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Brand NEW Spring ChatterBait Fishing Secrets (90% of Anglers Don’t Know These Tricks)

Springtime ChatterBait Fishing Tips

So starting off, most of you probably heard about a ChatterBait or a bladed jig. Even more important, is some of you may be reading wondering what are some springtime chatterbait fishing tips I can use now?!  Fishing the ChatterBait during the spring when the bass are spawning you want to focus your time in emerging grass, current breaks, woody areas, and rock. Fishing the ChatterBait slowly is key and allowing it to make contact with the structures can trigger monster bites. 

Here’s the problem you’re facing… nowadays, there’s so many different variations of ChatterBaits or bladed jigs that’re being sold today and each have their special place in catching bass in the spring.  Unfortunately, this is not a one size fits all situation.  

However you’re not being told this! Many anglers like yourself tie on a ChatterBait and head to the lake…

More than likely, you’ll spend all day not catching anything, or maybe you’ll be tie on a ChatterBait , only to see a big bass just following the lure and not eating it!

So in this article we’re not only going to simplify it, we’re going to help you step-by-step blueprint on how to maximize this bait for the springtime bass spawn.

A Brief ChatterBait Overview

In this section, you’re going to get a general overview of what a ChatterBait is exactly and all it’s important components…

Note: if you already are familiar with what a chatterBait is then you can skip this section. 

A Chatterbait is in essence a rounded jig head with a flat metal section “aka- blade” attached to the front. The blade wiggles and vibrates side to side; it creates a ton of vibration, thumping and movement.  And for whatever reason, the fish love to eat them!

A ChatterBait is known as a “do-nothing” bait. All you really need to do is cast it out and retrieve it back.  Yes, there are other nuances to fishing this lure (which we’ll get into later) however otherwise it’s really simple and easy to use. 

ChatterBait Fishing Strategies

Today, I’m going to go through four alternative patterns for using a Chatterbait in the spring.

Two of these patterns are used before the spawn (pre-spawn) and three of these patterns will appear after the spawn (post-spawn).

So you’ll be able to utilize the ChatterBait whether it’s early in the spring or late in the spring.

ChatterBait For Pre-Spawn Bass

So, why would you even consider fishing a ChatterBait in the early spring/ pre-spawn time of year?

Bass are triggered to enter the pre-spawn phase in early spring when the chilly nighttime temperatures slowly start to warm. 

Generally speaking, this slight increase in temperature causes vegetation to regenerate and local baitfish start to feed on the plankton.   As a result, this is when the ChatterBait catches the most bass.  

A ChatterBait imitates one of these many small critters that live anywhere new growth is occurring. 

You’ll often hear that in the spring you should be throwing a lipless crankbait, swimbait, or spinnerbait. Just know that anywhere you would throw those lures, you can be fishing a ChatterBait.

On top of coming through grass with ease, it’s great around other types of structures such as docks, vertical timber, laydowns,  rock piles… nearly anything or anywhere there’s some form of cover. 

One of the biggest features of the ChatterBait is the blade that’s attached. Although there is a big single hook in the back, the blade helps the lure deflect off structure.  It resists getting snagged so much more than a square bill or lipless crankbait that you may be inclined to use.

One of the best situations you should use a ChatterBait is when: 

  1. You need a bait to swim through heavy cover or grass without getting hung up, and
  2. You need to make sure it doesn’t swim too fast out of the strike zone, and
  3. You need it to create a lot of vibration and flash to get attention

To be even more helpful, if you’re fishing on a natural lake, you know you can have a ton of grass in the early spring. Fish this the grass lines edges or ticking over the tops of the submerged grass tops. 

If your lake has clumps of tules or cat tales flip it into the dark pockets or swim it along the edges. 

These even work in river systems and areas with strong currents.  Good locations are going to be:

  • After riffle or current break, 
  • Over a point that stick out into the lake
  • Anywhere the creek channel runs into a point
  • Anywhere the creek channel runs into a steep rocky bank  
  • Anywhere the creek channel runs into a bluff wall

To reiterate, any time you would consider using a square bill, lipless crankbait, swimbait, or spinnerbait, you should consider using a ChatterBait.

Early Spring/ Pre-Spawn ChatterBait Strategy #1

When the water temperature hits 50-to-60 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll want to look for dispersed patches of the greenest grass in the vicinity to catch these pre-spawn bass.

Now, one thing you should know about grass is that it is just beginning to grow again in the spring after dying down throughout the winter.

