Take ‘Em for a Spin!!!

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Take ‘Em for a Spin!!!. Hello all fishing lovers, Today’s post is “Take ‘Em for a Spin!!!”. i hope that this post is helpful for you, all fishing lovers.

Take ‘Em for a Spin!!!

Spinner Baits

 

Spinner baits are among the most popular fishing lures available. They are offered in thousands of models, colors, weights, shapes, blade types and combinations. Spinner bait is versatile and readily lends itself to customization. However, most fishermen stick with one or two sizes or colors and limit their presentation to shallow-water bank fishing in the early spring, post-spawn and fall. Others fish spinner baits all the time without any consideration to any presentation other than a cast and steady retrieve just below the surface. This method of straining water is effective, but sometimes a more pinpoint and deliberate approach is warranted.

I have had numerous discussions about the effectiveness of spinner baits. In some circles they have lost a smidgen of popularity because bass have been educated to spinner baits and don’t hit them as regularly as they once did. I don’t think a bass can help itself when it comes to hitting spinner baits at the right time. Most fisherman just stick with them too long or fish them incorrectly. If you fish the entire shoreline of the lake or river from one to three feet and only catch a handful of bass all day, it may be the location, speed and size that are off, not the lure. The biggest mistake that I contribute to marginal spinner bait success is fear of fishing them in cover. Most anglers stick to clean water or fish along the edge of cover, but they rarely really get “back in ‘ere” with a spinner. When the “easy” spinner bait bite dies off, try running it into everything that you fish around. These collisions cause reaction bites and account for most of my spinner bait fish. I actually stay away from spinner baits when the fish are extremely aggressive because I usually catch the smaller schooling fish.

For quality fish on spinner baits, fish secondary weed lines and hard bottom areas near spawning sites both before and after the spawn. To catch a load of fish, you could target shallow bays with spawning fish by using a bigger blade and bream-colored (purple/green/blue/orange) skirt. You will definitely catch most of the males in a particular flat by working it thoroughly. I tend to avoid this technique because it renders the fry vulnerable to attacks by panfish while the male is recuperating. This is a personal choice and something that you will have to decide for yourself.

Because of the unlimited combination of colors, blades, weights, skirt colors and other variations in spinner baits I recommend going with a system made by Secret Weapon Lures. They have a unique system that makes the blades interchangeable. They also have a side-by-side spinner configuration called a Sidearm that is one of the most effective setups that I have ever used. The side-by-side blades prevent the bait from rolling on its side when retrieved quickly. Since the bait remains perfectly upright, it snags less and the spinner arm actually works like a weed guard causing the lure to deflect off most any structure. For slow rolling spinner baits, you can fish the bait slower and keep it in the strike zone longer, especially in murky water or at night.

When it comes to spinner bait expertise, Kevin Van Dam is one of the most prolific anglers ever. He is actually one of the best anglers at any presentation, but his insights into spinner bait fishing have helped me substantially. A few small adjustments can make a huge difference. He makes some great suggestions and the following are based on tips from his books or videos. I do not do everything exactly the same because his presentations are geared towards catching numbers and winning tournaments and I generally try to appeal to bigger fish.

 

            Skirt Color

Before using Kevin Van Dam’s advice, I had never considered how bass see the lure relative to the surface of the water. I had probably figured out certain trends without really knowing why they worked better. Knowing why something works better is necessary if you want to repeat it consistently or recognize when it is time to change to a more effective presentation.

The surface of the water will appear to be silver on clear days and white or gray when it is overcast. In general, I stick with using silver blades with blue/white or white skirts on clear days. On overcast days, I use a white blade and white/chartreuse or white skirt. Both of these suggestions are based on a flat surface. If the surface is flat, I also thin out the skirt by removing a third to half of the strands. This serves two purposes; it allows me to fish the bait faster and reduces the profile of the bait. When the surface is flat I am also trying to move the bait faster to keep the fish from getting a good look at the bait. Once you have a light wind and a slight surface chop then this is less critical and the bait can be fish a little slower and still draw regular strikes.

 

            Blade Type

The other factor to consider when determining how bass will see bait is the selection of the blade type, size and style. There are several types of blades and each serve very specific purposes, but for this discussion I will stick with two of the most common: the willow leaf blade and the Colorado blade. You can cover most applications with these two blade types with slight variations in the way they are designed or by modifying them yourself.

The arc of the blade will determine the overall profile of the bait and the amount of flash it will produce. Willow leaf blades are long, narrow blades that have a large arc. Colorado blades are round blades that have a smaller arc. You can remember the difference between these two blade shapes by remembering that long, sleek people are usually faster than short, fat people (willow=fast and Colorado=slow).

All spinner bait blade types also come in various sizes. The larger willow leafs will have a larger arc of rotation base on the shape of the blade and the amount of contour (cupping). To reduce the profile of the bait and speed it up, the arc can be reduced by adding more contour to the blade. The flatter the blade, the larger arc it will have and therefore it will have a larger profile. The larger the arc, the more the blade tends to break the surface and skip or flop on the surface. This can be an advantage if baitfish are plentiful, but I generally prefer to use blades with a lot of contour so that the tight spin allows me to burn them below the surface. If I want the bait to appear larger, I simply add a larger blade and vice versa.

I usually fish a willow leaf when I am counting on the fish feeding by sight. The blade still produces vibration and helps alert the fish to its presence but the vibration is less critical so I rarely flatten willow leaf blades to get the extra arc or vibration.

