How To Fish With Spinnerbaits For Largemouth Bass And Other Fish

If you are an angler specifically going after the Largemouth Bass, one you should never forget how to use is the spinnerbait.

They are one of the best Largemouth Bass lures out there. They are usually equipped with at least one spinning blade, a tungsten or lead head on a hook, a wire arm, and a skirt of some sort.

They are even excellent at targeting many other predators as well. They have a unique design as well as a unique appeal to the predatory senses.

Most professional anglers would agree that this lure is extremely effective and will win many tournaments for years to come. Fishing them is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.

You can drastically increase your success if you learn how to fish with spinnerbaits properly.

Recommended Gear

Before you learn how to start fishing, having the proper gear on hand will allow you to be the most efficient you are capable of becoming. The components of your setup are important in that they provide the angler with the best means of success. They are also essential in helping the newer fisherman who wants to start off on the right foot. The right gear will make it so much easier for you especially if you are just getting started.


The very first thing on your bucket list should be a good, stout, 7 foot, medium heavy action, baitcasting rod with a fast action tip for the most versatility. A rod like this has enough backbone to haul in huge fish but enough sensitivity to know when you have one on. The fast action allows you to rip the lures, buzz them, straight retrieve them in, or pretty much anything and everything else that you can imagine for this lure style.


The real is another important factor. You want to use a faster, baitcasting reel. There is absolutely no real that is too fast for this type of fishing. You want to be able to take in line at will. Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth alike have the tendency to react to different speeds as well as retrieval cadences. This preference can change throughout the day and even by the hour in some cases. Having the faster reel will allow you two fish extremely fast or extremely slow depending on how much you turn the reel handle.


Finally, always remember to choose the right fishing line. It is what theoretically connects you to the fish. It also plays an important role in how your lure behaves. In saying that, the line that you should opt for is a 10 to 20-pound test fluorocarbon strand. Fluorocarbon sinks which is what you want. It also has very low visibility in even the clearest waters. The line itself has barely any stretch at all so it is extremely sensitive, but the abrasion resistance of fluorocarbon line is very good. It will help you fish and the nasty stuff.

Choosing The Right Lure Is Critical

Some of the most difficult challenges in bass fishing arise when it comes time to choose a lure. Spinning baits of any type have a few factors to consider before you tie one on. The design of this particular style is unique and unlike every other bait out there. One may argue that this is one of the things that makes it so effective, to begin with. Even so, making considerations beforehand is ultimately what will drastically increase your success when you fo fishing.

  • Blade Styles

There are a few basic Styles of blades that are traditionally used in conjunction with this lure style. The three basic versions consist of the Colorado blade, the Indiana blade, and the Willow Leaf blade. Each option has a few key differences and you would use them in different situations. They each displace a different amount of water as well as provide more or fewer vibrations when retrieved.

1) Colorado Blade

The Colorado blade is generally the most rounded of the available options. The blade itself is big and beefy. It is traditionally used for the dirtiest of water when fish need to find your lure or when targeting the biggest fish in the lake. The Colorado blade displaces a ton of water, has a lot more thump, and also has the widest rotation pattern of the bunch. It also gives off a bigger profile in the water, perfect for those hungry giants or for fish that prefer a bigger meal.

2) Indiana Blade

The Indiana blade is unique. It is thinner than the Colorado blade but wider than the Willow Leaf. This style of blade is a medium between thump and subtleness. It provides a little more action or appeal from greater distances than a Willow blade but not so much that it is equal to the Colorado blade in any sense. You can pretty much use these in moderately stained water on all sizes of fish regardless of species. They are more traditionally used on spinner rigs and other spinning lures.

3) Willow Leaf Blade

The Willow Leaf blade is thin and subtle. The amount of water that it displaces is not very much. Instead, they are used more for flash and attraction as opposed to search and find. They also spin the fastest. That thin profile is great in colder water as in water that is clear as crystal.

  • Colors

1) Natural Colors

You should make amends to use natural color baits in clear water, on the fish that can see well. Natural colors are generally painted to mimic natural prey and food. Color such as bluegill, crayfish, shad, and frog tend to be your natural colors and are recommended if the water you fish is clear. They also tend to catch bigger fish on average. If you wanted to mimic Shad you could change the color to white and gray. If you wanted to mimic frogs or toads, you should change the skirt to green and chartreuse. What do you think of a crayfish color think solid and dark reds or browns. Bluegill is easily imitated with a mix of blue, gray, yellow, and black.

2) Bright Colors

Colors with a vibrant bright Hue to them are best used in water that is slightly stained when the visibility is low. The bright fluorescence of the colors is more visible in these situations. When you think of bright colors, think of chartreuse, firetiger, bright green, bright fluorescent oranges, yellow, gold, glitter flake, and vibrant reds.

3) Dark Colors

Dark colored lures are more focused toward being visible then they are focused on being highly detailed. Dark colors are pretty self-explanatory. Colors like black, green pumpkin, brown, and navy blue show up extremely well in the water often regardless of how dirty it might be. Dark colors such as these are used when the water resembles chocolate milk or at night. What they intend to do is cast a silhouette of prey. That’s it. Forget the details. The fish won’t often be able to see them anyway. All that really matters is that they can see something.

  • Size Of Baits

Always remember to keep the size of the lure adjacent and compatible with the size of fish you want to catch. Spinning lures come in many different sizes. They make them for crappie and other panfish (which generally weigh less than an ounce) but they go all the way up to sizes for Pike and Muskie (which can weight several ounces each). If you happen to be a bass Angler that is going after Largemouth or Smallmouth, try to keep the size of the fishing lures small enough to fit inside of the mouth of your targeted fish, this way, you will get much more bites. That doesn’t mean that a big fish won’t bite a small lure nor does it mean that a small fish won’t bite a big lure. The issue with this is consistency. It doesn’t happen near as often. Choose size wisely especially if you are wanting to catch a ton of fish on any given day.

