Spinners for All Seasons

Anytime bass need coaxing, tie on a spinnerbait.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Into the life of every serious bass fisherman come those days when bass are doing nothing...and doing it very slowly. That's when it's time to put the spin move on apathetic fish to trigger them into reflexive strikes. Regardless of what time of year it is, try a spinnerbait to coax stubborn bass.

Today tackle-store display boards are loaded with countless spinnerbaits, all of which fall into two essential categories: overhead and in-line styles. Spinner-blade types are legion now, too, but the three basic designs from which most derive are the Colorado, Indiana and willow-leaf.

No Bass Is Safe
In-line spinnerbaits are so named because everything rides on a stout wire shaft: a single or treble hook on the tail end, a spinner at the head, a body and a hair, plastic or feather skirt.

Overhead types are commonly called "safety-pin" designs because the spinner or spinners whirl above the body, skirt and hook.

Spinnerbaits can be fished in all types of bass hangouts, from shallowest to deepest. I recommend two types of rods: a 51/2- to 61/2-foot light- action, with flex from tip to butt, for 1/4- to 5/8-ounce lures and shorter, more accurate casts; and a 61/2- to 71/2-foot medium-light action for longer casts.

The reel choice is up to you, provided it can cast the weight and handle 8- to 14-pound-test lines.

Just Keep it Wet
Spinnerbaits can handle any cover or water depth. Some retrieve options:

STRAIGHT RETRIEVE Cast close to cover and reel in slowly. Let each successive cast sink deeper to cover all depths, from shallow to bottom.
BULGING **When the lure touches down, begin retrieving fast with a high rod tip to make the blade bulge the surface. A safety-pin-type spinnerbait with single Colorado blade works best.
**YO-YOING **Let the lure sink to the bottom. With a low rod tip, sweep the lure off the bottom, then let it settle and repeat. This is a good wintertime retrieve. Watch your line on the fall.
**SLOW-ROLLING
Use a bait with large spinner blades. Reel slowly until you feel the lure make contact with the bottom or cover, then keep it coming. This is a great cold-weather technique.
TROLLING Choose your largest, heaviest spinnerbait and troll it slowly along dark, deep, shoreline covers.
Spinnerbaiting is a versatile, all-season tactic. Put the spin move on bass and your catch rate will improve.