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John's Journal... Entry 200, Day 1


Use a Spinner Bait

EDITOR'S NOTE: Larry Nixon has fished competitively for more than 27 years. He's won the Angler-of-the-Year title on the BASS Circuit twice and the BASS Master's Classic in 1983. He's appeared at 24 BASS Masters Classics. He's also won four MegaBucks tournaments.

QUESTION: What is your "poison" if you are luring smallmouth?
ANSWER: If I want to target smallmouth, my first lure of choice will be the spinner bait. I prefer a 1/2-ounce Premiere Pro Model with tandem willow-leaf blades. I like to have one white blade and the other chartreuse, and I prefer a chartreuse-and-white skirt. You have to remember that smallmouth bass like light-colored lures. They also enjoy chasing bait. For this reason, I crank this spinner bait as fast as I can and keep it just under the surface of the water. I'll make really long casts and crank the bait back through open waters. You have to remember that smallmouth bass are sight feeders, and big smallmouth love to chase and run a bait down. When a smallmouth sees a bait trying to run away, the fish seem to become aggravated and want to chase that bait.

QUESTION: Where is the best location to use the spinner bait for smallmouth?
ANSWER: I like to fish around scattered grass or boulders. I like to fish along fairly flat banks, have my boat in 7 to 12 feet of water and cast into 2 to 3 feet of water. I want that spinner bait to run across the break line where the bottom drops off from shallow to deep. I've seen smallmouth come up from 10 feet of water to take the spinner bait, especially when I'm burning that spinner bait. I prefer the willow leaf blade because these blades allow me to fish the spinner bait faster than I can with the Colorado blade.

QUESTION: Do you use anything special with your spinner bait?
ANSWER: I always run a trailer hook on my spinner bait because smallmouth are slash feeders. Many times the smallmouth won't hit the main hook, but you will catch it on the trailer hook. If the smallmouth are not really taking the bait, I bulk the bait up by using a twin-tail trailer.




Check back each day this week for more about FIVE SECRETS FOR CATCHING SMALLMOUTH BASS ...

Day 1 - Use a Spinner Bait
Day 2 - Bet On The Wild Shiner
Day 3 - The Tube = Mr. Consistency
Day 4 - Bet on the Carolina Rig
Day 5 - Diamonds for Smallmouth

John's Journal