It breaks up surface tension, which refracts light that can disorient baitfish — and it can create current, which in turn can position bass that are in the mood to feed. It was the Canadian Open, and a large contingency of American anglers had entered the event. I want to dispel some of the controversy about bait color, not add to them. All you want them to see is flash and movement. It is a standard color for soft plastic lizards, finesse worms, and other worms. Really the only time they were ever applied to clear water was when the cover was thick or the skies were overcast and breezy. That’s what makes these fast moving blades ideal for clear water conditions. A few months later, I won the (FLW) Golden Blend Diamond Invitational using the same patterns. And that's almost always a good thing! My series was called "Techniques Illustrated." Why is wind so important? Black and blue is a very popular and effective muddy water color and is a great option for soft plastics, top water lures, spinnerbait and chatterbaits. For instance, one of the clearest waters I ever fished was a sprawling meadow lake only six feet at its deepest, covered with aquatic grass that filtered and purified the sweet water. Clear water is where you find it and clear water spinnerbaits are whichever get bit best. When they're in the mood to feed — like on blustery, low-sky days — they'll often position themselves higher in the water column. Black and blue is one of my all-time favorite color combinations to use in muddy water. The year was 1986, and Clunn's winning pattern involved the use of a spinnerbait in calm, clear water conditions. The other option for painted blades is a color pattern that imitates specific types of forage (like a Sexy Shad or Blue Back Herring pattern). Flash is most important in clear water because in that situation, bass mostly use their vision to feed. The spinnerbait was a chartreuse with brown and 2 gold willow leaf blades. Last time, we discussed Rick Clunn's concept for fishing spinnerbaits in ultra-clear water, and how he targeted bass holding on isolated bushes — bass that, in some instances, were aware of his presence. As mentioned above it is often best to use spinnerbaits in color schemes resembling the major types of bass forage present in the clear water lake or river you’re fishing. In the warmer months whenever I fish a clear-water lake I will usually start out in the morning with a dark-colored spinnerbait, but I’ll only use it for a little while. For crayfish, browns and greens are good, as well as reds and oranges. Color Patterns That Work. So finding situations for the technique wasn't at all difficult. Bass seem to love the color, and it looks natural in the water. … Another great trailer option that you should consider adding to your spinnerbaits is a Zoom … By targeting these small alleyways, I can put a moving lure where others usually won't try. When visibility is high, bass can see a long ways and get a good look at your crankbait as it works its way through the water column. Buying the best one, especially for the unaccustomed, can prove a little intimidating. Like any concept, there are individual components that make up the whole — parts and pieces that work together to complete the puzzle. Twin Willow style blades and a super-sharp hook round out the package. I spent months applying his clear-water spinnerbait strategy, and it worked as if I had read the instructions from a manual. Intermittent contact can force bass to react. Another approach to water clarity is using fluorescent and bright colored baits for muddy water and switching to lighter colors in clear, warm water. The key was determining the fish's position as it related to the cover, then planning his cast so that the spinnerbait would remain concealed until it reached the target. Together, we formed the first "graded" silicone skirts (from dark to light). What color lure to use? Another great option in clear water is a white or white/chartreuse spinnerbait with willow leaf blades that is burned with a 6 or 7 to 1 gear ratio baitcaster just below the surface. When Clunn first realized his clear-water technique, spinnerbaits were pretty basic in design. anyone know what color spinnerbait wouold work in crystal clear water i mean 30 feet + almost or if they would even work??? Few, if any, had true lifelike attributes or the cosmetics to match live baitfish. Junebug This dark purple color has green flakes in it to make it shine, and it is especially good in clear water. In response, Mark Hildebrandt began experimenting with alternative metals. If fishing muddy or stained water stick with a chartreuse/white, all white or black/blue combination. A numbering system starting from #00 (smallest) to #8 (largest) is used. Stick to colors such as green pumpkin, watermelon and root beer in clear water and change to a june-bug or black/blue combination in stained or dirty water. Competing were Bob and Wayne Izumi, Big Jim McLaughlin, Rocky Crawford and the Viola brothers. In Florida, we have tons of clear water. Is the top question on an angler’s mind. Knowing Hildebrandt's reputation for quality, I eagerly accepted. You see, when I began my career as a pro