Since VanDam’s success with a spinbait at the 2017 Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence presented by Go RVing a little more than a month ago we’ve heard some about the spinbait but not nearly as much as I would have expected. That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a great new suspended bass technique.
The best place to start a discussion about spinbaiting is to look at the lure itself. It’s a hard, cylindrical body with a prop on each end, and it sinks. A good way to think about it is to visualize a small, thin sinking Devil’s Horse.
I’ve tried most of the baits that are commercially available. My preference is for Storm’s Arashi Spin 08. It’s small, about 3 inches long, and with a weight of 1/3 of an ounce it’s heavy enough to cast in almost any conditions.
Most importantly it has a motion that I really like, and the bass like it, too. Instead of moving right to left and left to right on the retrieve it rolls back and forth on its axis that runs through the center of the body from front to back. That motion causes the back or the belly to show on every roll. It’s deadly.
There’s really no bad place to fish one, either, as long as the water’s reasonably clear. I’ve had success with them on points, offshore breaks, over channels, along riprap and over stump beds. As long as there’s enough open water to keep from snagging all the time you can fish one effectively.
I like to cast it as far as I can and then bring it back at a “just right” speed, not too slow and not too fast. You can tell if you have it right by watching your bait. About half the time you should be able to see its back. The other half of the time you should be able to see its belly.
If the water’s less than 10 feet deep and I have around 4 foot of visibility, I start reeling as soon as my bait hits the water. It’ll drop down as I bring it back so I’m not worried about what depth I’m fishing. If the water’s deeper than 10 feet or has a little color to it, I’ll usually count my lure down before I start reeling. Once I find where they’re at I just keep doing the same thing over and over.
This is a clear water, slow technique so color is important. I always match the prevailing forage. However, that takes several colors and I realize that there is a financial side to fishing. If you’re only going to buy one color, I suggest pro blue. It’ll do the job almost anywhere. When you decide to add a second color I recommend blue back herring.
Spinbaits — no matter who makes them — perform best with spinning tackle. I throw mine on a 6 foot, 9 inch medium-light Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite Spinning Rod with a matching reel and BPS line. I sometimes use 10-pound-test braid for my main line with an 8-pound-test fluorocarbon leader. But at times you can get better performance with all fluorocarbon. Try them both. See what works best for you.
Give spinbaits a shot this fall. You’ll like the results.