How to fish a chatterbait

How to Fish a Chatterbait From a Kayak

One of the first things a kayak angler will hear from other anglers, is that fishing from a kayak is riddled with limitations and disadvantages. As kayaks continue to advance, this is becoming less and less the case. Even before kayaks became extremely stable fishing platforms, there have been a few presentations that are well suited for this type of fishing. One of those baits is a vibrating jig or bladed jig, more commonly known as a chatterbait. So, let’s dive into how to fish a chatterbait from a kayak.

How to Fish a Chatterbait: The Basics of the Lure

Chatterbaits were developed as a mix between a traditional jig, swimbait, and spinnerbait. One of the most prominent characteristics of a chatterbait is it’s distinct blade that’s on top of the jig head that creates vibrations as it’s retrieved. This lure has become extremely popular due to its versatility and effectiveness in a wide variety of situations. On top of versatility, it can be modified by adjusting the blade or adding different trailers that will alter the action of the bait.

How to Fish a Chatterbait: Focusing on the Basics From a Kayak

The biggest differences between fishing from a boat versus fishing from a kayak is a majority of the time fishing from a kayak, you’re sitting down. There are some techniques where this presents challenges, but for chatterbaits, it’s great. When fishing out of a kayak, you’re really close to the waterline. Baits like the chatterbait work best when fished with your rod tip low or pointed at the water. This allows the bait to swim at the correct depth and run true while running through the water. Keeping your rod tip low also allows you to feel how the bait is running and gives you a better sense of what’s in that area in terms of rocks and other structures.

How to fish a chatterbait(1)

Setting the hook with a chatterbait is usually really straight-forward, however, in a kayak you need to be careful and manage your movements to avoid rocking the kayak and disturbing the water

Most fishing kayaks these days are plenty stable but if you’re the type of angler who likes to set the hook like you’re swinging for a homerun, you can still have issues. Remember that even the most stable kayak can be tipped, but with these newer kayaks that are highly engineered, they’re stable as possible. Once you’re comfortable with your kayak, you’ll know it’s limits.

How to Fish a Chatterbait: Setting the Hook and Landing a Bass From a Kayak

Overall, the hookset with a chatterbait is really simple. Depending on how the fish hits the bait, you may only simply have to raise your rod tip and maintain pressure on the line. Depending on the time of year or the weather conditions, fish will strike a chatterbait differently. In early spring, around ice out here in New England, bass tend to move slower and as a result, the strike feels as if you’ve snagged something or the bait caught some weeds. In the warmer parts of the season, bass can become more aggressive and it will feel like your bait was hit by a truck (that’s the fun stuff).

How to fish a chatterbait(2)

When landing a fish caught on a chatterbait, you’ll want to get the fish into the boat quickly.

That doesn’t mean over power them, but the longer a chatterbait is hooked in a bass, the more likely the bass is to throw the hook. One way to give yourself a major advantage, make sure your kayak and kayak accessories are out of the way. There are a lot of really neat looking accessories that can be rigged on a kayak but the more you have, the more objects your line can get snagged on, so make sure you keep things tidy and out of the way. Consider the direction you cast the most and be sure to avoid mounting things like fish finders in the way. Accessories can be your best friend and then quickly turn into your worst enemy while trying to land a giant bass.

There are a wide variety of different chatterbaits on the market, so get in a kayak and give them a try, you won’t regret it!


This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

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Adam Rourke


Adam Rourke is a bass angler with over 10 years of tournament fishing experience. About eight years ago, he shifted his focus to the sport of kayak bass fishing which led him qualifying for the Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship in 2018 and 2019.

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ANGLR Expert, Adam Rourke

2 replies
    • Adam Rourke
      Adam Rourke says:

      Depends on the water conditions. If the water is super clear but there are rocks around, I retrieve quick but slow down near the rocks. When the bait hits the rocks, fish go nuts. When water is cloudy, I tend to slow down.


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