If you are not familiar with spinnerbaits, you may first want to read our article “Learn All About Fishing with Spinnerbaits” to learn the basics.
For those who already use spinnerbaits, you know they are one of the most versatile fishing lures around. They can be used for a wide variety of fishing applications, from freshwater to saltwater.
As Kevin VanDam points out in his video, having success fishing with spinnerbaits is not a matter of just throwing them out and reeling them back. Sure, if the fish are biting, that may work fine. For most days, however, you need to create a reason for the fish to react to the spinnerbait.
Here are our top 7 summary points from the KVD video that we feel are key to successful spinnerbait fishing:
#1 Mix Up The Speed Of The Spinnerbait
Spinnerbaits trigger a reaction strike, which usually means a more erratic action will prove to be more successful.
As KVD demonstrates a stop and go retrieve can be very effective. As soon as the spinnerbait hits the water, reel in line fast (a.k.a. burning a spinnerbait) so that the blades just start flopping on top of the water.
stop and go retrieves are very effective
Then stop your retrieve for a second or two, and then repeat the process. You can also try adding a few snaps of your rod tip to shake the spinnerbait. The key point is to vary the retrieve from fast to slow, right to left, and even up or down.
#2 Keep The Spinnerbait Above The Bite
If the fish are sitting in 2 feet of water, you want to make sure the spinnerbait is riding in about 1 foot of water at the deepest, and preferably on top of the water.
If the fish are deeper – say in 6 feet of water, you want the spinnerbait to run a foot or two below the surface – or on top of the water. Depending on the conditions, you will need to experiment – but in most cases you will want to run your spinnerbait above the fish to get the most bites.
#3 Use Proper Lure Weight For Water Depth
Lighter lures will be easier to keep towards the surface. So if you want to run a spinnerbait shallow or on top of the water, try using a lighter lure (3/8 oz. or less).
If you want to run a spinnerbait deeper, try using a heavier lure (1/2 oz. or more).
#4 Use A Reel That Takes Up Line Fast
Choosing a reel that has a gear ratio ideally suited for your fishing application will also increase you fish catching chances.
With respect to spinnerbaits, a good all-around gear ratio is 6.3 to 1, or higher if you want a really fast reel to burn that spinnerbait across the water.
#5 Don’t Hesitate To Add A Trailer Hook
Although KVD did not specifically point it out, you will notice that he is throwing a spinnerbait with a trailer hook.
For those who don’t know, a trailer hook is a second hook that runs below the skirt, and is meant to increase hook ups on fish who are just striking the end of the skirt.
Trailer hooks can increase your hook sets
Opinions vary greatly on the use of trailer hooks, but here is our take.
If you are in open water with just a bit of vegetation, use a trailer hook. If you are throwing into an area with a bunch of vegetation, leave the trailer hook off as it will be more weedless.
That said, if you start missing strikes, you can always decide to add a trailer hook.
#6 Use Proper Spinnerbait Blades For Application
The spinnerbait blade can really make a positive or negative impact at how high or low you can run the lure.
Narrow Willow blades cause less vibration and therefore are easier to retrieve with greater speed, meaning the spinnerbait will ride higher in the water with greater ease.
Using a wider Indiana or Colorado blade will cause more vibration, and may prove more difficult to rip in fast – although you can still keep it close to the surface.
For faster retrieves you may want to start with the Willow blade. If the water is dirty or stained, you may want to first make sure you use a darker spinnerbait body, but you also may want to try an Indiana or Colorado blade.
In those conditions the increased vibration actually aids in getting more strikes.
#7 Experiment, Learn, Repeat
As with most things, practice and experience will improve your spinnerbait fishing techniques. Realize that not every fishing condition is the same, and not every angler fishes the same way.
So the next time you are out fishing and want a good lure to cover a ton of water fast and is really good at triggering quick reaction strikes, consider using a spinnerbait.
Throw it, burn it, and set the hook!