Fishing Bass with a Chatterbait

With the winter-to-spring transition happening as we speak, many anglers are struggling to find a consistent bass bite no matter where they are fishing. The prespawn season can be one of the most difficult times of year to catch big bass. However, if you are equipped with the correct lures and knowledge, it can be one of the most rewarding times of the year. We believe that for most anglers the chatterbait is the key to spring fishing and prespawn success, which is why we will be discussing our best tips and tricks for fishing chatterbaits!

Chatterbait Fishing Tip #1: Fish Low & Slow

As the water temperatures increase across the nation, so does the average angler's retrieval speed when fishing with baits like the chatterbait. Despite the bass being slightly more active than they were in the winter, fishing slow is the best way to catch early spring bass as well, especially with the chatterbait. Most anglers will steadily retrieve their chatterbait year-round–but we believe experimenting with retrieval speeds is one of the best tricks to getting more bites on the chatterbait. This time of year, our team typically drags the chatterbait on the bottom of the water column with the occasional pop in an attempt to get a reaction bite. Sometimes small changes make a big difference, which is why we highly recommend experimenting with retrieval and fishing slowly during the early spring season. 

Chatterbait Fishing Tip #2: Experiment with trailers

Retrieval speed is not the only variable you can experiment with while chatterbait fishing. More often than not, the trailer of the chatterbait is the deciding factor for a fish biting it! We recommend trying as many chatterbait trailers as possible when the bite is slow. Whether it is a large-profile bait like a fluke or brush-hog, or a smaller craw/creature, there is never any harm in trying out different trailers to see what appeals to the bass. During the prespawn, trailers that mimic forage, such as craws or baitfish, are often the best to use. It may seem like a small change, but experimenting with chatterbait trailers can often deliver great results! Learn more about pairing your chatterbait with an effective trailer in our recent blog post here.

Chatterbait Fishing Tip #3: Fish for reaction bites

As mentioned above, the chatterbait can be retrieved fast or slow, which means it is one of the best lures to get reaction bites. While using the chatterbait, it is crucial to use sporadic movement. Sporadic movements typically consist of ripping the bait through the structure or giving it the occasional twitch when on the bottom. These movements will activate a reflex within the bass and cause them to bite the lure instantly, even if they are lethargic. When using these reaction techniques on every cast, your chances of hooking into a trophy bass increase exponentially.

If used correctly, the chatterbait can be one of the most effective lures, regardless of what season it is. Experimenting is typically the key to finding success with this staple bass fishing lure, so don’t be afraid to keep trying new things even if you aren’t seeing great results. If you remember these bass fishing tips the next time you hit the water with a chatterbait, we can almost guarantee that you’ll get some bites!

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