1) Try Indiana blades. Not too
many manufacturers sell spinnerbaits with Indianas on 'em
anymore, but they are available through mail order component
catalogs. The Indiana is the subtlest blade. Doesn't flash as
much as a Willow or vibrate as much as a Colorado, but it does
work on non-aggressive fish or spooky fish and during the dog
days of summer when fish are well-fed, often listless, and
extremely alert to fishing pressure. It is a good blade for when
the water is too hot or for bright, sunny days in clear water.
2) Don't try brightly painted blades or gaudy
skirts. My personal preference is to shy away
brightly painted blades or gaudy-colored skirts during the heat
of summer. I think these are best used in cooler waters of early
spring and late fall - or in darker waters.
3) Try bullet nose spinnerbaits.
The bullet nose is is the classic, all-around general purpose
spinnerbait. It has a streamlined, pointy nose that makes it one
of the best head shapes for fishing WEEDS. In keeping with the
subtle approach, try unpainted spinnerbait heads.
4) Try trimming some fire tip skirts. These
are spinnerbait skirts that have a solid body color but both the
front and back tips of the skirt are tinged in a bright
contrasting color. I trim short the forward and backward-facing
fronds. I aim for an overall willow leaf shape that presents fish
with the illusion of a baitfish or crayfish body shape. In doing
so, I remove some of the dramatic fire tip color. But there's
just enough fire tip left to create an enticingly subtle effect
with wavering chartreuse accents in the white/chartreuse tips and
pumpkin/chartreuse tips. Also, black with red or blue tips.
5) Try some soft plastic grub bodies.
Just remove the rubber skirt completely and replace it with
either a twin tail skirted spider grub or with a plain single
tail grub. This allows you to give highly-pressured bass a change
in the body profile to look more like a crayfish (spider grub) or
more like a baitfish (single tail grub). It also allows you to
take advantage of a few soft plastic colors that are hard to
match with rubber or silicone skirts, such as the translucent
smokes, cinnamons, and watermelons, and clear shades, all with
6) Try clear silicone sparkle skirts.
Use a white spinnerbait head, and slip on a clear silicone skirt
- one with copper, gold or silver sparkles. Again, you may need
to order these skirts from one of the mail-order component
catalogs. Make sure you trim them into the layered willow leaf
shape with a pair of scissors.