Twenty years ago, there wasn't much of a debate over when the best time to use a spinnerbait was. If the conditions were overcast, the water was stained or there was a stiff breeze, the spinnerbait got the nod.
However, with the increasing popularity of bladed vibrating jigs like the ChatterBait, Strike King Pure Poison, Booyah Boogee Bait and others, bass anglers are now faced with a dilemma — should you throw a bladed jig or a spinnerbait?
Elite Series pro Mark Menendez has relied on a spinnerbait over the course of his career to put bass in the boat on a consistent basis. As the bladed jig became popular, he has found that there is a time and place for both. "They're in the same family because they both have hooks, skirts and metal, but when's the best time to use either one?" asks Menendez.
When fishing windy points or windy banks, Menendez favors a double willow leaf spinnerbait with a skirt in a natural baitfish color. "In these situations, I like to keep the bait high in the water column so the bass doesn't get a really good look at it," he says.
The spinnerbait also gets the nod in muddy water, where the bulk and flash of the blades create a larger profile which is easier for the bass to find and eat. The Kentucky pro says that the bladed jig, like the Strike King Pure Poison that he relies on, shines in clear-water situations where emergent vegetation is present. "Clear water is really where the differences between the spinnerbait and the bladed jig come into play," he explains. "When fishing clear water, sometimes a spinnerbait can present an overpowering profile." By reaching for a Pure Poison in clear-water situations, Menendez still has the benefits of flash and vibration but is able to present it in a much less intimidating fashion. "The Pure Poison doesn't have a lot of flash and it has a much smaller profile than a spinnerbait.
It also has a lot of vibration. I love to use this bait over submerged vegetation." Menendez says that when fished over subsurface grass, the bladed jig has the ability to draw fish from the grass that notice the vibration of the bait as it passes over.
Regardless of whether he's throwing a bladed jig or a spinnerbait, Menendez stresses the importance of using a trailer hook, but says that it's critical to use one with a bladed jig. "Sometimes the blade will get lodged in the mouth of the bass and, when the hook is set, it will pop open the bass' mouth.
With a trailer hook, you'll land a lot more fish on a bladed jig. "The spinnerbait and the bladed jig are both a tool that I have in my tacklebox," he says.
(Provided by Z3 Media)