Looking for one of the best fishing lures for bass? Then you should definitely give Chatterbait lures a look if they aren’t already a staple in your tacklebox. A Chatterbait is a very popular and exceptionally effective bass fishing lure. This lure has plenty of vibration and action in order to attract bass out of hiding and onto your hook.
Chatterbaits are a popular lure among anglers as they are versatile; thus they can be used in a variety of bass fishing environments. However, for plenty of fishermen out there, they may seem a bit enigmatic. If you’re thinking about using chatterbait for fishing for bass, but you aren’t quite sure how or where to use them, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need about Chatterbait in order to make your fishing experience productive and fun. Hopefully once you’re done reading the article, you will be able to have amazing time bass fishing with the help of a chatterbait lure!
What is a Chatterbait Lure?
Chatterbaits are lures with a lead head, colored skirt, and a hexagonal blade. In looks, a chatterbait is quite similar to a spinnerbait. It is basically a jighead and a colored skirt at its backend.
If you have used jigs, crankbaits, or spinnerbaits before, you’d probably be wondering right that what makes chatterbaits different from the other lures present in the market?
Chatterbaits have a sound component to them, which distinguishes them from other baits. The blade attached to them is crafted in such a way that it bounces off of the lead head and reverses it. This enables the lure to pulsate in the current without the angler having to jig it.
Why use a Chatterbait Lure for Bass Fishing
Bass fish usually tend to hide under cover of weeds, grass etc. The chatterbait blasts through the grass and vegetation, with its blade helping to keep the hook clean and not snag on anything. Especially in the prespawn period, chatterbaits are highly effective in luring bass out of the heavy cover. The way it looks as well as the way it vibrates attract bass in a variety of different conditions. The wobbling action along with their weedless nature helps lure more bass out of hiding and entice them to bite your hook. If a lure is covered in grass, bass fish usually shy away from it. However, with the real vibrations that the chatterbait creates along with the fact that they slice through the grass and other debris, make them the ultimate lure for bass fishing.
When Should You Fish a Chatterbait Lure
Chatterbaits are highly effective when the bass are in shallow water and are more active. The pattern of bass movement is predictable during the various seasons, such as from spring to summer and from summer to fall. Here’s how you should fish chatterbait according to the seasons.
As the water becomes warm towards the start of spring, the bass fish tend to move towards spawning flats and the coves. Chatterbaits are excellent lures to target the female bass that are getting ready to spawn.
When there is a lot of grass cover or the water is stained, you can’t see for yourself where the fish are. These are the conditions when the fish are on the bed. Chatterbaits really helps in these situations.
After the spawning period, the female bass moves out from the spawning areas toward their summer places. They don’t move very far and will try to find the first possible cover. This is also a nice time to fish bass with the help of chatterbait.
As the summer sets in, the grass fills in, and other types of baits can’t be used effectively. However, since chatterbaits can pull back the weeds and grass, they are highly effective.
In the fall, the bait fishes move towards the shallow waters once again, and the bass fish follow. Grass dies off, and we are left with grass and weed floating over the surface of the water. In this situation, chatterbaits help catch bass again.
The Best Spots to Fish a Chatterbait Lure
Chatterbaits are versatile. However, there are certain places where they shouldn’t be used like bushes and rocks. Let’s take a look at the places which are perfect for fishing a chatterbait.
1. Shallow / Mid-Depth Grass
Submerged grass which is almost 1-6 ft. deep is perfect for using chatterbaits. Even if the grass is pretty thick, you can use the chatterbait on the top of the weeds. Scattered weed growth areas are also excellent for fishing a chatterbait.
The ripping technique works with grass. Allow the chatterbait to hit the top of the grass and rip it out. Bass are attracted to the tripping movement as they use vegetation such as grass as ambush points.
Chatterbaits are perfect to be used as dock baits. Wherever there is any growth around the docks, just tie on a chatterbait and go out to fish. The bass is near the docks before and after spawning. Docks are full of bass during early summer and spring. Plenty of bait fish are present here and bass come in the hoping of fattening up for the spawn in the spring. If the dock has grass nearby, that’d be a bonus for you.
3. Wood Targets
Wood targets such as stumps and laydowns are good areas to be fished with chatterbaits. The only trick is to make sure that you don’t snag the bait on the wood.
Bass hide in fallen trees or stumps along the shore and wait for their prey to swim by. Thus, these places are ideal spots to fish a chatterbait.
4. Shell Beds
Mussels beds are famous for attracting bass specially in the summer. Just move the chatterbait slowly across the shell bed, and you are bound to get a strike pretty soon.
Chatterbait Fishing Methods and Techniques
When you’re fishing, you need to know which casting and retrieval method you’re going to use. This depends on various factors, such as the season and fishing methods. Let’s take a look at the chatterbait fishing techniques various people use and for what purpose.
The Chunk and Wind
It is a traditional casting and retrieval method which you learn as a beginner. It works well with chatterbaits. You can cast parallel to the shore. After that, you’ve to move the chatterbait up and down the shore until you get to the strike zone. If you bring the line in parallel, it will optimize the amount of time your lure stays in the area where the bass is striking.