And throughout the spring, it really starts to sprout up and expand, and bass prefer to use it as a sort of staging area before spawning.

As a result, the first pattern focuses on little cuts, coves, and creek arms that harbor only a few dispersed clumps of grass.

Many times you’ll find spawning grounds within those coves and creek arms, and just outside of these spawning grounds you’ll find little staging points. Whether it’s a secondary point, a creek channel swing, or just these little staging areas, if you have grass on those areas, it’s an amazing place to catch these pre-spawn early spring bass.

Helpful Tip: Natural shad or white color ChatterBait works great in the early spring.

Early Spring/ Pre-Spawn ChatterBait Strategy #1

Moving on to pre-spawn pattern number two. This strategy tends to work best in cleaner, rockier lakes like highland lakes.

However, if your lake is lightly-stained to clear’ish water conditions and has a good amount of rock, treefalls, and wood laydowns – this strategy is awesome!

For starters, what you’ll see a lot of times during the pre-spawn and during the spring is that there are a lot of heavy showers.  As a result, have you ever noticed a lot of times in these clean lakes is that up the river and in specific creek arms, murky water will start to pour in?

With all of the spring rain, utilizing a ChatterBait in the muddy water regions at the backs of these streams is a fantastic way to catch some very big bass.

So, when fishing this pattern, go up the river parts of lakes and into larger cove arms and creek channels that are a touch muddy, and just cast the ChatterBait around whatever sort of visible cover you can find.

Think: wood and rock + muddy water – in the form of laydowns, stumps, rip-rap banks, or bridge pilings, are frequently seen in this pattern in the spring. You can target any type of wood or rocky structure you can find.

Most importantly, when the water becomes murky, many of the clear water fish may reposition themselves to rocky or wooded areas right along the bank, where they will remain relatively shallow in less than 4 feet of water. So don’t fish deep – you have to fish shallow and close to the bank

In conclusion, look for any visible shallow cover that’s close to the bank that is either rocky or woody up the streams where the water has become muddy following recent spring rains.

Helpful Tip: White color ChatterBait with chartreuse, red or orange works great in muddy water.

Late Spring/ Post-Spawn ChatterBait Strategy #1

Now as the water starts to warm up and the bass start to get their appetite after their post-spawn rest.

By this time the bass are aggressively hunting and eating bluegill around bluegill spawning beds.  

Bluegill often spawn in the same general areas where bass do, so look for similar features. 

Though, bluegill tend to spawn in large colonies of 20-200 beds that seem like they’re right on top of each other. 

When fishing the bluegill spawn bass don’t want to eat a ChatterBait with a dainty small swimbait trailer. They often want a ChatterBait paired with a swimming-craw trailer that creates a ton of action but can be retrieved quickly.

Helpful Tip: Use a green pumpkin ChatterBait color and be sure to add orange or chartreuse on the tip of the trailer to really make it look like a bluegill.

Late Spring/ Post-Spawn ChatterBait Strategy #2

The second post-spawn ChatterBait strategy during the spring is targeting the shad spawn. 

In the spring, when the water temperature hits approximately 70 degrees, the shad begin to spawn.

This is an excellent time to take bass with a ChatterBait since a ChatterBait closely resembles a shad.

Keep in mind, shad will spawn in a variety of places, and two of the most common places shad will spawn are on docks and rocky banks.

Since shad love to spawn over rock banks and will deposit their eggs between the rocks, but when they spawn around docks, dock floats, and boat slips they lay their super sticky eggs on the underside of dock floats and pilings.

When you come across a long row of docks it will look like the water is boiling right next to it. And as you approach you’ll start to see dead or dying shad floating in the water. 

Even if the dock is sticking out far into the lake and sitting over 60 feet of water it doesn’t matter the shad will spawn on it. 

In this situation the bass will position themselves 8-to-12 feet underneath the shad and will dart up and pick them off. 

So the optimal strategy to fish for those bass is trigger bites from the bass that are sitting below those spawning shad.

So this is how you do it:

Step 1: Approach the dock quietly. 

Step 2: Cast parallel to the dock, but allow your ChatterBait to swim three feet below the dock, keeping your lure high in the water column and you’re going to get hammered by some big bass.

Step 3: Don’t reel too fast, let the ChatterBait do its thing.

Step 4: If you don’t get any bites, vary your retrieve by pausing for one or two seconds to “kill” your bait. Often bass will eat your bait on the fall. 

