spinnerbait is to burn it, fish it like a drop bait, and swimming the bait. In this article well discuss each of these individually. First thing we need to discuss is the equipment I like to use when fishing a spinnerbait. I generally have 3 rods I throw spinnerbaits with. I like to use rods that remain ďloaded upĒ as I retrieve the bait. The first rod well talk about it my general spinnerbait rod. I use a custom-made spinnerbait rod built by Jeff Ring of J.R.s Custom Rods. The rod is 6í6Ē long and remains loaded up well. This is the rod I use for fishing spinnerbaits near stumps, docks and general spinnerbaiting. The next rod I use is also a custom built rod by Jeff Ring. This rod is a 5í6Ē rod that I use for fishing a spinnerbait like a drop bait. This technique is my favorite way to fish a spinnerbait but well discuss the technique later in the article. My 3rd and final primary spinnerbait rod is yet again another custom-made Jeff Ring creation even further customized by myself. Jeff built me a crankbait rod that was phenomenal. This rod was probably my favorite crankbait rod of any I have ever had. While getting ready for a tournament I shut a rod locker lid and broke about 9 inches off the top of the rod. I e-mailed Jeff and told him what had happened and he told me to ship it back to him when I returned from my tournament and he would go ahead and build me another crankbait rod and ship to me. Amazing thing was the replacement rod was to me before I left for the tournament. The tournament I was fishing was at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky, which is a deep, clear lake. I found some suspended fish off some bluff walls and had to burn a Nichols Silver Flash spinnerbait to catch them. I was using my general spinnerbait rod but it was just too light to get the job done. I remembered the broken crankbait rod and tied the spinner bait to it. Man what an awesome big spinnerbait rod. To this day I still use it and couldnít be without it. This is the rod I use for burning Nichols 44mags, deep cranking Ledgebusters, and other huge spinnerbaits. The rod has a handle that is several inches longer than most so you can tuck it up under your arm during the retrieve. As far as line I use 10 to 15 pound CXX P-line in either clear or green spooled on Shimano Chronarch reels.
Now that we have covered the equipment we need to discuss a few overlooked but important items, scent and trailer hooks. I use Scent 100% of the time. To me scent is like a security blanket. I feel naked without it, similar to driving without my seat belt. I use Kick-n-Bass Anise Shad about 90 percent of the time on my shad style of spinnerbaits and use Crawfish Kick-n-Bass on my crawfish spinnerbaits. Whatís that? Crawfish spinner baits? Weíll get to that later! As far as stinger hooks I use them every chance I can. The only times I donít use them is when I am fishing cover so intense that it hinders the productivity of the bait to use it. If Iím burning a spinner bait Ill actually use a self-made spinnerbait trailer of my own design made with a treble hook and wire. What I do is take a #2 VMC round bend treble hook and tie some small wire to the hook. Next I feed the line thru some rubber tackle tubing and tie the wire to the back of the spinnerbait. Next put a small 1/16th of an inch piece of rubber tackle tubing in front of the wire tie and before the barb of the spinnerbait hook. I have had much more success hooking up with fish that slash at a burned spinnerbait this way.
The first spinnerbait technique I want to discuss with you is what I call general spinnerbait fishing. This is where I throw my little Nichol spinnerbaits, and generally spinner baits up to Ĺ an ounce. I like to target shallow water structure and cover water searching for fish this way. I always try to bounce my bait off some form of structure be it a stump, boat dock, or rocks. What you want to do here is to match whatever the primary forage is in the area. If youíre fishing an area that is primarily inhabited by bluegill then use baits with darker blades and skirts in a blue, chartreuse, and orange pattern. If shad are what the bass are feeding on then go with your blue shad Nichols pattern with a trailer dipped in a chartreuse dye. The big thing to remember here is to try to get as many reaction strikes as you can. Bang the bait into anything and everything. When you retrieve it through open water pause the bait, speed it up, and let it drop to resemble an injured baitfish. Pay close attention to where a fish strikes the bait. If you have 2 or more fish strike next to a targeted piece of cover then position your boat accordingly. I always position my boat off the bank initially to check for fish that may be suspended off the bank. You need to pay close attention here to ensure that you make every strike count. Target your structure, work the bait, and donít get in a chunk and wind groove. Donít aimlessly go down a bank casting, pick a target, for example a stump, look at one side of the stump, pick a dark or light colored part of the stump near where is enters the water, keep your eye right on your target and cast to that. If you visualize your target and cast to it youíll be amazed at how much more precise your casting will be. Donít watch your bait go to the target, watch the target and your bait should appear close to it. When the bait comes into range of the target you can make minor adjustments with the rod to get your bait to the target.