angler, spinnerbaits were considered tools for stained to muddy water conditions. Remember to keep an open mind. Spinnerbait Buying Guide. Choose a presentation to match the feeding senses a bass uses to chow down. This action often triggers a massive feeding instinct because it resembles a school of baitfish. Membership Includes 1 Year Bassmaster Magazine, Plus $50 in free gear. Luckily for me, though, a buddy of mine shared a concept he learned while observing Rick Clunn as he won the U.S. Open on Lake Mead in Nevada. We tried several, but nothing could compete with tin. What Spinnerbait to Use When and Where July 25, 2019 As part of the Jason Christie designed Booyah Covert series spinnerbaits, they have come out with this chart to help anglers know what spinnerbaits to use, where to use them, and when to use … The spinnerbait was the boyd duckett from the May Lucky Tackle Box. Spinnerbaits, given their multiform use in different conditions and waters, come in varying shapes and sizes. I believe the bass can see a bright color farther away, which causes a reaction strike when it is retrieved quickly. In a field of grass, the spinnerbait is obscured throughout much of the retrieve. It's paid off in big tournaments on Okeechobee, Rayburn, Amistad, Lanier, Murray, West Point and numerous other major lakes — the technique seems to have no boundaries. In fact there were more than twenty Bassmaster Classic qualifiers there, including Denny Brauer, Joe Thomas, Randall Romig, Tom Mann Jr., Rick Lillegard, Jerry Rhyne and others. 3. Lures for Fishing in Clear Water: Tip: Use natural, light colored lures for clear water or sunny days. Ten-plus pounds — the double-digit — is what most would call the ­undisputed benchmark of a trophy largemouth. The smallmouth, on the other hand, were cruising over shallow main lake shoals in less than ten feet of water. Clunn did try other lures. So how he was able to coax them into biting a spinnerbait is nothing short of amazing. It all comes down to presentation — that, and having just the right spinnerbait. The darker the lure color the better, as they tend to stand out in water that has low visibility. Always try to keep the spinnerbait tracking above the fish. That's when they put me in touch with their skirt supplier, Bubba Robinson at Rat Trap Bait Company. Anatomy of a Clear-Water Spinnerbait. Ten-plus pounds — the double-digit — is what most would call the ­undisputed benchmark of a trophy largemouth. Next time we'll discuss how Clunn's concept applies to aquatic vegetation. Add a trailer hook - Use a trailer hook when practical to increase hookup percentages with short-strikers. Fish caught on a certain lure style or color encourages other anglers to try the same combination. The small blades (3.5 and 4.0) make it perfect for slow rolling or burning through the water column, and extra fine silicone skirts along with sexy paint jobs complete the presentation. To fool them, I had to use super-long casts and burn the spinnerbait right under the surface. Most were made by jig makers, so they incorporated a typical jighead profile with an added wire frame to support the blades. Two spinnerbaits for waking Strike King The Burner If you are in dirty water, use baits that push and create more movement. Clear Water Crankbait Color Selection. Canada's best also showed up. Plus, we'll take a closer look at spinnerbaits and how combining the right blade configuration with lifelike cosmetics will work to your advantage. When you think about how he was able to fool those fish in such calm, clear water by using an abstract lure like a spinnerbait, it's pretty amazing. These variables affect my selection of blade syle/color, the number of blades, skirt color, and the weight. So how he was able to coax them into … Few, if any, had true lifelike attributes or the cosmetics to match live baitfish. If you feel the fish are less active and holding deeper within the cover, try making contact with the top of the grass. Clunn went on to explain that in many cases he could see the fish "feel" the lure approaching. 3/4 to 1 ounce and larger; stained or muddy water; fishing deep, 10-15' or greater; fishing at night; 3/8 ounce and smaller; clear water in daylight; shallow clear water during night; clear nights with bright moon; Color Skirt colors are usually matched to the forage at the time of year and to the water conditions. Typically these color schemes mimic baitfish such as shad, herring, alewives, shiners, chubs, bluegills or perch. After some deliberation, I agreed. Even though they couldn’t see it, through sonic vibrations they sensed its presence. The skirt color along with the two willow blades make this spinnerbait a great choice for clear water and it will be even better on a sunny day. (Photo: Although bass fishing with spinnerbaits is often considered most operative throughout the spring and fall, the effectiveness doesn’t stop there. Clunn discovered that by utilizing the cover to conceal his lure throughout most of the retrieve, he could make the fish bite almost at will. These blades are best used in clearer water. I was there serving as an instructor, and one of my seminar topics was titled "Clear-Water Spinnerbaits," a