Late Spring/ Post-Spawn ChatterBait Strategy #3

As the bass are migrating out of the coves, targeting main lake structures such as offshore rock piles, deep ledges are great locations. 

It’s pretty important to find out what the bass are eat at that time because you’ll want to pair your trailer with the correct forage. 

Meaning if the bass are eating shad, then tread on a swimbait trailer, or you think the fish are eating crawfish, then you want to switch to a soft plastic crawfish bait. 

In this case, you’re going to want to fish this more slowly. You can fish it deep or shallow around rocks or cover, wherever crawfish are hanging out.

Rock piles, jetties, at the ends of bluff wall transitions, main lake humps, ridges, or ledges are just some of the locations you can fish this.

Don’t forget about grassy areas too…

Crawfish eat the dead or dying vegetation, if you pull up to a vegetation mat and see crawfish in the area, you may want to switch to a crawfish trailer for your ChatterBait.

Helpful Tip: The best color for your crawfish trailers you should also keep ultra-natural; green pumpkin, green pumpkin with red flake, green pumpkin with blake flake, or black with blue flake.

ChatterBait Trailers

Most anglers (myself included) categorize paring their trailers to their ChatterBait into three styles: 

  1. Trailers that swim
  2. Trailers that flap
  3. Trailers that in-between (aka: a mix of both)

Trailers that swim

Keitech Swing Impact FAT Swimbait 4.3

If you’re fishing in an area that is known to have shad or even some bluegill then adding a soft plastic trailer that swims such as a swimbait trailer is probably going to be your best choice. 

One of the best swimbaits out there is a Keitech Swing Impact FAT Swimbait 4.3 is great to imitate gizzard shad or bluegill. However, if you have smaller baitfish in your lake such as threadfin shad you may want to go with a swimbait with a smaller paddle tale such as a Megabass Spark Shad 4″.

Yamamoto Zako

The last swimbait trailer that should be in your tackle box is a segmented swimbait trailer. Segmented swimbaits such as; the Lake Fork Magic Shad or the Yamamoto Zako

These baits typically have a big belly and the spaces between the segments give it plenty of action without throwing off the action of the ChatterBait. These are the trailers of choice if you want to fish a ChatterBait really slow. 

Lastly, these types of trailers mimic a shad and bluegill really well. 

So when the fish are up on shallow flats eating in the early springtime thread on your favorite spinnerbait trailer and add it to the ChatterBait and you’ll have a deadly combination.

Trailers that flap

When bass are eating up crawfish switch to a crawfish bait that are big on action but small in profile. 

Strike King Rage Craw

The Strike King Rage Craw, The Googan Krakin’ Craw’s, or the Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw all have phenomenal action even at the slowest of retrieves. 

Now when you add a soft plastic craw trailer it totally gives the lure a completely different feel on the retrieve.  The trailer gives the lure a bulkier appearance and you’ll quickly notice you can’t fish it very fast.

Trailers that are in-between

Lastly, if bass want something in between (like during the bluegill spawn) you’re going to need a bait called a swimming-craw bait.

Zoom Super Speed Craw

And one of the best baits that come to mind is the Zoom Super Speed Craw

The Zoom Super Speed Craw is the perfect bait for this situation because the body is the perfect length, so you don’t have to do any trimming. 

What’s even better, is you don’t have to remove the antenna appendages off the bait, I feel they just get in the way and neuter the action.

How To Rig a ChatterBait For Bass?

Make sure you’re trailer is perfectly straight on the hook to give it the best action. 

One very important tip is to make sure that the tail of the swimbait has at least an 1” to 1-½-inch behind your ChatterBait if you want to get the best action out of your swimbait tail.

But also check to see if your skirt is too long. It may be so long and prevent the tail from catching water and won’t paddle properly.  

So don’t hesitate to trim the ChatterBait skirt down to where it lines up with the bend of the hook.

Now you can get full action out of the swimbait.

Helpful Tip: When rigging a swimbait on your ChatterBait, thread the swimbait upside down. It will look much more natural when it's swimming. For whatever reason, the boot tail catches more water and swims much easier when flipped upside down.

Best ChatterBait Colors

Since there is a ChatterBait for every color of the rainbow it’s best to keep the colors in the spring more natural especially since the lure pulses out an insane amount of action. 

Unfortunately, many anglers shy away from fishing this lure in clear water, however they are missing out.

