As both the baitfish and bass move into shallow water to feed and hold, the bass will chase the schools of minnows and look to feed on the weak or injured ones that are easy to pick off.
There is an artificial bait that imitates this action very well — the spinner bait. The spinner bait is one you can use in most any bass fishing situation. The spinner bait comes in three different blade set-ups — the willow leaf, the Colorado and the Indiana blade. Each has its own best place and time to use it.
The willow leaf is the most common and is a long, slender blade that spins fast and puts off a high pitch tight vibration in the water that will not spook bass in shallow water. This is a good bait to use in small bodies of water and rivers, clear water and when fish are shallow. Anytime you see bass feeding close to the surface chasing shad, the willow leaf spinner bait is a good lure choice. The spinner bait is usually fished from the surface to around six feet deep.
The Colorado blade is the next most widely used. This a more rounded, cupped blade that puts a lot of thump and vibration and can draw bass from a long way off and is good in stained and muddy water and for night fishing. The thump makes it easy to find in these situations.
The last is the Indiana blade. This is kind of a makeup of both these blades.
The spinner bait comes in many different sizes and colors. Use the lighter colors in clear water and during the daytime hours like white and chartreuse, and during low light and at night use the darker colors. The willow leaf is best during the day and the Colorado at night in most cases.
The rod best made to fish a spinner bait is a longer rod with good backbone and a limber tip. This will allow for longer casts and better hook sets. Fish the bait fast enough to feel the blades turn.
Give this a try on your next trip.