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Tips for fishing with spinnerbaits

Spinnerbait fishing can be incredibly effective for targeting pike and perch, especially in the summer. Spinnerbaits cause a lot of vibrations under water due to their spinning blades and moving skirt. Because they typically have only one hook facing upwards, they are perfect for fishing in weedy or snaggy conditions. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your spinnerbait fishing experience.


1.         Choose the Right Time and Place:

Spinnerbait fishing is most effective during warm water conditions, typically from May to September. In warmer conditions, fish are more active and spread out in the water. In warmer water, metabolism is higher so they hunt more actively and feed more frequently. Look for areas with submerged vegetation, rocky structures, or drop-offs where pike and perch might be hiding.

2.         Selecting the Right Spinnerbait:

A spinnerbait typically consists of one or two blades, a skirt and a hook. In clear water, brown, green or black can be very effective. In Murky or dark water try brighter colors like orange, white, yellow. Tip: also try a black skirt in dark water. The vibrations of the blades and the skirt will also attract predators even when they don’t see the lure. (This also goes for crankbaits). The Colorado blade creates more water pressure and flash, while the willow leaf blade runs deeper but produces less pressure. Experiment with different blade types and colors to see what works best in your fishing spot. Shimano has a very effective spinnerbait for Perch and Pike: The Bantam Swagy. The Bantam Swagy TW is a special spinnerbait that combines a willow blade and a Colorado blade in a cleverly thought-out design making it perfect for slower retrieves. The arms are made of different wire thickness to enhance the action and the head is a combination of two different metals to create better balance and stability. The Check the Shimano Swagy here.

3.         Spinnerbait Gear Essentials

Ideal rods for spinnerbait fishing are moderate fast action rods. They absorb the vibrations of the lure better than fast action rods. For boat fishing use a rod of about 2.0 to 2.4 meter long. From the shore you can use rods up to 2,7 meter. Match the rod's casting weight with the weight of the spinnerbaits you're using. You can fish spinnerbaits with normal spinning reels and baitcasters. Opt for a baitcasting reel (such as the new Shimano Caius) when you need to make short technical casts. For maximum distance in your cast opt for a spinning reel. If you want to use a spinning reel, use a Coresolid reel like the Ultegra FC or Stradic FM. Coresolid reels are configured for smooth continuous winding.

Use braided line between 0.20 mm and 0.30 mm thickness to prevent tangling and effectively pull the spinnerbait free from snags if needed. For pike use a steel, titanium or fluorocarbon trace of about 35 cm. For perch a fluorocarbon leader of about 0.22 mm is enough. Should you expect the occasional pike, you can use thicker fluorocarbon (0.4 mm). If you specifically target pike use a fluorocarbon of about 0.9 mm.

Consider adding an additional hook to the spinnerbait if it comes with only one hook. You can also add a small shad to the hook, to give the spinnerbait more volume. This will cause more water movement which predators can feel under water.

4.         How to retrieve a spinnerbait

The most effective technique for spinnerbait fishing is a steady retrieve. To make it more interesting try some variations in your retrieve speed and try what works best. Cast the spinnerbait out and let it sink to the bottom, allowing the line to go slack. Then retrieve the spinnerbait close to the bottom. Then try different depths, especially in deeper water. You can fish spinnerbaits in all water layers, but in general they work best in 1 to 3 meters of water.  If you want to fish your spinnerbait in deeper water layers, some spinnerbaits like the Shimano Bantam Swagy have a small mounting eyelet on the bottom to attach an additional snap on weight. Vary your retrieve speed and style to imitate injured or struggling baitfish. Also try short mini pauses in your retrieve. This will make the skirt of the Spinnerbait dance underwater which can trigger a following pike or perch to attack.


5.         Experiment with Colors and Sizes

Have a variety of spinnerbaits in different colors and sizes. The Shimano Bantam Swagy TW is one of the spinnerbaits you don’t want to miss in your tackle box. To maximize effectiveness, experiment with tail shads in different color combinations. Remember, spinnerbait fishing is all about experimentation and adapting to the conditions. Tight lines and unforgettable strikes!

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