Spinnerbaits: Not just for bass anymore.

Spinnerbaits come in all sizes, designs, and colors. Most of us bass & pike enthusiasts have a wide variety in our arsenal. But, what about using them for Walleye and panfish? What?! Yes, under the right circumstances spinnerbaits can be deadly lures for these species as well.

On a mid July trip this past summer with fellow Ninemile staffer, Murph, we tested our theory with great success on a secluded Northern Minnesota lake. No names here, let’s just say it is within flying distance of Ely, MN.

After a morning of “reading” the lake and locating a few fish, we proceeded to try out our theory. We had caught 30+ smallmouth bass during the morning, ripping spinnerbaits through weedbeds, over rock reefs and through windfall brush. With lunch down and plenty of bass under our belt, we figured it was time for some presentation adjustments and some lure modifications.

My lure of choice was a 3/8 ounce tandem gold blade with a fluorescent green skirt. To help get down to where we knew the walleyes were lurking, I added a ¼ ounce sinker a couple of feet up from the lure and added a Berkley powerbait shad. Combined with a slow roll retrieve along a weed line or drop-off, this method proved deadly. The larger blades and bright color created the needed vibration and color contrast to entice the walleyes to strike in the stained water.

After a limit of walleyes we decided to try our luck for jumbo sunfish. Same results….deadly.

We found that the key to our success with spinnerbaits was the slow roll retrieve along structure. This allowed the spinnerbait to run just off the bottom in ‘eye county. Give it a try next time you are out…..who knows?

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