Spinner baits and smallmouth bass
It’s hard to have a conversation about bass fishing and not include the spinner bait in the discussions. The same holds true for the smallmouth bass conversations. For years I have chased smallmouth bass in just about every way, from the grub swimming through the water to the top water off of a long point in the early morning hours. All are fun ways to catch smallmouth bass, yet there is another way.
Smallmouth for the most part are a deeper water fish. They seek out the deep holes for comfort as far a temperature goes and they move to the shallows to feed if need be. While lots of smallmouth bass are caught in the shallow water areas, the true smallmouth bass fisherman knows how to probe the depths for this mighty brown fish.
Spinner baits are one way to do that both day and night, especially at night when they are on the prowl in both shallow and deep water. Now, like everyone else I always tried to have as many types of bait as I could in my tackle boxes they're useful and they look good! Spinner baits were no exception. Yet as my smallmouth bass fishing skills came of age, so to speak, my choice of spinner baits changed as well.
When we first go looking for spinner baits, the smaller sizes are very appealing. These include the eighth to quarter ounce models. They work, but in most cases we may lose one very important factor in smallmouth bass fishing by using them. For those of you who have read my articles or have attended my seminars, you'll know the big phrase that I always use is: If you can’t feel the bait you will never feel the fish when it hits. In the case of the spinner bait, you may be having trouble feeling, in other words, you feel the fish too late for a good hook set.
When I tie on a Stan Sloan’s Aggravator spinner bait it is usually one half to five eights of an ounce. This size allows me to fish this bait on the bottom where I want it to be, bumping into the houses where the bass live. Using this size also gives me the ability to feel the bait under any situation. Feel is the key — if you think that a smallmouth bass won't try to take the rod from your hand even in this large size bait, you are wrong! The size of the bait in this case is a new experience in fishing if you have only used the smaller sizes before.
The next time you go to your favorite fishing tackle store, pick one up just to give it a try. Match it to a rod and reel that will handle the weight and hang on. Practice with the heavier bait and learn all you can about the feel of the bait and how it works. A new avenue of fishing will open up for you.