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Why a Spinnerbait is My Confidence Bait for Smallmouth

Posted by 
June 20, 2014
Published in News & Tips > Fishing > Bass
3106   Comment

SpinnerbaitsSmallmouthConfidenceBait blogWith bass season set to begin this weekend here in Eastern Ontario, Canada, my day has been spent prepping tackle and sorting gear. As I scour over hundreds of baits, one perennial favorite stands out among many: the spinnerbait. For smallmouth bass, this bait has, and will, remain tops in my books.

I decided to change things up for this blog. The following are questions I actually asked myself about bass fishing with spinnerbaits, and hopefully it will help you if you decide to toss these baits for smallmouths.

What style of spinnerbait do you have the most confidence in?

Depending on depth and conditions, I stick to two sizes of spinnerbaits: a 3/4-ounce and 1-ounce model. These two sizes allow me to speed crank them in as well as toss them a country mile. Double willow leaf blades give me the flash and action I desire, and will either be both silver, or a combination of silver and gold. In terms of skirt color, all white or white/red seem to work best.

Why is this lure a confidence bait for you?

The spinnerbait is a confidence bait in my eyes for a number of reasons. The major one would be how wound up and aggressive smallmouth get when they spot one. They just plain need to eat it! I also like the fact that I can work water quickly, both shallow and deep, and if truth be told, they really are a no-brainer of a bait to work. There is no wrong way to fish these things.

What equipment do you use for tossing spinnerbaits?

When working spinnerbaits for smallmouth bass, a 7-foot medium-heavy baitcast rod is my first choice. The length will allow you to throw baits well, while also giving you the leverage to optimally fight fish. A medium-heavy action will give you the backbone needed to play tug-of-war with these tough customers. A baitcast reel with a high gear ratio is definitely needed, and a bare minimum would be 6.2:1. The higher that number, the better you will do.

As for line, I go with 30-pound test braid.

Where do you throw a spinnerbait?

Certain areas of a lake will prove more productive when working a spinnerbait for smallmouth. When the winds are howling and the wave action is up, wind-blown points, islands and humps all get the nod. These may be the best conditions and areas you can target when working a spinnerbait.

I also like to search out rocky shoals and pay special attention to beach areas and sand/weed flats. In terms of depth, I'll run a spinnerbait is water as skinny as 3 feet and as deep as 30. If the fish are there, they will find the bait.

How do you work a spinnerbait?

My favorite way to work a spinnerbait is FAST! I'll burn them back to the boat as quick as I can turn that handle. I think this is the most important aspect for getting strikes. I will alter my retrieve from time to time, and that may include a stop-and-go or a yo-yo style technique. I generally resort to this if the fish are not hitting the straight and fast retrieve, which is always my preferred method.

Jump on the spinnerbait bandwagon this season and find out why I always have one rigged on when I hit the water. Hopefully they become your confidence bait, also.


Tagged under Read 3106 times Last modified on September 20, 2017
Justin Hoffman

Justin Hoffman is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer, with a fishing specialty, based in Ottawa Ontario, Canada. A graduate of the North American School of Outdoor Writing and currently a field editor with Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine, outdoor pursuits with a journalistic approach keep him returning to the field week after week. A well-established freelance writer since 1999, Justin has publishing credits in many North American magazines and web sites. His photographic stock work also appears regularly. In addition to his writing and photography work, Justin is also a Pro Staffer for TUFF-Line and National Pro Staff. For more information visit

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