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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.