The Spinnerbait Wizard

Arguably, Mark Menendez is the best spinnerbait fisherman on the planet. And for good reason—nobody is as meticulous and concerned with every little detail, such as color, weight, rate of fall, ideal speed of operation, blade color and size, vibration,  flash, placement, etc, than Menendez.

Change my mind.

At this event, he’s been heavily relying upon two spinnerbaits—and for good reason. Most of the fish he’s targeting are transitioning between prespawn and actually moving up onto beds, and that often requires a moving presentation like a spinnerbait. 

One of his go-tos this week has been a 3/8-ounce custom spinnerbait with a black, brown and purple skirt accented with a couple strands of chartreuse. The blades are painted gold to his exact specifications: Just enough color to garner attention, but enough bulk to entice a fish once they commit to further checking it out. 

He added the few strands of chartreuse after several fish missed it early on. Since, his color tweak has worked well. 

He’s also occasionally picking up a 3/4-ounce spinnerbait with a similar blade color, but the entire skirt and head is chartreuse.

“Only the big ones that aren't yet ready to spawn will eat the big gaudy bait,” he said. “If one bites it though, it’ll be a grown one.”

While rotating between spinnerbait and a Strike King Rage Craw, his pattern has been largely focused on docks and the shoreline between docks. Whether he’s casting the blades or pitching the Rage Craw, he’s making sure to swim his offering passed every dock piling at multiple angles—leaving no possibility untouched. 

“It takes a lot of time and patience to hit every angle, and I may be sacrificing numbers of fish,” he said. “But this approach is producing big ones, and that’s how you win a tournament. Little fish don’t count, especially here on the St. Johns River. And the spinnerbait has been a crucial tool for me this week.”

In today’s modern fishing era, the spinnerbait may seem old school and less productive than in years past. Don’t be fooled, it still holds a valuable place on bass fishing’s most prestigious tournament series, and it will continue to do so.

Especially when a spinnerbait wizard like Mark Menendez continues to prove its viability. 

Change my mind.