Fishing the ChatterBait in the spring even in clear water can draw out monster strikes. 

Some anglers will spray matte-colored black or green spray paint on the blade itself.  You can even buy ChatterBaits with matte or green-colored blades.  Additionally, I’ve personally used a Dremel and intentionally scratched up the blade so it’s not shiny and flashy. 

For bluegill, a green pumpkin skirt with a trailer that is green pumpkin or black with blue flake is deadly, 

For shad, a white or ghost (transparent) shad skirt with a similar white or ghost-colored swimbait trailer can catch monster bass.

Lastly, one of the best-kept ChatterBait secrets is to fish a ChatterBait Jack Hammer with the Stealth Blade.  The Stealth Blade is made from transparent acrylic and can give the fish a very real-to-life presentation.      

On the other hand, if you’re fishing in murky or dirty water, then you want as much flash and bright colors as possible.  

The skirt color chartreuse used around vegetation, laydowns, timber, or docks is great.  Bright orange works super around rock piles, rocky banks, or docks.  Bright red is phenomenal around spawning grounds in dirty water close to shore. 

Gold blades work very well in muddy water.

What Size Of ChatterBait Is The Best?

Keeling it simple, it’s best to start with a ⅜-ounce size ChatterBait.

Undoubtedly, if you’re fishing in shallow springtime conditions and fishing flats, shallow creek channel bends, flooded timber, or laydowns, this is the size that will perform the best without the fear of burying itself or getting hung up because it’s too heavy. 

If you’re fishing offshore rock piles or ridges a ½-ounce works great if you’re fishing off shore over 8-12 feet of water. 

Now if you’re fishing in water 15-25 feet deep for example over main lake ledges, ridges, or off shore high spots or humps, then you need to consider using a heavy Jack Hammer ChatterBait in 1-¼-ounces. 

Anywhere you would consider using a big heavy jig you should consider using a heavy ChatterBait.

What Is The Best Style of ChatterBait To Buy?

If you’ve never fished a ChatterBait before and you are relatively new to it and don’t know where to start, then I strongly recommend buying either a ChatterBait Elite or Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait. 

Chatterbait Elite

Click On the Picture To Learn More…

You may be wondering why not but a regular original Chatterbait?  Well, you get the original Chatterbait design but in a product that is upgraded with better quality components for just a dollar and change more.  

The hook is better so you can set the hook easier into the fish. The clips are better so you never have to worry about the wire bending out causing you to lose the fish. 

Lastly, the skirts are better – being made from 100% silicone, it pulses and swims better, making it look more natural to the bass.

Z-Man Jack Hammer Chatterbait 

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The Z-Man Jack Hammer is the love child of the companies Z-man and Evergreen.  

With the assistance of B.A.S.S. Elite Pro Brett Hite collaborated with the two companies to come up with that amazing lure.  They took everything that made the Chatterbait good and made it great.   

Upgraded Hook and Jig Head

They upgraded the hook to a surgically sharp Gamakatsu hook for effortless hooksets. 

A slightly altered jig head allows it to come through cover easier without getting hung up.

Not to mention, the new shape allows it to be casted a country mile. 

Unique Sound Unlike Anything Else… Even Other Chatterbaits

In addition, the blade is now oriented low enough to smack the head and generate its unique “chattering” sound thanks to a carved channel along the bottom of the head. 

Best of all, the blade is kept from falling out of the eyelet by the channeled groove, so start to vibrate the minute you start moving the Jack Hammer and it never stops vibrating until it come to a complete rest.

These Jack Hammers are the ones to buy if you’re a Chatterbait aficionado or want to test the best Chatterbait on the market. 

You know, they might be difficult to come by, especially in certain color patterns, but there’s an explanation for it. 

Anglers are buying up all the best colors because they’re earning a lot of money and catching boatloads of giant fish.

Instant Blade Action

It’s remarkable how quickly that blade starts kicking when you begin reeling it back to the boat.

Say for example, you know there’s a monster bass sitting at the base of some piece of structure.

You don’t want to have five, six, or even seven handle reel spins before that blade really begins to pound when you’re targeting a certain piece of structure.  

By now you’ve now moved six, nine, or even twelve feet away from that strike zone and there is no chance that big lazy bass is going to chase down your lure.  

So to prevent that, many anglers make another horrible mistake… and that is snap-popping the rod to start that blade moving.  

Unfortunately, 9-times out of 10, it ends up spooking the fish from ever biting! 

