John Rankin

[Video] Smallmouth Bass Hit Spinnerbaits Doing a Slow Roll

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terminator spinnerbaitWith winter holding on for many of us in the northern climates of America the opportunities for fishing are limited. Lakes, streams, and even our favorite smallmouth bass rivers are frozen over and this means playing the waiting game until a spring thaw occurs. Ice fishing is always an option but is a whole other world. The good news is spring is not far off, so we can look forward to visiting our favorite smallie waters. Once the waters do become accessible, conditions are going to be perfect for fishing with spinnerbaits presented in a slow rolling motion.

Gear

Use 10 to 15 lb. line while tossing ¾ and ½ oz. spinnerbaits. Allow the spinnerbaits to move through the water in a much slower rolling motion than you would use if the water temps were at summer levels. The smallies are still in the winter metabolic state thus they are not going to be as aggressive. They do however need to feed, so you are going to get more strikes on a slow rolling spinner than if you are burning the bait through the water at warp speed.

Use a Colorado blade and allow the spinnerbait to go deep as this is where the fish are going to be. You might need to move up to a one ounce spinner to reach the depth required if you are fishing on a fast moving river or stream. If you are not using polarized sunglasses or lens on regular eyeglasses definitely grab a pair. They will allow for better visibility into the water and you are going to need this for the following reason. You want to have the ability to see the spinner drop until it is no longer visible. This puts the bait into the depth range of where the smallmouths can now see it as they are deep enough they cannot see you. Simple enough, right?

Technique

Now that the spinnerbait is down in their living room use a slow retrieve with different blade combinations for a slow rolling motion of the blades. You should feel your bait clanging against rocks and you may want to fish it like a jig at times. As I mentioned above, these are not summer and warm water smallies who will lash out ten to twenty feet after your baits. The fish are lethargic so a slow presentation is going to entice a lot more strikes.

Jeff Little talking slow rolling spinnerbaits

Work the spinnerbaits in this fashion at different depths and keep switching colors and blade combinations until you hit on what entices the fish to strike. Once you hit the right combo and presentation get ready for plenty of action!

Try spinnerbaits fished in a slow rolling motion in the cold water of late winter, and before spring warm-up. You will catch smallmouths and other fish as well.

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