The Pause Technique
The purpose of all the fishing techniques is to attract bass towards the lure. One of the best ways to attract fish is to pause mid-retrieval. Pause for a while, then start to retrieve the line. When you paused, the skirt of the chatterbait pulsated and gained the attention of the fish. As the lure moves again, the fish will be enticed by the moving blades and try to take a little nibble.
The Yo-Yo Technique
In this technique, you cast your line out and allow the line to fall to the bottom of the lake. Once the line touches the bottom, you have to lift the rod and the lure and then wait for the lure to hit bottom again. You should keep the line tight when you bring the rod back to the initial position. Keep repeating until you get a strike.
Slow Your Roll
If you’re fishing in winter, slow rolling is an effective method. What you need to do is to cast the line, allowing the lure to hit bottom. Slowly, reel in the line. The trick with this technique is to reel the line in so slowly that you barely feel the blade movement at all. With the help of a heavy chatterbait and this technique, you can catch plenty of fish specially in the winter when the bass is sluggish.
The Burning Technique
Burning is entirely opposite to the rolling technique. In this technique, you cast the bait and then reel it in pretty quickly. It looks like a baitfish trying to get away, and the bass fish strike very quickly.
The Bump and Grind
In this technique, you cast the line and allow the chatterbait to hit bottom. As you reel in the line, you should let the lure bump into anything such as rocks, tree stumps, etc. Pause after each bump. This erratic movement will attract more bass fish.
Switching it Up
You can use your own fishing techniques as well. You should keep switching things up. Keep switching the fishing techniques and pay attention to the conditions you’re fishing in. Change the tools as per the circumstances.
Chatterbait Rod and Reel Considerations
The gear that you choose to use in order to fish also play an important role when fishing with a chatterbait lure. There are options for gear that work great with a chatterbait lure to give you the best possible chance at landing a nice fat bass!
1. Fishing Rod
The rod which works best with chatterbait is a longer model, 7 ft in length with a fast tip and medium action. If the chatterbait you’re using is light then a shorter fishing rod could also work. Otherwise, a 7 ft. long rod provides you with the versatility you’re looking for. With it, you’ll have enough length to be used in different retrieval techniques and pull the fish from thick grass.
2. Fishing Reel
The perfect rod needs the perfect reel. A good choice would be to use a reel with a gear ratio of 6.3:1 or more. A baitcasting reel would be ideal for getting the most out of your lure.
3. Fishing Line
Another thing you should consider is the line you’re using. Different types of lines can be used under different water conditions. However, if you stick with a 30lb braided line, it would be great. Flourocarbon options also work well with chatterbaits.
Five Common Mistakes when Fishing a Chatterbait
Fishing is something that you learn over time and with practice. When you are learning to use chatterbait, you are bound to make some mistakes in the beginning. Instead of making mistakes and then rectifying them, we are to tell you the common mistakes people make so that you can avoid them.
1. Not Using a Chatterbait Lure in Clear Water
It is the most common mistake that shallow-water fishermen make. If the water is clear, you should still use a chatterbait instead of a crankbait. Chatterbait works well in clear waters and provides you with excellent results.
2. Mistaking Grass Bumps for Bass Bites
Chatterbaits work wonders around the grass. But there is a catch. When you bump into the grass, you might mistake it for a bass bite. If you bump into a bit of grass and jerk the line thinking that it is a bass bite, and miss the actual bass bite, that can be an issue. So instead of jerking when you feel a bump, reel in quickly about 5-6 turns of the handle, and the load of the rod will tell you whether you have a bass on the hook or not.
3. Not Changing Retrieval Techniques
You will definitely catch some bass using standard, traditional retrieves. But, if you add some action into your retrieve, you’ll definitely get more action. Don’t get robotic with your retrieval techniques. Move the chatterbait around, pause for a bit, give it a little shake, move it around, do something with your bait rather than letting it sit around, and then reeling in when you get a strike.
4. Not Keeping Your Trailer Fixed
The biggest mistake that even professionals make is not keeping the trailer snug. When it slides down the shank of your hook, it creates issues. You can use super-glue to fix the head of the trailer to the Chatterbait. It merely takes 5 seconds and provides peace throughout your fishing experience. You can fish for hours without the trailer constantly sliding down.
5. Investing Too Much in Color
Color does play an important role in catching a fish, but it isn’t everything. With chatterbait, you can keep the colors simple. Experiment with various colors, yes, but don’t invest too much money into colors.
The color of chatterbaits is something you should consider in combination with the time of day and water conditions you are fishing in. Black and blue chatterbaits are good for dark waters, and low light conditions as the fish are able to see the silhouette in a better way. Green pumpkin is a color which works all year around. If you only have this one color of chatterbait, you will be set for life. If the water is clear, yellow and, green colors work well as Bass are typically attracted to them.
Wrapping Up Fishing with Chatterbait Lures
Chatterbaits can be used in any situation to catch bass easily. Even in the situation when crankbaits and other lures fail, chatterbaits are there to save the day. In this article, we have explained to you what a chatterbait is, how and why it is good for catching bass, along with a few things that you need to know when using chatterbait for fishing.
Chatterbaits work great for fish that are hiding under cover of weed and grass. Their movement seems like that of an injured bait fish and bass are highly attracted to it, making it is easy to use and produce great results!
If you use a chatterbait, you’re bound to catch plenty of bass, not only in summer and fall but with the help of correct techniques, all throughout the year!
Here’s to an awesome fishing adventure!