By Ron Howe
Spring has come and gone all the bed fish have moved off the bank and are recovering from the spawn. The grass on the bank is now yellow and the temperatures are rising as summer is coming on fast. Bluegill, Shad and Baby bass have moved shallow to feed up and grow.
This can be one of the most exciting times to throw chatter baits as the bass recover from the spawn they will be hungry and there metabolism will be rising and they need to eat more food more often. Chatter baits can resemble the forage the bass are looking for. These baits move a lot of water and make a lot of vibration. This makes it easy for the bass to track them down and eat them.
Let’s get geared up for chatter bait fishing! I recommend using the same rod you would use for fishing spinner baits. My choice is a 7-3” Abu Garcia vendetta rod with 15lb test Trilene.I pr efer a shorter rod when making target casts at any available cover, this gives you more control. For the Reel I use the Abu Garcia Revo SX 7:1 gear ratio. I like the higher ratio reel because many fish will hit the bait so hard you will need to catch up quickly to eliminate any slack in the line.
I fell in love with this style of bait because I like to fish fast and I like to catch big fish! Fishing this style allows me to cover lots of water quickly to find out what mood the bass are in. This is a great bait to throw on the days when the Bass aren’t committing to top water. I can fish the bait on a slow steady retrieve and catch many fish. I prefer to use this bait more like a rip bait. I will snap the rod quickly down and to the side in different cadences. Like rip reel, rip rip reel, rip reel, rip rip rip reel and WHAM! They clobber it!
The reason I do this is to create a change of direction. This forces the bass that may follow the bait to make a quick decision and eat! Or snap at it!
A few years back I was doing this at Lake Amador and I was catching 25lb plus bags for over a month! Since this lake has no skiers or jet skiers there are only a handful of boats on the water there in summer time. I have not caught any 10 pounders doing this, but I have caught many fish from 5-9lbs doing this. I look for areas with vegetation as the lake level begins to draw down. This pulls the bass out of the cover and the bait they eat too! Look for shallow point’s cuts, pockets any place Bluegill, Shad and Baby Bass would hide. This will be on the clay section of the banks with grass growing on them!
I have tried many different brands of chatter baits and they will all catch fish, but I’ve found the one I really like, It is made by the D&M Custom Bait company. The reason this brand is my favorite is the quality with which they build them. They make 2 models of this bait the Piranha Swim Jig and the Piranha Swim Jig Super mag. These baits sport a super sharp hook! The super mag has a 8/0 long shank hook allowing you to jumbo size your trailer! I like using different trailers to give the bait different actions and looks, I use swim Senko’s, Berkley Havoc’s Grass pigs, and split tail trailers. I will use slim profiled trailers for easier pull thru the water allowing for more erratic action! At time I will use bulky trailers to imitate big Bluegill.
I stick to three basic colors, black and blue, white, and green pumpkin/Talapia.