Hobie Pro Jordan Marshall says, “Growing up, I remember my dad throwing three lures, one of them was a spinnerbait.” Marshall recently placed second in the Hobie Tournament of Champions using a spinnerbait. He explains why spinnerbaits are the unsung heroes of bass fishing lures, and your best bet to land a lunker in the chop.
Best Bass Fishing Baits And Lures: Spinnerbaits
A spinnerbait is the most unlikely looking lure. Combining a light jig head and rubber skirt with a two-inch wire sprouting a metal blade, a spinnerbait doesn’t resemble anything alive. But, the old-reliable spinnerbait can be worked on the bottom, mid-water and across the surface. “It’s practically weedless, too,” Marshall adds. This makes a spinnerbait great around heavy structure.
“Ninety percent of the time, I have a spinnerbait in my hands,” Marshall says. He has even started making his own lures with custom combinations of wire, blades, jigs, skirts and trailers.
When to Use a Spinnerbait
My favorite days to throw a spinnerbait are when the water temperature is in the sixties, the sky is clear and there is some wind. A little chop on the water turns the wire, skirt and blades into a flashy school of shad. I look for a creek, river or main channel bank where the water is flowing. Combine those conditions with laydowns to find bass hiding from the current. A spinnerbait works great around structure because it is practically weedless.
How to Choose a Spinnerbait
If the water is clear, I will use shad imitations and other natural colors and match the skirt to a hammered blade. When the water is dirty, I use a bolder color such as white or chartreuse, pink and blue. In summer, I don’t overlook bluegill and pumpkinseed patterns.
I like to add a small swimbait to my spinnerbait. A soft rubber trailer gives the lure more action and a bigger profile. I choose the wire depending on how I’m fishing my spinnerbait. For example, a spinnerbait with stiffer wire is easier to skip into heavy cover, where I can reach fish other anglers missed.
Shop spinnerbaits on:
How to Use a Spinnerbait
The colder the water, the slower I fish a spinnerbait. In warmer water, especially in rivers and creeks, I retrieve the lure faster. I’m not afraid to toss my spinnerbait against the base of a laydown and bump as many limbs as possible working it back. I really want a reaction bite.
Nearly every time I’ve done well in a tournament, I’ve had a spinnerbait in my hand. I’m known for carrying a lot of tackle. I finished fifth at the Hobie Tournament of Champions in Arkansas using three different spinnerbaits even though I had over 70 spinnerbaits in my kayak.
Back in my cabin, I had boxes with dozens of different blades, pieces and parts to make custom lures that would match my needs. With literally thousands of color, shape and size combinations, the spinnerbait is one of the most versatile lures.
Spinnerbait Tackle Box
Rod: G. Loomis IMX Pro
A shorter rod is more accurate for casting into laydowns and brushy overhangs.
Reel: Shimano Chronarch 151 HG with 7:1 gear ratio
Best Spinnerbaits to Buy
- Testimony Tackle double willow 3/8-ounce “Slick Willy”
- Testimony Tackle ½-ounce double Indiana “Old School”
- Terminator tandem 3/8-ounce “Pumpkinseed”
This article was first published in Kayak Angler Issue 46. Subscribe to Kayak Angler and get the magazine delivered to your front door. Download the Kayak Angler Magazine+ app to seamlessly glide between the digital archives, the latest articles and videos.
Spinnerbaits are the unlikely hero of bass fishing lures. | Feature photo: Jordan Marshall