Colorado blades produce more vibration. The vibration created by a Colorado blade is a steady-cadence thumping. This thumping can be detected at great distances by bass in reduced visibility. The flash of a Colorado blade is much more compact and therefore produces a broader, shorter profile. Colorado blades can be fished much slower. This is critical when the bait needs to stay in the strike zone as long as possible. I generally choose a Colorado blade in stained to muddy water, when there is substantial surface chop, or at night. I use the Colorado to represent a panfish and stick to the willow for shad, minnows and herring. When fishing muddy water, I prefer to use a large Colorado blade and dark-colored skirt. If there is light penetration into the water, I use a black and chartreuse blade and dress the bait with a black and chartreuse skirt. When fishing muddy or murky water, I fish a full untrimmed skirt or double the skirt to add bulk. Adding a soft plastic trailer will also help accomplish this while adding lift that will allow the lure to be fished more slowly.

 

            Trailer Hooks

When fishing spinner baits I almost always use a trailer hook. A trailer hook is simply a shorter shank hook with an oversized eye opening. To install a trailer hook, you place a piece of surgical tubing over the eye of the trailer hook and then put the hook of the spinner bait through the tubing and the eye of the hook. The tubing will keep the hook in place and upright. Clear aquarium tubing works as well. I prefer to use liquid electrical tape for my trailer hooks. Dip the eye of the hook into liquid electrical tape and then place the hooks into a piece of foam or Styrofoam cup to dry. Repeat the process two or three times until the eye of the hook is coated thoroughly. Once completed, the eye of the hook should be opaque, if it is still translucent then it needs to be dipped a few more times or the liquid electrical tape needs to be shaken or replaced. A small piece of soft plastic worm will work in a pinch.

After I finish the eye of the trailer hook, I use a fly tying vice to add black Flashabou to camouflage the trailer hook and add a subtle amount of flash. The Flashabou also causes other baitfish to swim along picking at the back of the bait. In effect you have a school of baitfish at the end of your line and when the bass gives chase, the baitfish scatter and leave your spinner bait as the prime target. Trailer hooks increase hook-up ratios and catch fish that are short-striking the bait. I usually catch about a third or less of my fish on the trailer hook. If I catch more than that, I tend to question why they are short-striking the bait and make other adjustments, such as those described in the next section. When I use a trailer hook, I trim the skirt down until it is about 1/4-inch shorter than the hook or shorter.

 

Troubleshooting and Modifications

I love using spinner baits and tweaking them is part of the fun. Besides adding trailer hooks, there are literally unlimited possibilities when it comes to modifying spinner baits. Hammered blades can add flash and scatter light to help disguise the bait. Reflective tape can add color, flash or contrast. Drilling holes in your blades can create a bubbling effect that is especially effective at night. Paying attention to bass’ reactions can give you cues to making adjustments.

Here are a few suggestions for solving some common problems. The easiest problem to solve is when fish follow the bait to the boat but don’t strike. The first adjustment to make in this situation is a direction change. When I have a follow, the first thing that I try is to make a figure eight right next to the kayak with the rod tip. The direction change can sometimes trigger a strike without changing lures.

Usually, subtle adjustments are all that is needed. Start with a half-size downgrade in the blade and speed up the retrieve. I also recommend removing six to 10 strands from the skirt at the same time. Start with the brighter colors to reduce the profile of the bait, especially in clear water with bright light. If it is early, late or overcast and the water is slightly stained, try a gold or copper blade with a yellow skirt. If you have extremely low visibility (morning or evening and overcast) try a black or purple skirt. If the light improves, the black will provide too much contrast, so you should switch back to the lighter or brighter color.

I you get regular hits and don’t seem to be able to get a hook-up, there are a couple of adjustments that can be made. If the angle between the blade and the jig head is too great, the bait will roll on its side and prevent hook-ups. Start by bending the wire frame to close the gap slightly, checking the bait next to the kayak and ensuring it is running upright.

Improper alignment can cause the same problem. Look at the bait from above and ensure the frame is aligned properly. When I’m organizing my tackle, I trace out the angles of several different frames onto the top of the spinner bait box with a marker. These angles serve as a reference on the water. Once I dial in a particular setup, I can compare it to the reference after a fish mauls it and bends the frame and save time by not having to re-tune the bait.

The problem could also be that the lure is moving too slowly and the fish is overrunning the bait, putting slack in the line. Bass actually roll onto their side most of the time when they hit a spinner bait so a vertical-running bait is more likely to draw a strike and increases your hook-up percentage.

If your bait is running true and the hook-up problem persists, there are two other possible solutions: lower your rod tip or fish the lure faster. I commonly see people hold their rod tip very high when fishing spinner baits in order to keep it running just below the surface. If you have your rod tip very high you will not have enough arc when you swing the rod to set the hook. Try fishing with your rod tip about 10 to 15 degrees off the water (6 to 12”) and slightly off to one side. If possible, position your kayak to make your presentation on the side of the reel handle. It is much easier to set the hook and reel on the side the reel handle is on than it is to set the hook and reel across your body. Wait until the rod loads and then drive the hook in with a forceful hook-set.

To fish the lure faster you have a couple of options. You can change the blade as we previously discussed, reel really fast, or use a reel with a higher gear ratio. If you are using a 5.0:1, switch to a 6.2:1. If you are getting a lot of hits, then your lure appearance isn’t the problem so try to stick with the blade you are using. Start with the rod position, then switch reels if you have the option. I don’t recommend trying to compensate by reeling faster because that usually means rocking the kayak and alerting the fish to your presence. Keep in mind that you can also increase the weight of the spinner bait jig head or add weight to the hook shank to help keel the bait if these suggestions don’t solve your problem.

Article source: kayakfishingblog.com

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