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Three Spinnerbait Tips from Bass Pro Alton Jones

Bass tournament pro Alton Jones won the 2008 Bassmaster Classic with jigs, but the Texas angler is equally skilled at using spinnerbaits. At this time of year, he carries more spinnerbaits than jigs in his tackle box because they may be the most versatile bass lures of spring and early summer. Here are three tactics and modifications that the champ relies on to get the most out of a spinnerbait.

Vary the Retrieve
Never cast and retrieve a spinnerbait without changing your retrieve speed once or twice. The easiest way to do this is to raise the rod tip slightly as you’re reeling—to make the lure climb—then lower the rod and stop reeling, which lets the spinnerbait fall slightly. “This changes the lure’s vibration because the blades spin differently,” Jones says. “Strikes come as the blades make that change, most often just as the lure starts falling. Even a rise and fall over a few inches can make a difference.”

Change Blades
The three basic blade types are willowleaf (top), Indiana (middle), and Colorado (bottom). In general, the slim profile of the willowleaf is designed to perform best at high speeds, where it can deliver a lot of flash. The rounder Colorado spins slowly and doesn’t put out as much flash. The blade in the middle—the Indiana—is a compromise that works best when retrieved at moderate speeds. If bass are hitting but consistently missing the lures, change blade color (say, from silver to gold) before changing type. To provide a completely different look, remove the spinnerbait skirt and replace it with a soft-plastic worm, a grub, or even a tube lure. Retrieve the lure just as you would one with a regular skirt.

Rip for Big Bass
Let the spinnerbait fall to the bottom in slightly deeper water and rip it up with a few fast cranks. Then stop reeling and let it fall back to the bottom. Repeat this for the entire retrieve. “Ripping a spinnerbait often brings reflex strikes from heavier fish that might have been watching the lure on the bottom,” Jones says. “Use a 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-ounce spinnerbait with large willowleaf blades to create lots of flash.”

Comments (8)

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from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Alton is keeping the best tip in his pocket.
Fish the spinnerbait like a jig and see what happens!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Always was a fan of spinnerbait fishing but never new the different stuff you could do with them such as change the spinners or differ your retrieve, I always just pulled my bait in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from silsbyj wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Great tips! I guess I have to go fishin to test my new knowledge.....darn.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

Thanks for the tips. I've been putting off "re-skirting" a bunch of my old spinners, I think I'll just try a bunch of different tubes, grubs on them first.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hawg daddy wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

i like to put tubes and grubs on spinnerbaits that the skirts have fallen of because it gives them a different look then just a skirt

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Thanks for the great tips, I am more of a crankbait and soft plastic kind of guy but I'll have to try these tips when I pull out the spinner bait.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcddmoon wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Great tip. I also like to add trailer hooks if the fish are missing strikes.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

All of you guys may combine the blades,colorado (the upper) and willow leaf. I also use a squid type tube lure back forward in the hook.

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from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Alton is keeping the best tip in his pocket.
Fish the spinnerbait like a jig and see what happens!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from hawg daddy wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

i like to put tubes and grubs on spinnerbaits that the skirts have fallen of because it gives them a different look then just a skirt

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Always was a fan of spinnerbait fishing but never new the different stuff you could do with them such as change the spinners or differ your retrieve, I always just pulled my bait in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from silsbyj wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Great tips! I guess I have to go fishin to test my new knowledge.....darn.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

Thanks for the tips. I've been putting off "re-skirting" a bunch of my old spinners, I think I'll just try a bunch of different tubes, grubs on them first.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Thanks for the great tips, I am more of a crankbait and soft plastic kind of guy but I'll have to try these tips when I pull out the spinner bait.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcddmoon wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Great tip. I also like to add trailer hooks if the fish are missing strikes.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

All of you guys may combine the blades,colorado (the upper) and willow leaf. I also use a squid type tube lure back forward in the hook.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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