Where Should You Throw A Spinnerbait? ( The 2 Top Locations)
UPDATED 03 NOVEMBER 2023
by Robert Ceran
Spinnerbaits have been catching bass for more than 50 years now, and still continue to be among the most effective bass lures year in year out.
But if you’re new to fishing, you might be asking yourself, where should you use a spinnerbait?
Here’s the quick answer:
Spinnerbaits can be used almost anywhere, but they are most effective when used in shallow water with cover, or for slow-rolling in deep water. They also perform very well in locations with a water current, or with a choppy water surface.
Now let’s dive into the details of this topic, to give you a deeper understanding of the places where spinnerbaits come in handy.
What are the best places to use spinnerbait?
As mentioned above, spinnerbaits really come into their own in two specific scenarios:
- Fishing shallow water with lots of cover
- Targeting deep water with a slow-rolling tactic
Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.
Fishing spinnerbaits in shallow cover for bass
Spinnerbaits are among the top lures for catching bass in shallow water with cover, which is due to three main reasons: firstly, it’s easy to fish them high in the water column, secondly, they give off a strong vibration underwater, and thirdly, they are practically weedless (due to the bent wire with the blades covering the single hook).
This combination of qualities makes spinnerbaits perfect to fishing around laydowns, brush piles, flooded timber, and grass beds. For example, if you’re fishing around a laydown, you can get away by throwing the lure very close to it, and then retrieving it just above the submerged branches without getting snagged.
If there are any bass inside that cover, you can be sure they’ll come out and check out your lure. One reason why spinnerbaits work so well in situations with cover is due to the strong vibrations their blades give off underwater.
That way, even when the fish can’t see your lure because it’s obscured by the cover, they can sense the vibrations, which will draw them in to investigate. This works even better if you use a round colorado blade on your spinnerbait, which produces more resistance, resulting in stronger vibrations underwater.
Using colorado blades to create more ‘thump’ in the water also works extremely well in grass beds, where the visibility is often low. Spinnerbaits are among the very best lures for catching bass in grass, when other lures often don’t work at all, because they get snagged on every single cast.
Another situation where spinnerbaits work very well is when bass are chasing shad in shallow water, which you can often see from their surface activity. In places like that, it pays to throw a spinnerbait with blades that resemble the size and color of the bait fish the bass are feeding on, which will usually trigger aggressive strikes.
Often when you’re fishing a spinnerbait shallow, it’s worth burning it just underneath the surface with a high speed retrieval, since this can also trigger reaction bites from any bass that are following your lure.
Finally, another place where spinnerbaits are very effective is any water that has an active current. This could be a river or a creek, but it could also be a spot in a lake where a tributary stream flows into it. In places like that, throw your spinnerbait right into the main current, and retrieve it from there. Often you’ll get a strike when the lure reaches the edge of the current.
Fishing spinnerbaits in deep water (slow-rolling for bass)
While bass are mostly caught in shallow water during the spring and autumn seasons, they retreat to deeper water in the heat of summer, and during the cold months of winter. And even though it’s harder to catch deep water bass, you can definitely still get them down there, and spinnerbaits are among the best lures for this purpose.
In order to fish spinnerbaits deep, you need to pick a bigger size – at least 3/4 oz, but you can go even bigger, all the way up to 1 1/2 or even 2 oz. The bigger, heavier sizes are easier to maintain at a deep level during the retrieve, while lighter ones will quickly rise up in the water column (which you want to avoid, since bass are usually located just above the bottom).
For more details on picking the right size, check out our article on what size spinnerbait should you use for bass?
The best way to find the right spots for deep water bass fishing is with the help of a fish finder. Look for promising structures, such as ledges, saddles, or big rocks, and then keep on looking until you see some fish on your sonar.
When you throw a spinnerbait in a place like that, let it sink all the way to the bottom before you start retrieving it, and when you do, reel it in really slowly (hence the name slow-rolling), which ensures that it stays at the same depth (just above the bottom), instead of climbing up into the water column.
It’s great to use a reel with a low gear ratio for this (6.1:1 or less), to keep the retrieve speed slow enough. If you feel the spinnerbait bumping into rocks and other objects, that’s perfectly fine, since that confirms it’s close to the bottom.
Another tactic is to let the spinnerbait fall to the bottom, and then pull it up 3 or 4 feet with your rod tip, before letting it sink back down. The key with both of these methods is to always maintain contact with the bottom, since that’s where the bass are.
Using spinnerbaits in winter for cold water bass
Slow-rolling spinnerbaits is one of the best ways to catch bass in winter, not only because you’re targeting deeper areas where they hold at this time of the year, but also because of the slow retrieve speed, which gives lethargic winter bass enough time to catch up with your lure.
This method regularly produces trophy sized fish, and it’s surprising that only relatively few anglers use it.