By Nick Simonson
Don’t cash out that stack of summer chips just yet, there’s a sure bet to be placed for excitement on any bass water this time of year. Turning and burning a spinnerbait along known bass haunts will help close out the season with a full house of fish and doing so is an easy ante that pays off with a big bank of late season largemouth and smallmouth memories. What follows are tips for fast action as we come to the river card in the season, casting flashy and fast-moving spinnerbaits for bass.
The Big Bet
This time of year it’s easy to count on nature’s buffet to be present in any bass water. Whether it’s a pond stocked with bluegills, a lake loaded with silver fish like minnows or juvenile white bass, or a river packed with young-of-the-year perch, there will be a copious amount of prey swimming around in late summer waters of all kinds. The key when casting a spinnerbait is to imitate the abundant, fleeing fish that take off whenever a lunker largemouth or super-sized smallie comes cruising through. Spinnerbaits with two, three or even four blades do a great job of mimicking multiple minnows on the run, and retrieving them through likely areas will set late summer bass off.
Come to the Table
The dense weed edges that have set up this time of year provide cover for these small fish, and an easily-identified barrier for both bass and anglers. Casting parallel to a hard break, where the weedline falls apart and opens into deeper water, is a good way to cover the column and find active bass that are patrolling these areas. Retrieve the spinnerbait quickly along these edges after the cast and a countdown to the desired depth in order to imitate those baitfish that are tucked into and darting out of the safety of the greenery and scattering anytime a predator appears. From time to time, back out and work the bait back perpendicular to the weedline, or slow roll a large, Colorado-bladed spinnerbait along the declining and broken weeds out from the main edge, especially after cold fronts or when bass have moved deeper. This hole card helps ensure that all angles have been covered.
Match the colors of a spinnerbait and its blades to the available forage. The silicone skirt and lead head hues should also be considered for a given water. If light-colored fish like shiners or young of the year white bass are present, select silver or white as the body and skirt color along with a selection of nickel willow blades to complete the illusion. For darker prey, like bluegills or fathead minnows, consider something with a blue, purple or black tint to match what’s natural in the water, and darker blades like gold or copper cap the presentation off nicely. Also keep a few aces up the sleeve, consisting of spinnerbaits in confidence colors such as bright pink, orange, or firetiger, which may not match any particular prey species in the water but are known to set bass off and trigger a reaction strike.
Finally, don’t forget to pack a few vital additions to help take any spinnerbait offering over the top and hook up with more fish. Utilizing a stinger hook will help connect with short-striking bass that come in for a look and a nip but aren’t going all-in on the offering. Be certain the eye of the additional hook is big enough to slip over the main hook and secure it in place with a bit of surgical tubing, which holds it in place horizontally. Additionally, to lengthen the profile of the head and body of the bait, add a plastic spinnerbait trailer, a curly-tailed grub or a swimbait tail to provide more action and attraction. These tack-ons sometimes turn a good offering into a great one, and provide that bigger bite that fish are looking for.
Spinnerbaits shine in late summer, help cover water and connect with fish that are actively feeding as fall approaches. With some insight as to what’s on the buffet menu and how to modify these baits to the mood of the fish, you’ll be able to go heads up with any bass and hook up with some serious excitement as the season wraps.
Featured Image: Know When to Hold ‘Em. Spinnerbaits will help put more bass in your hand at the end of summer. Simonson Image & Photos.