  • Trailers

1) Soft Plastic Trailer

One of the most common and effective ways of creating a bigger profile in the water while adding a little more action is the thread on a soft plastic trailer. A trailer is nothing more than a soft piece of plastic commonly designed for this purpose. Trailers can range from anything such as a curly tail grub to a crawfish to a paddle tail swimbait or even a ribbon tail worm. The purpose of a trailer is to add a little something extra to your lure. Sometimes the fish want a more aggressive action or a slightly bigger profile. They also serve as excellent holders for applying scents to the bait.

2) Trailer Hook

Another very common tactic when fishing a spinning or buzzbait is to attach a trailer hook to the main one. Having a trailer hook will essentially double your hookup percentage. Especially true when you have a soft plastic trailer on the end, you will want a trailer hook as well. Since fish prefer to strike at the thickest part of the lure first, around half of your fish will be hooked on the trailer hook. They are most commonly used to avoid short strikes in most cases. It can be used in open water as well as near submerged vegetation. Having the extra hook will increase the chances of snagging it if the area has a ton of snags. You will have to decide which factor is more important to you as an angler.

  • Single Blade Vs. Tandem

1) Single Blades

Your single blade lures are the most common of the available choices. They are the old standby and can be found pretty much everywhere. The single blade is often a lot more subtle and realistic. It can bare the target of ruthless aggression or hunted down by hungry predators as an actual meal. Hunger in line with reaction, single blades do both well. They tend to catch all sizes of fish as well as most species. These are the ones you can rely on year round when you want a spinnerbait bite.

2) Tandem Blades

Multiple blade designs are relatively new to the fishing industry compared to their counterpart of one blade, yet they have made a reputation for themselves in the tackle boxes of many professional anglers. Taken sometimes have two, three, four, or even more, spinning blades attached. When retrieved, they tend to bump into each other creating much more noise and water disturbance. They also have the added advantage of having different colors on the blades when you want a that is chrome and a gold one. They tend to be more reaction oriented than food oriented and work best in Spring or Summer.

Techniques For Fishing Them Correctly

In Open Water

Straight Retrieve

The straight retrieve is pretty basic in nature and is most effective in open water. All you have to do is cast it out, let it fall to the depths that you believe the fish are hiding and start reeling in at a normal pace. More times than not this retrieve will put more fish in the boat for you. It is effective year-round in pretty much every water clarity.

Buzzing It

The technique of buzzing a bait was made famous by a similar style of fishing lure called the buzzbait. They look pretty similar at first glance but the most notable difference is the propeller instead of a blade. You can actually still buzz spinning lures of all kinds. After you cast it out, you want to reel it in as fast as you can. This creates a huge amount of surface disturbance and is usually the most effective during summer or the pre-spawn stage when the fish have an extremely high metabolism. Still, it can be used with much success during other times of the year as well.

Roll It Slow

Rolling a bait slow, or slow rolling as it is sometimes called, is exactly like buzzing but the opposite. Barber straight retrieve is a medium speed while buzzing is the fastest speed, slow rolling is straight retrieving it as slow as you possibly can. This appeals much more to less aggressive fish and yeah it’s usually used most often in Winter, Fall, or directly after the spawn. Normally you can land much bigger fish when you take this more natural approach instead of an aggressive one.


The yoyo technique is the process of casting it out, retrieving it, stopping abruptly every five or six reel turns, ripping it up like a crawfish or jig, and letting it fall to the bottom like one. Rinse and repeat all the way to the bank or boat. This is a great technique for when the fish are holding deep. It is also helpful for fishing near grass and other vegetation. This is a year-round technique that has absolutely no restrictions for when to use it.

Near Brush and Cover

Ripping It

If you want to get started ripping, imagine that your lure is a crawfish. What you want to do is cast it out, let it fall completely to the bottom of the water column, rip it up with your rod tip, and let it fall right back down. This directly stimulates the predatory senses when they are on crawfish beds. A copy is a crawfish action almost perfectly as the blades are kicking around. This is especially helpful if the skirt, blade, and head are red or brown. This is normally the most effective in the warmer months such a Summer.

Dragging It

Bottom-dwelling Largemouth doesn’t have a chance if you decide to start dragging it. It is essentially the same thing as ripping but there is an actual retrieve involved. Cast it out, let it fall to the bottom, start retrieving it along the bottom, and then start ripping it. Never stop retrieving. Again, this technique seems to work at its peak if the fish are naturally eating crayfish during the warm weather.

Waking It Up

This technique is for when the fish are more shallow. It creates surface disturbance right under the water’s surface. You can very easily mimic any prey trying to flee based on your color selection. Cast it out, and start retrieving right away, making sure to keep the bait under the surface of the water and never break it. You should be able to see the lure. This is normally more effective in cold water when the fish are surface feeding or trying to take in sunlight. Great Seasons to try would be Fall and Winter as this is when the fish are generally the most shallow.

Get Spinning!

If there is one thing that holds true today, it is this. Learning how to fish with spinnerbaits is well worth the learning curve. Having the right tackle, the right knowledge, and the right retrieves will greatly multiply your success throwing this and similar baits. I suggest purchasing a few, catching some fish, and building confidence in it. It has caught fish for a very long time and likely will for many years to come. Regardless of the size and species of fish, you are going after, this is one lure that we recommend you never take out of your tackle box. They just catch fish. Period.


What is your experience with this lure style? have a favorite way to fish them? Let us know by leaving a reply in the comments below!

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