It’s spinnerbait time!

About the author

Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world. KVD has 4 Bassmaster Classic wins and 7 Angler of the Year titles to his name. 

Early in my career, a lot of B.A.S.S. tournaments were held during the fall. That schedule fit my style because it was often prime time spinnerbait fishing — just as it is in many parts of the country right now.

The spinnerbait is a great tool for the power fisherman because you can cover water and fish fast — my specialty.

The lure fits the seasonal pattern because the bass are eagerly feeding on baitfish to bulk up before winter.

The pattern has begun in many parts of the country and will continue for several weeks. In fact, I was on Table Rock Lake in late September and the bass were really getting aggressive. Although the water temperature was in the mid 70s, I caught a lot of fish on “blades.”

There are more windows of opportunity for spinnerbaiting in the fall because of the many fronts that push through. And this year, the summer drought has left lakes clearer than normal, which enhances spinnerbaiting. The clearer the water, the farther fish can see the bait churning, and they are drawn to it. A little wind and bad weather offers the perfect scenario.

I’ve found that southern bass don’t chase spinnerbaits the same way northern bass do. In Michigan, the fish want the bait moving fast; in the south, they want it a tad slower.

I use a medium retrieve with big spinnerbaits for fall reservoir fishing. The shad are larger and the bass are targeting bigger baitfish, so a big spinnerbait moving at a medium pace is an irresistible target.

I prefer to throw 1/2- or 3/4-ounce spinnerbaits with willowleaf blades but will upsize the rear blade to a No. 5 instead of the standard 4 1/2.

I will put a plastic trailer on the bait, or use a full-size skirt with a trailer built into it. A lot of the Strike King spinnerbaits I like have that kind of skirt built into them. It creates a bigger profile, which is important.

As noted earlier, wind is a plus, so target areas where the wind is blowing into the bank. The wind or some cloud cover cuts down on light penetration and you'll get fewer short-strikers.