Spinnerbaits 101: Session #3 of 3
By: Dennis Bryant "Fishing-Professor"

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Now that you've learned and I hope practiced some of the things I mentioned in Session # 1 & 2 of Spinnerbaits 101 it's become time for a little test to see if you understand the why's, where's, when's, & how's of correct spinnerbait usage!

Answer the questions below, fully, and on your own. Then scroll down a bit further and check to see how close you come to the "professor's answers".

THE SCENARIO:

This is your first time on this fantastically great looking lake. The guys that you'd talked with at the ramp, said that good sized fish were being taken from weed-bed edges throughout the lake chain last night, and earlier this morning using top-water baits & BIG spinnerbaits. Water clarity is 8'+. The wind is very light and is not at all a factor in controlling the boat. It barely puts a ripple on the water. There is not a single PWC or water-skier on the lake! (How's that for luck?) The sky is partly cloudy to mostly sunny. Air temperature is 72 degrees and expected to only reach 80 today. Water temperature at the launch was 76 degrees; the main lake area shows 75 degrees. You're 1/8 mile South of the ramp, and just idling the big motor to get a good look at the shoreline structure. You're quickly approaching a combination weed-bed (emerged & submerged lily pads, with coontail and short grass beneath them and in the open areas between the pads. The lake-bottom is white sand.) The sun is in front of you, and just slightly from the opposite side of the kidney-shaped weed-bed. Water depth in the center area weed-bed is 3', dropping to 5' at the outer edges. A 12' ledge drop, runs about 20' away from the offshore side, and a 5' to 0' submerged grass incline is on the inshore side. You and the weed-bed are about 30 to 40 feet from the shoreline. This looks too good to pass up! You are allowed to fish with only 1 rod & reel because your wife & kids have all the others back at the beach!

NOW FOR THE QUESTIONS:

1. How do you plan to fish this weed-bed?
2. What do you do right now?
3. Lure choice?
4. Rod/Reel choice?
5. Why this combination?
6. Detail how you actually do fish this weed-bed?

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Keep Going - Almost There

 


"The professor's answers"

1. How do you plan to fish this weed-bed? Long-Range and Very Slowly! Why? Clear-water is why! It's not dark anymore. The fish can see you, even before you can see them. Even through your $100 polarized sunglasses. Begin fishing this weed-bed in layers! Take it apart, area by area! ALWAYS begin your retrieve BEFORE the lure touches the water! (fewer hang-ups, immediate hook-sets, and, less splash on lure-entry) Any time that you fish a clear-water area or weed-bed; make long-distance casts, or PITCH your spinnerbait to your target. Accuracy is extremely important when 'pitching' a spinnerbait or any other type of lure. So, if you are not accurate enough right now to hit within an inch or two from what you cast to; spend a few hours a week, for the next couple of weeks, standing on the back porch steps, pitching to a coffee can. It'll be well worth your time!

2. What do you do right now? Approach a weed-bed only under electric power. Never approach a weed-bed that you intend to fish, any closer that 100 feet with the gas-motor running! Begin your approach to the weed-bed by stopping-dead; about twenty-five to 50 feet from the nearest obvious corner of the area.

3. Lure choice? LURE: Spinnerbait Why? Because it's the perfect lure to attack the entire targeted area! COLOR: white/silver glitter, or pearl white/minnow-flash glitter, or chartreuse/silver-glitter, or silver/silver-glitter Why? Because the lighter/brighter colors are easier for both the Bass & for you to see. Especially at the longer distances that you'll have to remain at to properly fish this area. BLADE(s): Single blade; hammered-Nickel, Deep-cupped Colorado Why? Lots of flash in the crystal-clear water. Lots of vibration. The deep-cupped blades will begin rotating as soon as they hit the water. That means that the flash & vibration begins immediately! WIRE: medium weight wire, NOT HEAVY WIRE, and with a short or standard arm length. Why? Make the lure work for you! Let the lighter wire transmit the vibration of the blades. The shorter arms allow fewer hang-ups in the weeds. WEIGHT: Just as light as you can possibly get by with, and still be able to PITCH at a distance of about 50 feet. Why? Easier to guide around the weeds. Slower falling. Less impact noise and splash when pitching. MY PERSONAL PREFERENCE: 1/8 oz. Pearl White/Minnow-Flash spinnerbait, with short arms, #3 D.C. Colorado Nickel Blade, White 120-tail Living-Rubber skirt. Why? The 1/8 oz. spinnerbait is light enough to fall SLOWLY into holes in the pads, and make very little splash if the cast is slightly off-target. The reason for the color & blade selection is listed above.

