High Performance Spinnerbaits for Dingy to Muddy Water
— by Ken Warren
Nearly every bass fisherman realizes that when fishing in muddy water, a
spinnerbait needs to produce more vibration and flash than when fishing
a clear lake. For years the answer has been to use a Colorado bladed
spinnerbait. Lately, there have been a couple of innovations from
Strictly Bass Lures, a company that produces high-performance
spinnerbaits aimed at tournament anglers. Two of these innovations are
the I.T. FINatic and the KB FINatic.
The I.T. FINatic is short for inverted tandem. This is reversed from the
old standby that places the willow leaf blade on the swivel and the
smaller Colorado blade on the arm. The I.T. places a large Colorado on
the swivel and the willow blade on the arm. This configuration increases
vibration and provides an overall vibration pattern that will not be as
familiar to those fish in highly pressured lakes. While this bait can be
viewed as a good all around spinnerbait because of its blade
configuration and special vibration, it really outperforms other
spinnerbaits in stained to muddy water.
My belief in the I.T. was confirmed this spring in dingy water. While
fishing a small tournament on the Mississippi River I caught about 5
good size bass while my co-angler zeroed until late in the day when he
managed a couple fish on a different presentation. We were both throwing
white spinnerbaits all morning, which appeared to be very much alike.
His, however, was the more traditional tandem. This confirmed what I had
always felt. The I.T. just caught more fish under these situations. I
ended the day ahead of the field by nearly 4lbs and took big bass
honors. The conditions played right in to the I.T. s performance.
If the water clarity drops from dingy to muddy it is time to move to the
KB (K-Blade) FINatic. This looks very much like a single Colorado blade
but the arm is shortened and the blade edge is slightly different. This
produces a tremendous amount of vibration and really calls fish in
heavily stained to muddy water. This bait, however, can be tricky. The
KB must be moved slowly and one should use a slow retrieve reel. I
normally use a 3.8:1 ratio, but if it is windy, or if there is current,
a 4.3:1 is better as it is hard to keep up winding with the 3.8:1 ratio.
Stay away from the anything higher that a 5.2:1, however, as the bait
will roll over if a fast retrieve is used. Two of the main properties
that make the KB FINatic a great spinnerbait in muddy water are the
extreme vibration level and the slower forward motion.
Bass will normally hold very tight to fallen timber or other structure
as the water becomes muddy. Under these conditions I have been very
successful running this KB FINatic parallel and nearly against a fallen
log. The vibration gets the attention of a bass, and because it is moved
slowly, it is easier for the bass to locate your bait. Often, the
addition of a pork or plastic trailer can be a good idea as well. This
will bulk-up the bait giving it a larger profile, which can more easily
be seen in muddy water. Bass become disoriented in muddy water and will
not move far from the cover to chase bait. This means the strike zone is
reduced and, simply put, a slow moving spinnerbait, such as the KB
FINatic, will be in the zone longer.
The KB FINatic, because it is designed to move slowly, is also the
perfect choice for slow-rolling. The K-blade works in a perfect
helicopter motion as it is dropped through standing timber or pulled off
a ledge. While I do consider the KB to be a specialty bait and not an
everyday spinnerbait, I would never leave the boat ramp without a couple
in the boat. It has more often than not produced my big bass of the day.
So often, in fact I really consider it my go to when I need a big fish
and I have moved away from the traditional big fish bait, the jig. If
you find yourself in these tough muddy water conditions on an occasion,
these spinnerbaits will help you put more fish in the livewell.
Strictly Bass Lures uses only quality components such as Mustad Wide
Bite Needle Point hooks and Sampo swivels. The wire diameter varies with
every weight to more perfectly match the bait and to maximize vibration.
Another unusual property is their use of brass blades. This helps the
bait feel different to the bass than the cheaper steel-bladed
spinnerbaits they are accustomed to. The increased weight and density
produces different frequencies of vibration and sounds much different
when the blades knock together.
For more information, visit the Strictly Bass Lures Web site.