Is your spinnerbait the best it can be?

Over the past few weeks I talked a lot about fishing with spinnerbaits but, when I looked back over what I’ve said, I realized I haven’t talked about how to modify them to catch more smallmouth bass. That’s really important. We’re going to fix that right now.

Very few spinnerbaits are good right out of the package for every kind of fishing situation, mine included. They need to be modified to meet water conditions and to match the local forage. It isn’t hard to do, and it doesn’t cost a lot of money.

Get yourself three boxes. Fill one with blades, another with skirts and the last one with plastic trailers. Make sure you have one or two of everything. You want different sizes and different colors of blades. Make sure each blade has a split ring on it. That’ll make them easy to change.

Your skirts should be every color imaginable. Some should be short, others long. Some should be thin and pitiful looking, others fat and thick. Your trailer box should be just as full. You’ll want big ones to add buoyancy to your bait and little ones to help you keep it down. Your colors should range from chartreuse and orange to brown and black. Make sure you have some white, too.

With the three boxes I’ve described you can fix up your spinnerbait for just about anything. I fished today with a friend, and he did just that. The water in one area of the lake was a little stained because of the rain we’ve had lately. My friend put a big chartreuse blade on his spinnerbait. I was too lazy to change mine. He whipped me nine to one in less than a half-day, and I was in the front of the boat!

I know it was because they could see and hear his bait better than they could mine. What else could it be? I had first crack at every target and every spot. He caught nine. I caught one. The same thing will work in reverse for clear water. In most lakes there’ll be some of both, so being able to change things fast really matters.

Think of all the possibilities you’ll have with just three boxes. You can change everything on a spinnerbait in just a minute or two. It doesn’t matter what the water’s like or how big the forage is, you can match everything and catch more fish.

This is not a new idea. I know that. Lots of guys talk about it. But in my experience very few actually do it. It’s one of those things guys never get around to doing. That needs to stop. You’ll catch a lot more smallies if you make your bait fit the conditions. I know. I saw it firsthand today.

It’s worth the time and effort — and small expense — to do this right away. There’s at least a month of good spinnerbait fishing left, and maybe a lot more than that depending on where you fish.

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