Bladed baits anyone?
by Mike Gerry
There is an in-between time when the water is too cold for fast moving baits and not warm enough to slow completely to the likes of soft plastics. That in-between time is ideal for bladed baits.
Most of us do not realize, but the blades on many of our baits help slow your retrieve and give you an advantage in many ways. The blade acts as a resistant force to the water, slowing your bait down as you move it across the bottom of the river. The blade can also aid in keeping the bait off the bottom, as the bigger the blade the longer it takes to get that bait to the bottom. A presentation we all hear about in water temperatures of the low to mid fifty’s is slow rolling a big spinner bait. This presentation, just by name, tells you that if you retrieve your spinner bait with a slow reeling action, the bait stays up, just slightly off the bottom, allowing you to attract fish with flashy blades yet move it enough to bring a reaction bite. This will cause the bottom to be kicked up and make noise from the movement and retrieve.
The industry over that last several years has improved these blade action baits by producing many distinct types of bladed baits, like the fish head, produced with a small willow leaf spin blade on it. Many manufacturers have also produced swim jig heads with small blades allowing for some flash along with the action of the swim bait; if you combine the willow leaf blade along with the buoyancy of a swim bait then you are creating a solid slow retrieve on a bait that already can be fished slowly moving water and producing vibration along the way.
Take a slow retrieve and combine it with flash and movement just by adding bladed baits to your fishing arsenal in mid-50 degree water temperature allowing for some of the biggest fish catching you might see any time of the year. The bass are pre-spawn, full of eggs not really reacting to fast but adding a blade gives you the chance to hook them up with finesse fishing just by going to bladed baits and slow retrieves.