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Spinner Bait Fishing Tactics for Spotted Bay Bass

Spinner Bait Fishing Tactics for Spotted Bay Bass

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Published by bass fishing lures
Like most fishermen my age I originally learned about spinnerbait fishing for largemouth bass with my Dad. My class room was the back of an aluminum rental boat drifting the brush flats and rocky points of Irvine Lake in Orange County and Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara, CA. Both lakes were renowned southern California bass fisheries in the 1960's and 70's.
Like most fishermen my age I originally learned about spinnerbait fishing for largemouth bass with my Dad. My class room was the back of an aluminum rental boat drifting the brush flats and rocky points of Irvine Lake in Orange County and Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara, CA. Both lakes were renowned southern California bass fisheries in the 1960's and 70's.

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Published by: bass fishing lures on Aug 14, 2009
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06/02/2010

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Like most fishermen my age I originally learned about spinnerbait fishing forlargemouth bass with my Dad. My class room was the back of an aluminum rental boatdrifting the brush flats and rocky points of Irvine Lake in Orange County and LakeCachuma in Santa Barbara, CA. Both lakes were renowned southern California bassfisheries in the 1960's and 70's. Later I refined my techniques from the business end of aNitro bass boat fishing team tournaments in the waters of the mid west for Smallmouthbass and Muskie.In the last 30 years I have managed to refined my spinnerbait technique quite a bit. Inow do most of my fishing from my kayak or a float tube but the target fish is still abass albeit a distant saltwater cousin, the Spotted Bay Bass. The proving grounds arenow Newport Harbor, the LA Breakwall and Mission Bay, San Diego. Most of the largeharbors of Southern California's coast are filled with hungry spotted bass or sand bassthat are just waiting to try this tasty treat.Keep your tackle choices simpleI fish a 7' IM7 graphite baitcasting rod from Infinity Fishing Products, nothing fancy$49.95 retail. The rod is rated 8-15# test and has a 11" cork butt with a trigger grip and4" cork fore grip. It's built with 1 foot Fugi SIC guides. I use an inexpensive Daiwa, lowprofile baitcasting reel. Basically the same setup you would use to throw spinnerbaitsfor largemouth bass with maybe slightly heavier line. Spotted bass have very sharp teeth and side plates on their heads. With a spinnerbaityou don't have to worry about the teeth but you do have to worry about their headplatting. Spots have a tendency to trash and roll on the bait. For this reason the moneyyou spend on line is more important than any other expenditure. I use 10# P-line. I likeits overall characteristics, stretch, knot strength, visibility and its tuff! Sometimes if Iam going outside to fish the breakers or kelp beds for Calicos I will step up to 12# test.Other good lines i've tried include Stren, Trilene XT and the new Cuda line.Check your line and Re-Tie your spinnerbaits often! I can not stress this enough. At $6a pop for quality saltwater spinnerbaits one mistake is to many.For bait colors, I choose the basics. In most cases it’s a chart/white 1/2oz. with a smallgold colorado and a #5 willow or indiana/willow blade combo. I also carry natural Shadfor clear water and a Fire Tiger color for stained water and overcast days. Black/red andPurple/blue are good night colors. When fishing the bays the average casting distance isshort so I find the 1/2 oz. works in most all situations but I do carry a few 3/4oz. just incase the current is faster and a few 1 oz. models for fishing deep structure.A few basic tips to catch more fish:Being a tournament fisherman I am constantly looking for a new edge or technique.And like most serious kayak anglers I try most of the new techniques mentioned on the
 
discussion boards and other kayak publications. But, like the Highlander, I am never farfrom my blade. For those of you who are new to spinnerbait fishing I have included afew important and easy to remember tactics to catch more Spinnerbait fish in the bays.If you are tossing into rock piles and shallow structure such as docks and weeds bedsthe bass will often times slam the bait within moments of it hitting the water. This is dueto their predatory instincts and defense mechanisms. For this reason I try to have myreel engaged (in gear)the moment the bait hits its target. There is nothing morefrustrating than missing an opportunity to set the hook cleanly because of a birds nest orto much slack.A gentle arch cast will put enough slack into my cast to give me the depth I am lookingfor. So with this in mind I engage my reel just after the spinnerbait starts its decent.Then, hopefully, when it gently plops into the water next to the dock or rock pile I justcount it down quickly 1,2,3 . . and start my retrieve. Practice this method and you willeliminate most of the small overcast birds nets that plaque even the most skilledspinnerbait fishermen.Make an accurate cast the first time and don't be afraid to bump the rocks andmomentarily kill the bait. You can let it fall all the way to the bottom and then burn itback to the surface.Fishing visible structure: empty docks, pilings, etc.When possible cast your bait up under the docks or piers and always parallel to thedocks. Cast as far back as possible into the shallow water and work your way out. If your not getting bit try letting the bait sink on the cast and dead stick it for a fewmoments then a few twitch movements and then burn it back. This method just mayaggravate the fish into striking.Be sure to hit both sides of all pilings, rocks and any visible structure breaks. (Hit theshadow side first if possible)Fishing the eelgrass beds and deep coverSpotted Bass Love eelgrass! It affords them the three most important elements, Coverfrom the sun, Protection from the elements and other predictors and an abundance of food. I have found that the best eelgrass beds are those in about 6' of water. I also findthat this area is better on the incoming tide. This depth leaves about 4' of water over theeelgrass. The fish are coming into the area with a new attitude with the sole purpose of feeding.Cast your spinnerbait into the shallower area and pull it out towards the deep area. Let itget right into the grass. A twitches and a couple of cranks on the handle and your baitwill be sliding through the eelgrass with an enticing vibration and a "Bite Me" attitude.Don't get discouraged if you don't get bit quickly just keep at it, the fish are there.Hint; wear a pair of Polaroid glasses to take the sun's glare off the water. This will allowyou to keep better track of your baits.

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