Spinnerbaits have long been one of the most popular baits in the world of fishing, and with good reason. They’re incredibly effective at catching fish, inexpensive, and they’re quite versatile. However, to achieve their full potential, it helps to learn how to utilize them in a variety of situations. Keep reading for some insight on how to fish spinnerbaits in a few different situations on the water.

Spinnerbaits are especially effective in grassy areas that are not completely matted, because their single hook design makes them considerably more weedless than a number of other baits.  While still not totally weedless, the retrieve is the key to getting a spinnerbait through the weeds without bringing the weeds back to the boat. A slow retrieve allows the bait to move through the weeds more effectively, and if you do hit the grass, simply stop your retrieve and use the rod tip to gently pull the bait through the grass. Using this method will allow you to keep the bait from snagging the grass and provides a better chance of attracting a strike. If you do pick up a piece of grass, though, all you need to do is shake or jerk your rod tip to get the grass off. For areas with sub-surface grass, the spinnerbait can be retrieved fast enough to keep the bait above the grass, similar to a buzzbait. This allows you to wake the surface or to keep your bait just above the grass.

Fishing a spinnerbait among scattered lily pads is also productive. While you can’t always pull your spinnerbait through the pads, due to their durability, you can use your rod tip to direct the bait around the stems and keep it from getting hung up. Master this skill, and you’ll notice a significant increase in strikes. Slow rolling is the best method for fishing lily pads because it allows you more control over the spinnerbait path.

Bass often suspend around boat docks, especially in the summer. Pulling a spinnerbait around and through these structures can be very productive if done right. You can cast the bait toward the bank and slow roll it alongside the dock, if you want, which will bring it by each set of pilings. When the bait hits the water, allow the bait to sink a foot or so then give the rod tip a twitch to get the blades turning. Then, slow roll it past the pilings. Also, you can flip or pitch the spinnerbait under the dock, to reach those fish taking advantage of the shade. Either way, make sure to continue a slow retrieve, even when you’ve cleared the dock, just in case you have any curious followers.

As I stated earlier, simply using a bait—even an effective one—isn’t going to put fish in the boat; you have to know how to use the bait in a variety of situations to truly allow it to shine. The tactics and conditions outlined above will help you get closer to mastering the spinnerbait. Be sure to come back for more tips on how to use spinnerbaits in different conditions!

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