Anglers than 100 years, because they are one of the most effective all-around lures ever created. Yet, with so many different lures on the market today, it is easy to forget just how valuable these simple baits can be throughout the fishing season.


Spinners like Mepps and Panther Martins should be carried by every angler because they can catch just about any species of fish from panfish to muskies and everything in between.  Spinners are effective from opening day to ice-up in December, and they can work even when all other baits fail.

At first glance, spinners don’t seem like much. Basically they consist of a metal blade and a treble hook connected to a piece of wire. Some have flashy colors, beads or a skirt attached to them for a bit of variety, but they are not complex or high-tech lures. And oddly enough, while most lures are created to imitate something fish feed on, most spinners are not designed to imitate anything.

So how can something so simple be so effective? Basically, spinners use flash and vibration to entice a fish into striking. This combination is deadly and can even lure non-feeding fish to hit the bait. Spinners appeal to the most basic of fish instincts, which seems overly simple in this high-tech age.

Spinners also differ from other lures in that there really aren’t any specifics as to which type of spinner will catch a certain type of fish. It’s not like a crankbait, where the one that looks like a crayfish is more likely to catch a bass, while the one that looks like a perch will work better for walleyes. The only real variable is size. Small spinners work well for small fish species and large spinners should be used for bigger fish.

What should you carry? A good rule of thumb is to carry a good variety of sizes and styles. As to which styles, well… that is up to you. Try a few spinners with beads, fur or a tail. Carry a variety of colors. Beyond that, it is all experimentation. Anyone who fishes spinners often will tell you that any style may work on any given day.

One of the great things about fishing with spinners is that they are easy to use. There isn’t any jigging or finese involved. A straight retrieve is all you need. Throw it out and reel it in. The only variable you might consider is altering the speed of the retrieve.

Also, there are no rules about where to use a spinner. The weedline, around docks or rock piles, a trout stream, a deep lake, a shallow pond – spinners can be used anywhere.

Spinners are one of the truly timeless fishing lures. Carrying a good selection in your tackle box adds a valuable option to any day on the water, especially if nothing else seems to be working. Using spinners will put more fish in the boat throughout the season.

Photo credit: Dreamstime