ChatterBait Fishing Grass: Howell’s Summer Technique

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Amid the summer heat and popular ledge fishing, Randy Howell explores the overlooked pattern of heading shallow and fishing grass with bladed jigs. Far from being just a cold weather or springtime bait, Howell shares how effective the ChatterBait can be for summer bass fishing grass-laden shallow and mid-depth areas. He delves into where and how to fish ChatterBaits in this application and his preferred rod setup.

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While ledge fishing with crankbaits and even finesse techniques reign supreme, there’s still a solid population of shallower bass. Unlike ledge fish, grass-oriented bass are less affected by a lack of current. Howell targets openings, holes, and contour irregularities in the eelgrass found all over Lake Guntersville.

The right rod setup is crucial for making long casts, keeping the bait in the strike zone, and the action to keep bass pinned. His go-to rod is a longer 7’4” medium-heavy, fast action with a softer tip to support deeper hooking. Mating the right line size for the depth you’re targeting is just as important. Howell uses 20-pound fluorocarbon to keep the bait running shallower and pares back to 14- 16-pound when fishing deeper grass.

In addition, Howell points out the importance of selecting the right trailer for your bladed jig. He shares his preference for subtle minnow-imitating varieties such as the Yamamoto Zako trailer. The Zako has a natural look, subtle action, and an appealing profile.

Lastly, Howell shares techniques to improve your casting distance and how to work your ChatterBait in a yo-yo style for optimal effect. Try Howell’s summer grass ChatterBait technique the next time the ledges leave you desperate for a bite.