The second technique well talk about is a self-explanatory technique called burning a spinnerbait. Not a lot of anglers capitalize on this under fished awesome technique. I use a Nichols 44 mag for burning as it is designed to not roll on a fast retrieve. I use a treble hook stinger, and douse the bait in Anise/Shad Kick-n-Bass. This technique works best on lakes that have extremely clear water with fish that suspend in open water a lot. Iíve caught fish burning a spinner bait with the boat sitting in 80 foot of water in the middle of a bright and sunny day. Again, this technique is fairly simple. I generally look for fish suspended on drops or go to places in deep clear lakes where Iíve found fish to suspend. Some of the places fish will suspend are on the outside bends of creeks, over large drops, over thermoclines, and humps. I can tell you of several places on Lake Cumberland KY and Smith Mountain VA where you can go in the summer and burn a spinner bait and catch fish. When you retrieve the bait try to keep it about 1 foot sub-surface to make it easy on yourself. I see a lot of guys trying to burn the bait right under the surface and the bait will break the surface and skip causing the angler to work much harder.
The final technique weíll cover is probably my favorite way to fish a spinnerbait. I call this technique helicoptering a spinner bait. I use a Nichols 1/ 4 ounce spinnerbait with a single #4 blade. I further divide my baits into Heli-Shads, and Heli-Craws. Now is when the fun starts. I rig the bait with a Yamamoto twin tail grub dipped according to which pattern I am throwing. Generally with a Heli-Craw my spinnerbait is green pumpkin or pumpkin with a Yamamoto grub dipped in orange dye. My Heli-Shads are rigged with a Yamamoto holographic twin tail grub dipped on chartreuse. How I fish this bait is kind of a cross between a jig-n-pig and spinnerbait. Ill pitch the bait to a target and for this scenario well use a lay down over a drop. Iíll position the boat parallel to the bank to the side of the lay down and target where I feel the bigger fish are. I have found that the bigger fish in a lay down are usually under where the main trunk of the tree enters the water or where the largest forks of the tree are. Ill make my presentation beyond this and work the bait to the target. Tell you what, to make this easy Iím going to walk you through a cast. Once the bait has entered the water let it fall to the bottom on a slack line. Let the bait lie there for a second and then shake it. If nothing picks it up sweep the bait up off the bottom and begin a slow steady retrieve, really let that blade thump. When you reach the area you feel has the most potential for holding a large fish, for example where the trunk of the lay down enters the water, drag the bait over it and kill it. The bait will helicopter down and you will actually feel the bait vibrate on the fall. This is usually when the rod will load up and the fight will be on. If a fish doesnít inhale the bait let it fall to the bottom. Once it is on the bottom repeat the same technique you did on the initial presentation. Shake the bait, pause it, and then sweep it up off the bottom. Thump the bait through the tree and kill it anywhere you feel a fish may be or any openings in the lay down. As you approach the tip of the tree twitch the end of your rod to really put out some vibration and attract the attention of any fish in the tree that may be there. Once the bait clears the end of the tree kill it and let it fall to the bottom. Once the bait is on the bottom, shake it, let it lie still and then do a quick sweep up off the bottom and let it fall again. If a fish still hasnít taken the bait then retrieve the bait back to the boat with a twitch technique. This technique has helped me in more tournaments than any other spinnerbait tactic I have used. Keep me updated and let me know if you have success with any of the tactics in the article. As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me. Tight lines, Ken Nance.
Ken Nance is sponsored by Triton Boats, Mason Dixon Marine and Polaris, Sliding Weight Company, Kick'n Bassģ Fish Attractants, Silverbuddy, Eat-em-up Bait Company, J.R.s Custom Rods, Caps Tackle, Susky Bugs, Bonzai Bait Company, Cabin Creek Bait Company and Nichols Bait Company.
articles are re-printed with permission from Ken Nance from his web site