An important part of fishing is adaptability. This can mean any number of things on the water, from altering retrieval speed to switching from an overhand cast to a sidearm cast, and everything in between. Another means of adapting when fishing is to use your staple lures in a different way than you may be used to and present them to fish in different ways than they’re used to. “Waking” a spinnerbait is one such technique that, when used during the right conditions, can bring fish after fish to the boat.
“Waking” a spinnerbait is an easy tactic to employ on the water, and all it takes is altering your retrieval speed so that the lure runs swiftly just below the surface, thus creating a wake without breaking the surface. The shallower you run any bait, the more vibrations it will create in the water, which is what attracts fish in the first place. To achieve the most vibration, be sure to use spinnerbaits with Indiana or Colorado blades, as these blades are designed for that.
As any angler knows, fish feed aggressively at certain points in the year, as well as certain times of the day. Waking a spinnerbait works very well during the fall, when bass are fattening themselves up for the slow winter months, and the spring, when they’re feeding voraciously after the harsh cold weather. During this time, shad are their prey of choice, and a spinnerbait burned just below the surface imitates shad perfectly and produces strike after strike.
Shorelines and shallow water are perfect areas to utilize this fast-paced, aggressive tactic. You can also try it out over vegetation and burn your spinnerbait across the top of weed beds. The vibration and speed the lure possesses will attract fish throughout these locations cast after cast.
Fishing is not without its slow periods, however, and during midday when the sun is high, fish will seek deeper, cooler, waters. This isn’t a problem, though. Simply slow your retrieve a little to allow the spinnerbait to run deeper and you’ll have no trouble maintaining a consistent record. Fish are usually the most active early in the morning and during late afternoon, so take advantage of this with a spinnerbait and watch the magic happen. This versatility is what has enabled spinnerbaits to become the staple bass lure in any fisherman’s tackle box.
Many people don’t think of spinnerbaits as a wake bait, but once you try this technique out and see just how effective it is at enticing fish, you’ll marvel at just how much you can do with them. While most will head to the shorelines early in the morning and pull a buzzbait across the foggy water, I highly suggest tying on a spinnerbait with vibration and get a feel for “waking” the lure beneath the surface. Not only will fish after fish be hooked, but so will you.