You know you must put that lure exactly on target, and you need to feel the blade beating halfway through your handle spin. You require instantaneous action out of the lure… and that is what the Jack Hammer provides. 

Now with the Jack Hammer, you can effectively target anywhere that fish is hiding with pinpoint accuracy, and get near instantaneous action from your lure. 

The Jack Hammer blade gets moving rapidly, so you get bites fast.

Z-Man ChatterBait Elite

Click the picture to learn more

But, is the ChatterBait Elite any good?

You may be wondering why not buy a regular Original ChatterBait?  Well, you get the original ChatterBaitdesign but in a product that is upgraded with better quality components for just a dollar and change more.  

The hook is better so you can set the hook easier into the fish. The clips are better so you never have to worry about the wire bending out causing you to lose the fish. 

Lastly, the skirts are better – being made from 100% silicone, it pulses and swims better, making it look more natural to the bass.

The Chatterbait Elite flat out catches you fish!

“It's like the original ChatterBait but includes some some really high-end components including a 5/0 extra sharp very, very strong hook and a bait keeper they molded on. They've actually upgraded the the skirt to a hand tied skirt with copper wire, which increases the the billowing action and also the durability. Lastly, it's got a very heavy duty line tie. So overall the ChatterBait Elite is just a great great option for elevating your ChatterBait fishing game and not breaking the bank.”

- MLF Series Pro Miles "Sonar" Burghoff

Tech Specs:

Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait

Click the picture to learn more

So is the Z-man Jack Hammer really worth it?

The Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBait is the love child of the companies Z-man and Evergreen.  

With the assistance of B.A.S.S. Elite Pro Brett Hite collaborated with the two companies to come up with that amazing lure.  They took everything that made the ChatterBait good and made it great.  

The Chatterbait Elite flat out catches you fish!

“It's like the original ChatterBait but includes some some really high-end components including a 5/0 extra sharp very, very strong hook and a bait keeper they molded on. They've actually upgraded the the skirt to a hand tied skirt with copper wire, which increases the the billowing action and also the durability. Lastly, it's got a very heavy duty line tie. So overall the ChatterBait Elite is just a great great option for elevating your ChatterBait fishing game and not breaking the bank.”

- MLF Series Pro Miles "Sonar" Burghoff

Tech Specs:

Check Out These Amazon Best Sellers...

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  • Every Angler's Arsenal!--Flash of a spinnerbait, vibration of a crankbait, and profile of a jig combined in a single bait. XFISHMAN Custom Bladed Jigs should be an integral part of everyone's angling arsenal
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  • Ultra-Thin, Ultra-Stiff Blade--The XFISHMAN Custom Bladed Jigs features a unique six-shaped Blade that pivots violently back and forth on the jig eyelet, producing enough vibration to let you feel every pulse. Its innovative design provides maximum swimming action, flash, and thump!
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Best Chatterbait Gear Rod Reel

Now moving on to best gear for your Chatterbaits… 

If you look on the forums or some of the social media groups, you’ll see debates left and right about what kind of rod you should be using; a glass crankbait rod or a composite jig rod? 

To make it easy on yourself use the same kind of rod you throw your jigs. A 7’2” to 7’8” medium-heavy casting rod with a fast tip works perfect for this style of fishing.  

If you use the same kind of rod you normally fish your jigs then you already know the feel and sensitivity of the rod.  You won’t have to re-learn the “feel” of the rod, what it can do and what it can’t do.

The next debate you’ll read about is what kind of fishing line to use; braided line or fluorocarbon?

A big argument is that with braided line it cuts through grass easier than a fluorocarbon line.   

That’s true, but there’s a counterpoint to that statement. Once you rip that Chatterbait through the grass it takes off like a rocket, making it harder for the bass to chase it down and eat it.   

On the other side of the coin, if you’re using fluorocarbon line, you go to pop it, almost like a slingshot, and the rod slowly loads and unloads.

You’ll see the Chatterbait move cautiously and gradually out of the grass and speeds out. Now, when that bass comes up on that Chatterbait and sees it accelerating away, it triggers the bass to gulp it up.

So in summary, keeping it simple, use the same kind of line you would use on your jigs in moderate cover, 18-pound test fluorocarbon.  

Lastly, one of the least debated subjects is the reel. Almost all can agree on is using a quality moderate to fast casting reel. 6:3.1 or higher.

– Featured Article Of The Month –

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