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The Versatile Spinnerbait
Bob R. Myers - Pro Field Editor
September, 2001

Many bass fishermen rely heavily on the spinnerbait during the early spring, but the spinnerbait is actually a versatile lure that can be fished throughout the year.

Although the spinnerbait has been around for several years now in one form or another, the bait has gained a renewed following among tournament anglers in recent years because of its popularity on the B.A.S.S. and FLW Tournament trails. There have been several BASSMasters Classics that the spinnerbait was the dominant lure. Hank Parker won the 1989 Classic on the James River by slow-rolling a 3/4 ounce spinnerbait he had modified with tandem gold blades and just two years later during the 1991 Classic, pro Ken Cook made his mark in the B.A.S.S. record books with a Classic win on Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, also with a spinnerbait. I was fortunate to have been at both of these Classics and several before and after, and I can tell you that most of the pros always have a spinnerbait tied on.

I like to fish a spinnerbait in just about every month of the year and although it works extremely well during the spring months it's also an excellent bait during the fall months here in Oklahoma. In fact on guide trips the past couple of weeks on Lake Texoma, we have been catching some nice brownies and kentuckies on spinnerbaits fished around sandy points and rock banks.

I normally like to fish a spinnerbait when there is a little chop on the water, however on recent trips we are catching our fish off rock banks or points where there is little or no wind. The bass are not holding on any type of structure and the key seems to be find the bait fish and you will find the bass.

My favorite spinnerbaits are the Terminator T-1 series in the 1/4-ounce size. I like either the bright white shad color with the white double willow blades, or on a cloudy day the chartreuse and white with the tandem chartreuse and white painted blades. I am partial to painted blades on my spinnerbaits and you can't go wrong with a white spinnerbait and a white painted blade on most of our water here in Oklahoma.

Because most of the bait fish that I am finding is relatively small, the smaller size spinnerbaits seem to work best. I have a hard time convincing anglers that a small spinnerbait will catch big bass, but I have taken some really good bass, both largemouth and smallmouth on small spinerbaits.

On those days when the bite is tough and there isn't any wind, my favorite spinnerbait is the Terminator Tiny-T which features a quality Mustad Ultra Point Hook. Most spinnerbaits in this smaller size also have a small hook, but the Termiantor Tiny-T has a hook large enough to hold a big fish.This little 1/8 ounce spinnerbait in the bright white shad color will catch bass consistently. I like to modify this little spinnerbait by changing out the back blade and replacing it with a No. 3 white mag willow blade.

I like a spinnerbait because you can cover a lot of water and seek out the more aggressive bass. This has been especially true lately since the bass seem to be roaming looking for shad and not relating to structure.

Since 1975 when Jimmy Houston became a full-time pro on the tournament trail, he has been labeled as a spinnerbait fisherman and for good reason. In his early years he earned the nick-name of "Jimmy Hustle" becasue of his fast, buzz-saw tactics with a rod and reel.

Houston, like most of today's top pros, doesn't want to be identified as being an expert with only one kind of lure, but the facts speak for themselves. Houston is a master of the spinnerbait; has been, is, and always will be. As the old saying goes; if it acts like a duck, walks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it must be a duck! Houston is always going to be known as a spinnerbait fisherman and his involvement with Terminator only reinforces his love of spinnerbait fishing.

If you haven't tried the new Jimmy Houston Speed Bead Series of spinnerbaits by Terminator you need to give them a try. I especially like the 1/4 ounce size with the tandem turtle back blades. With both the Speed Bead and the Quick Clevis design, it's easy to modify and change blades while on the water.

For the most part, the lakes that I fish all have fairly clear water and if you fish clear water, you owe it to yourself to try Jimmy's bubble gum color Speed Bead spinnerbait.

The spinnerbait truly is a versatile lure and a bait that can be fished during any season.

Until next month, remember to practice catch and release.


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