Big baits, big bass — this adage held for Wired2fish staffer McKeon “Keys” Roberts as he put the Z-Man Big Blade ChatterBait to work on some jumbo fall bass on shallow grass flats. Keys smartly employed an effective 1-2 punch. He started his day using a buzzbait with excellent success, then headed subsurface with a fresh addition to Z-Man’s lineup of fish-catching bladed jigs. His first topwater pass plucked off the most active bass, while a follow-up pass focused on contacting grass stems (lily pads and wild rice) with the ChatterBait to coax fresh fish. It worked as planned!
- KAYAK – Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 136
- BLADED JIG – Z-Man Big Blade ChatterBait, Green Pumpkin Candy, 1/2-ounce
- TRAILER – Z-Man RaZor ShadZ Swimbait, Green Pumpkin
- ROD – Falcon Cara Casting Rod, 6′ 11″ Heavy
- REEL – Lew’s Team Lite Speed Spool Casting Reel, 7.5:1
- LINE – Sufix Performance Braided Line, Lo-Vis Green, 30-pound
- LINE – Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, 20-pound
As Keys explains, this very hard-thumping ChatterBait has a huge side-to-side wander that exhibits an erratic and unpredictable action even when the bait isn’t hitting the cover. Consequently, reeling it slower (1/2-ounce model) kept the bait subsurface and prevented blowing out. Like typical crankbait and bladed jig fishing, changing retrieve speed and cadence positively impacted action and trigged bass. A simple reel quarter-turn sent the bait off track in a deadly way.
Lastly, Keys dives into a discussion on the right rod for fishing ChatterBaits, or rather, how personal experience determines the right rod for you. Contrary to the mainstream opinion of needing a soft rod, he prefers a medium-heavy or heavy power rod spooled with braid for reliable hooking and power for winching bass from cover. It’s hard to argue with success. He wants to hear from you! What rod action do you prefer, what type of line, and why? Drop your comments below.