subject that's very near and dear to me. Like any concept, there are individual components that make up the whole — parts and pieces that work together to complete the puzzle. JOIN TODAY! Daily Limit: Back in Elites, Hackney, Christie feel like rookies, Get best fishing times with lunar fishing calendars. So long as the water is clear and the bass are holding on isolated targets, a spinnerbait has a good chance of working. I based the color selection primarily on the forage fish bass chase most — shad, shiners, alewives and bluegill. Knowing this, I always try to concentrate on the windier banks or edges of grass beds. Once it comes into the fish's visual range, then appears as if it's trying to escape, that's when strikes occur. Tin, compared to lead, is lighter, yet stronger, and it transmits vibration better. “If you take a black and white photo of one, it basically looks grey-white or pearl-white.” He reasoned that when fished properly under low-light situations or early in the morning, a bass needs to view that spinnerbait as white. Once it became visible to the fish, he would then accelerate the retrieve — making the lure appear as if it were trying to escape. To this day, "The Blade" continues to outperform other spinnerbaits in ultra-clear water, particularly when grass is involved. The Strike King KVD Spinnerbait is slightly undersized to attract finicky bass and features a flowing skirt that’s available in a variety of natural color patterns. And that I kept simple. Often a local preference develops due to watercolor, predominant forage, or angler use. The best spinnerbaits for these conditions will have big single or double Colorado blades, and bright skirt colors like chartreuse, red, or fire tiger. His discovery began with bass relating to isolated targets, in this case scattered bushes. And Clunn's concept was no different. Clunn could see the bass relating to these isolated bushes, and in many cases, they could see him. That, and having the right spinnerbait, will bring positive results. Like Clunn, I targeted isolated cover, such as cypress stumps, lily pads and patchy hydrilla. Breaking them down by their key features can help you better distinguish them from other popular bass fishing lures. After learning of Clunn's exploits, I spent months applying his strategies on my home waters in Florida, eventually building confidence in his approach. Once complete, my spinnerbait design finally entered production and was named "The Blade." Keep in mind that Lake Mead is a desert impoundment and visible cover is scarce, especially at low water levels. His discovery began with bass relating to isolated targets, in this case scattered bushes. My friend, Chris Christian, served as a press observer in that event and he told me how he was blown away by Clunn's ability to fool fish with such an abstract lure in water that clear — fish that were, at least in some instances, aware of his presence. This simple guideline is also what I follow when selecting blade colors. Either tandem-willowleaf or Colorado/willowleaf, in combinations of gold and/or silver. I found the largemouth relating to isolated clumps of milfoil in the middle of a large, shallow bay. Why not another lure, you ask? Sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but bait color has been probably one of the most-asked questions I get from emails, at sport shows, in tackle shops and wandering the bank among fellow anglers. If current is present, chances are the bass will be facing into it. Bait Choices: Booyah Moon Talker Spinnerbait, Hildebrandt Tin Roller, Luck E Strike Rick Clunn Trickster Spinnerbait. When the spinnerbait would finally come into view, then zip away elusively at a high rate of speed, they would chase it down nearly every time. For that reason, the name of the game in clear water is matching the hatch. Eventually I came up with a design I liked — one that could fool fish consistently. Green pumpkin is another all-around color that works in any color water. As with isolated targets, keep the rate of retrieve brisk and above the fish. With all of these things coming together, it was merely a matter of configuring the various blade combinations. The Pepper Baits Clear Water Elite Spinnerbait is a new deep water, small profile bait with a Double Willow Blade combination for maximum flash. "Spinnerbaits with a mix of blue, green, and chartreuse in the skirt imitate sunfish well. The blade(s) on a spinnerbait offer flash and vibration as attracting mechanisms for bass. In order to be successful, his presentation had to be spot on. One element that always seems to improve the pattern is wind. One day, by happenstance, a factory rep saw what I was working on and asked if he could show one of my prototypes to the people at Hildebrandt. And that it was, as Clunn went on to claim his second U.S. Open title using the technique. On cloudy days or in dirty water I lean more towards darker colored baits such as black and blue. Another plus with wind is that it can give grass a grain, creating casting lanes in thicker areas — places that would otherwise be inaccessible, even for a spinnerbait. In clear water, use natural colors like greens, browns or oranges to entice bass.