4. Rod/Reel choice? Medium heavy action 5 1/2' to 6' pistol-grip bait-casting rod with a fast tip. High-speed bait-cast reel w/ 12# or heavier co-polymer line. Why? Rod: Easier casting control of a light spinnerbait; with plenty of backbone for the hook-set. Reel: Speed for lifting the fish' head, and horsing the fish around the weeds. Line: Light enough to cast the lighter lure. Low-stretch Co-Polymer is my preference instead of braided line here, strictly for abrasion resistance & wet knot-strength in the weeds. Remember to re-tie after every fish that is caught or lost!

5. Why this combination? The idea with this combination, is speed, strength, and easy maneuverability from a distance.

6. Detail how you actually do fish this weed-bed? 1st. Fish the open-water outside of the weed-bed first; and then the outside edges closest to you; (without touching even a single lily-pad) first. Long-distance casts are the way to go here. Remember to keep your silhouette low, and your shadow either inside the boat, or away from your intended target. 2nd. After you've fan-casted to the open water areas & the front edges of the pads; it's time to begin to work your way toward the inside of the weed-bed. Do this in stages. Begin by pitching the spinnerbait so that it lands on the lily-pad closest to you at the edge of the field. Allow the ripples caused by the lure's landing to disappear completely. Only then, raise your rod-tip just enough to allow the lure to slip softly off of the pad, into the water, and drop about a foot or two straight down. Begin your retrieve just before the lure touches the bottom. PULSE the skirt during retrieves off the outer edges of any and all weed-beds. Pick the next pad located in any irregularity in the outer edges, and repeat the procedure again. Continue up the bed for about 15 feet or so, before you ever cast into the inner areas of the weed bed. This will score most of the 'limit-filler' aggressive fish hiding on the outer edges. 3rd. Before moving the boat; pitch to a single pad located inside the main weed-bed area, within five feet of where your very first cast was positioned. Again, allow the ripples caused by the lure's landing to disappear completely. Then, again just slip the spinnerbait off of the pad, and allow it to 'helicopter' a couple of feet straight down. Guide the lure out of the pad-field using the tip of your rod to steer the lure around as many pads as possible, while maintaining a steady, SLOW, retrieve rate up to the outside edge. Then, again, allow it to 'helicopter' a couple of feet straight down, before retrieving the lure to the boat. Continue this same maneuver until you've covered the entire front corner of the field. This 5' inner area of the outer-edge, is where the majority of the fish in any lily-pad field will be caught. It will hold both aggressive, as well as holding non-aggressive but-feeding larger sized fish. 4th. Move the boat now, and work your way completely around the weed-bed, repeating steps 1, 2, & 3 above. 5th. Work the shoreline grassy area next, with the boat positioned close to the weed-bed. You would be surprised with the number of 'limit-fillers' you can pull out of an area like this! last Begin working UP the ledge that exists on the offshore side of the weed bed. Yo-Yo or just slow-roll your spinnerbait up the ledge. After you've covered a section to the limits of your reach; pull the boat parallel to the ledge, and cast parallel to the contours of the ledge.

"The professor's notes"

I've just caught, and returned a double-limit of five-pound-plus bass, and returned 10 additional smaller fish, from our make-believe weed-bed. I had a ball doing it; and I hope that you did too! When you get a chance, try some of these techniques and see if they work better for you than what you're doing now. GOOD FISHIN' !

 

Dennis Bryant- Contact me with your questions or comments at TheFishingProfessor@bassonhook.com

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