Gear

5 Elites pick their top blade baits

Elite Series pros share their favorite blade baits, and the secrets to using them!

<p>Bass baits with blades are a big part of any bass anglers arsenal, including the Elite Series pros. This gallery features the bladed baits that help the pros sack heavy limits.</p> <p> </p> <p>(Above) California’s Chris Zaldain beams over his favorite bladed baits. They include two Strike King KVD Finesse spinnerbaits and a Strike King buzzbait.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - Bass baits with blades are a big part of any bass anglers arsenal, including the Elite Series pros. This gallery features the bladed baits that help the pros sack heavy limits. (Above) California’s Chris Zaldain beams over his favorite bladed baits. They include two Strike King KVD Finesse spinnerbaits and a Strike King buzzbait.
<p>A Strike King Bleeding Bait Elite Buzzbait is a big player for Zaldain. He relies mainly on the 3/8-ounce size in black or white. “White catches more bass, but black gets bigger bites,” he explains.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - A Strike King Bleeding Bait Elite Buzzbait is a big player for Zaldain. He relies mainly on the 3/8-ounce size in black or white. “White catches more bass, but black gets bigger bites,” he explains.
<p>A white Strike King KVD Finesse Spinnerbait is a new design, Zaldain points out. “It has a new skirt and lighter wire for more vibration."</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - A white Strike King KVD Finesse Spinnerbait is a new design, Zaldain points out. “It has a new skirt and lighter wire for more vibration."
<p>Under low light conditions and in stained water, Zaldain switches to a chartreuse Strike King KVD Finesse Spinnerbait. He paints the Colorado lead blade with bright orange fingernail polish.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - Under low light conditions and in stained water, Zaldain switches to a chartreuse Strike King KVD Finesse Spinnerbait. He paints the Colorado lead blade with bright orange fingernail polish.
<p>Davy Hite is known for fishing power baits, including those with blades. His favorites are two Terminator spinnerbaits and a Clear Choice Shakin’ Shad chattering jig.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - Davy Hite is known for fishing power baits, including those with blades. His favorites are two Terminator spinnerbaits and a Clear Choice Shakin’ Shad chattering jig.
<p>“I like the detail that goes into the Shakin’ Shad,” Hite says. “I fish it a lot in clear water. I like the Male Bream color.” Hite fishes this lure on 15- to 20-pound test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - “I like the detail that goes into the Shakin’ Shad,” Hite says. “I fish it a lot in clear water. I like the Male Bream color.” Hite fishes this lure on 15- to 20-pound test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line.
<p>A 1/2- to 3/4-ounce Terminator chartreuse double willowleaf spinnerbait is “old school,” according to Hite. It catches big smallmouth and largemouth bass. </p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - A 1/2- to 3/4-ounce Terminator chartreuse double willowleaf spinnerbait is “old school,” according to Hite. It catches big smallmouth and largemouth bass.
<p>A clown color Terminator spinnerbait is one of Hite’s go-to lures in stained to clear water.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - A clown color Terminator spinnerbait is one of Hite’s go-to lures in stained to clear water.
<p>Young Elite Series pro Bradley Roy is a serious blade-bait fisherman. He dotes on two Taylor Man’s spinnerbaits and a Taylor Man’s buzzbait.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - Young Elite Series pro Bradley Roy is a serious blade-bait fisherman. He dotes on two Taylor Man’s spinnerbaits and a Taylor Man’s buzzbait.
<p>A 3/8-ounce Taylor Man’s buzzbait is one of Roy’s favorite lures. “The bent wire sets the buzzbait’s head deeper in the water for better hookups,” Roy says. “The holes leave a bubble trail.”</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - A 3/8-ounce Taylor Man’s buzzbait is one of Roy’s favorite lures. “The bent wire sets the buzzbait’s head deeper in the water for better hookups,” Roy says. “The holes leave a bubble trail.”
<p>“My clear-water Taylor Man’s spinnerbait weighs 3/8-ounce and has a #3 willow blade with a #2 Colorado,” Roy says. “I can move the bait faster and it stays down.” Roy opts for a natural skirt and fishes the spinnerbait on 12-pound Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - “My clear-water Taylor Man’s spinnerbait weighs 3/8-ounce and has a #3 willow blade with a #2 Colorado,” Roy says. “I can move the bait faster and it stays down.” Roy opts for a natural skirt and fishes the spinnerbait on 12-pound Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.
<p>When he’s fishing stained to muddy water, Roy goes with a chartreuse and white 3/8-ounce Taylor Man’s spinnerbait sporting a #4 1/2 willowleaf blade and a #3 Colorado. The bigger blades have more lift and allow Roy to slow his retrieve.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - When he’s fishing stained to muddy water, Roy goes with a chartreuse and white 3/8-ounce Taylor Man’s spinnerbait sporting a #4 1/2 willowleaf blade and a #3 Colorado. The bigger blades have more lift and allow Roy to slow his retrieve.
<p>Bladed baits have helped Ott DeFoe quickly establish himself as one of the top bass fishermen on the Elite Series tour. His bladed lures include a spinnerbait, buzzbait and a chattering jig.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - Bladed baits have helped Ott DeFoe quickly establish himself as one of the top bass fishermen on the Elite Series tour. His bladed lures include a spinnerbait, buzzbait and a chattering jig.
<p>DeFoe likes this homemade chattering jig in a 3/8-ounce size. He claims the blade is heavier than on other chattering jigs, which results in harder, thumping vibrations.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - DeFoe likes this homemade chattering jig in a 3/8-ounce size. He claims the blade is heavier than on other chattering jigs, which results in harder, thumping vibrations.
<p>The biggest bag of bass DeFoe ever caught (30 pounds, 15 ounces) came on a 1/2-ounce Terminator spinnerbait at the Elite Series tournament at Falcon Lake in 2013. </p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - The biggest bag of bass DeFoe ever caught (30 pounds, 15 ounces) came on a 1/2-ounce Terminator spinnerbait at the Elite Series tournament at Falcon Lake in 2013.
<p>A black 1/2-ounce Terminator buzzbait has put countless bass in DeFoe’s livewell. “It has a smaller blade which makes it a more subtle buzzbait,” DeFoe says. “The flat head helps the bait stay on top.”</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - A black 1/2-ounce Terminator buzzbait has put countless bass in DeFoe’s livewell. “It has a smaller blade which makes it a more subtle buzzbait,” DeFoe says. “The flat head helps the bait stay on top.”
<p>Kevin “Pink” Short is known for his skill with shallow crankbaits, but he also scores big with buzzbaits and spinnerbaits.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - Kevin “Pink” Short is known for his skill with shallow crankbaits, but he also scores big with buzzbaits and spinnerbaits.
<p>A 3/8-ounce War Eagle buzzbait sporting a bright chartreuse blade and a black skirt draws hard strikes for Short when he is fishing in clear water.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - A 3/8-ounce War Eagle buzzbait sporting a bright chartreuse blade and a black skirt draws hard strikes for Short when he is fishing in clear water.
<p>In stained water, Short switches to a 3/8-ounce War Eagle buzzbait with a red blade and a black and red skirt.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - In stained water, Short switches to a 3/8-ounce War Eagle buzzbait with a red blade and a black and red skirt.
<p>A 1/2-ounce War Eagle double willow spinnerbait with a #5 and a #4 1/2 blade is just the thing for waking over grassbeds, Short claims.</p>
Photo: Mark Hicks - A 1/2-ounce War Eagle double willow spinnerbait with a #5 and a #4 1/2 blade is just the thing for waking over grassbeds, Short claims.