� Obviously, in shallow grass beds you can see key targets — but what about deeper, submerged grass? And that's when Clunn's element of surprise kicks in. Blade sizes are arbitrary; that is, a #3 Colorado is not the same size as a #3 Willow Leaf. When Clunn first realized his clear-water technique, spinnerbaits were pretty basic in design. Membership Includes 1 Year Bassmaster Magazine, Plus $50 in free gear. But according to what he told Christian, if the fish had ample time to study those lures, they would lose interest. JOIN TODAY! In clear water use more natural subtle presentations and colors. The spinnerbait pictured above is white and chartreuse with two willow leaf blades. Sure, there were exceptions. You can read the date on a coin in ten feet of water! It was so cool watching those big brown missiles sky upward to crash the bait. In that event, I targeted both largemouth and smallmouth. For clear water or sunny days, I will typically use a white bait. Not only is the spinnerbait bite better, there's usually a lot less competition. Anytime it blows, my success rate jumps exponentially. Daily Limit: Back in Elites, Hackney, Christie feel like rookies, Get best fishing times with lunar fishing calendars. But that was pretty much the norm. Spinnerbaits. Factoring this, I always try to make the wind work to my advantage. 4. Chartreuse is simply a fancy word for greenish yellow color that is often just yellow looking but anglers get bent out of shape if you call it yellow. Size - What size of of spinnerbait to use will be determined by water color and the depth where bass are located. And Clunn's concept was no different. Each bass spinnerbait setup has a silicone or rubber skirt. On sunny days or in clear water, I will most often use silver blades. In clear water, fish are going to be feeding more by sight than any other sense. Just ask Rick Clunn! While this was going on, an initiative to ban lead had gone public. And that's precisely what triggered the bass to strike. Seeing an opportunity, I got busy developing a head design that closely matched the forage fish bass feed on. A few years after winning the Canadian Open, I became a columnist for Bassmaster Magazine. By keeping the bait high in the water column at a brisk rate of speed, I could force those fish to reveal themselves. There’s a great chance that as you’re reading this article, despite the now-infamous “Polar Vortex” wreaking havoc on much of the country, an insane spinnerbait bite is being largely overlooked on your favorite fishery. In each issue I profiled a top touring pro with his best technique, and one of my featured anglers was Rick Clunn on — you guessed it — "Clear-Water Spinnerbaits.". Then with stained water use something in-between. Kill it - Killing the spinnerbait and letting it fall a couple of feet next to bushes and boulders will sometimes draw strikes from fish that are reluctant to chase. Hopefully this information will help you next time you're on the water. As time passed, I learned I could make the same approach work on larger targets, like fields of aquatic vegetation — both submerged and emergent. The water was clear and the bite was steady, so long as I maintained the right casting angles and rate of retrieve. Most were made by jig makers, so they incorporated a typical jighead profile with an added wire frame to support the blades. As you read this, I'll be returning home from The Bass University in Chicago. Track the lure well above them, slowing the retrieve speed only until you connect with the first fish. Soon after, the company wanted to market my design. On most spinnerbaits you can switch blades to achieve different combinations of size, color, flash, vibration, and depth. But that said, you don’t want a bass to get a good look at a spinnerbait because of how unnatural they appear. And that's what set them up for its appearance. Clunn could see the bass relating to these isolated bushes, and in many cases, they could see him. When the water has reduced visibility, it may be time to switch to a white or chartreuse colored bait. Instead of fighting it with the trolling motor, I use a downwind approach, relying more on a driftsock or my Power-Poles to maintain stealth through a controlled drift. Although more costly and difficult to work with, we knew it was the answer. That first fish should give you the correct rate of retrieve for others to follow. For perch, green with a bit of black and a touch of red and white works. Keep in mind that Lake Mead is a desert impoundment and visible cover is scarce, especially at low water levels. That’s why they are best used in clear water, where bass are mainly relying on their sight to detect prey. The spinnerbait, on the other hand, offered the element of surprise — it could race through the strike zone with stealth, and the fish simply couldn’t resist it. If you've never seen Lake Mead, trust me, it is ultra clear. Combining a natural color with a bait with more movement can be a deadly combination. I wanted a fish-head profile with eyes and pronounced gills and one that was slender, so that it would pass through grass more easily.
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