Fishing Tips

8 Spinnerbait Bass Fishing Tips with Greg Hackney

Greg Hackney caught his first bass on a spinnerbait, and the Louisiana-based pro hasn’t put them down since that original childhood outing. As Hackney states, “they just bite it.” Hackney discusses topics ranging from selecting the right spinnerbait based on water clarity, forage, weather, and how to fish them for maximum success. While he discusses a range of baits and blade styles, he focuses the conversation around the newer multi-blade spinnerbait category and why they’ve become his go-to option when targeting bass in clear water.

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Here are Hackney’s 8 timeless spinnerbait tips:

  1. Cover water. A spinnerbait is among the most effective subsurface moving baits for covering water and triggering bites. While its popularity has ebbed and flowed, it’s back with a vengeance on tour and with weekend warriors alike.
  2. Match the skirt color to forage. Hues of white perform well if shad are the primary forage, but Hackney stresses going with mixed natural colors to imitate a mixed bag of forage, such as bluegills, perch, or various minnows. Color can be essential in clear water, where bass feed heavily based on eyesight.
  3. Use multi-blade spinnerbaits in clear water. Akin to the school-imitating qualities of an Alabama Rig, multi-blade spinnerbaits emit extra flash and vibration that bass rarely pass on. These baits have become a clear water mainstay for Hackney, who’s confident the extra flash consistently leads to more bites.
  4. Target windblown sides of cover or structure. Spinnerbaits shine where the water is churned up thanks to a combination of reduced visibility and an activated food chain. Focus your efforts on the windward side of areas like grass beds, points, and windblown shorelines.
  5. Use a faster retrieve speed in clear water. Again, bass in clear waters are accustomed to feeding with sight. Speed is a trigger in these environments and reduces the chances of bass inspecting and determining your bait for a hoax.
  6. Use a slower retrieve with tandem or single-blade spinnerbaits in dirty water. A slower cadence and hard thump provide bass the opportunity to feel and find the lure with its lateral line. Hackney thinks that the visual impact of a multi-blade spinnerbait is less critical when bass can’t see it as well.
  7. Deflect the spinnerbait throughout the retrieve by contacting cover and/or rod tip manipulation (popping, pulling, varying retrieve speed). Changes are a key way to trigger bass bites.
  8. Choose a 6.4:1 gear ratio casting reel most of the time. According to Hackney, a 6.4:1 reel (or in that range) is the optimal blend of speed and power. He will step up to a 7.4:1 on a limited basis when burning spinnerbaits.