Spinners are not only fantastic underrated fish catchers, but they are also the first lure many anglers start out using. However, with ever growing numbers of soft plastics aimed at drop shot and jig fishing, the humble spinner is being over looked. Here are a few tips to help you catch more fish on these fantastic lures.
I tend to carry a variety of different sized spinners in my box, as I never know what situation is going to pop up on the types of venues I fish. I always have a selection of the French blade spinners ranging from size 1-5, which are perfect for species such as perch. They give out a fantastic amount of vibration for their size and perch above all seem to love them! Sometimes a small size 1 spinner is a great first lure choice at a new venue if you want an idea if predatory fish are even present as they can trigger hits from the smallest perch or the biggest pike.
Quite often when using larger spinners you can feel repeated nips and rattles through the rod tip that you just can’t connect with consistently. This is when it can pay to change to a smaller spinner and catch the culprits, as sometimes the smaller perch attack so aggressively and fast they miss and bump the larger blade and miss the hooks, but have no trouble engulfing the smaller size spinners.
Since I was young I’ve always caught pike on spinners, the vibrating flashing blade seems to drive them crazy, all the modern lures in my box and I still wouldn’t be without one. On so many occasions they have got me out of a blank and the latest Rage pike spinners are fantastic with the red marabou feathers on the treble hooks. The fluid action in the water that the marabou creates undoubtedly helps to increase the number of takes. I like to use the larger size 5 spinners for the pike in hope of a larger fish, as the old saying goes ‘big bait, big fish’, but that doesn’t stop them smashing in to the smaller sized ones. This is especially true when a lot of fry are about and predators are tuned onto them as an easy food source.
It’s important to have an assortment of colours in your armoury, including both natural silvers and golds, through to ‘louder’ colours such as Firetigers. I like to start at first light as predators use the low light to stalk their prey; this is when it’s great to employ one of the brighter patterns to draw attention and is when the firetiger is superb. Once it gets lighter however I change to one of the natural silver or brass colours as I have found matching the prey fish tends to get more consistent results and can snag you some of those wary fish.
Above: A change to firetiger brought this pike
During the winter months when my local rivers are coloured the brighter firetiger with marabou is a brilliant fish catcher, the loud dancing blade and waving feather combo attracts attention from miles away. In coloured water I do make twice as many casts in a swim to give the fish a better chance to home in on the lure.
Choosing the weight of the spinner you use is as important as with any lure, it’s important to match the weight you require with the venue your fishing. Weed, depth and flow are the main things I put in to consideration when selecting a lure from the box...
Above: A spinner fished near the bottom produced this perch
Weed - You need a light enough spinner to present it over the top of the weed but heavy enough to cast the distance you need. I usually try a bigger size 5 in a lighter 7g.
Flow - you need to be able to feel the lure and fish the area you require, I tend to match the weight to the strength of the flow, i.e faster the flow the heavier the spinner to get it down in your swim. The size 5 blade leaf spinners go up to 17.6g, which is perfect for heavy flow or fishing at range.
Depth- the depth you require to fish is all about trial and error until you get takes. If you know the fish are on the bottom then a heavier lure is required to reach them otherwise you can try a multitude of weights and sizes until you start to get results. Don’t be afraid to chop and change frequently as it’s being able to adapt to the environment your fishing that will get you results.
Above all…. Keep casting!