With the introduction of the chatterbait and it’s growth over the past few years, I don’t know that we’ll ever see a tournament dominated by ONLY a spinnerbait again. Chatterbaits, even on Grand Lake which has very little to no grass in the lake at all (typical of an Ozark lake), played a key role for many of the top finishers – not surprisingly Bryan Thrift being one of them. The key to the effectiveness of the chatterbait or a bladed jig, was that it provides a different action, profile, and sound or vibration in the water. When you have 150+ of the best anglers in the world sharing creek arms and covering massive amounts of water, fish will become conditioned to the sound and profile of a bait, and the chatterbait provides something different enough to trigger a few bites.
A tournament on Grand Lake in March, however, will likely never be void of the mention of spinnerbaits.
Spinnerbaits were arguably the biggest player this week for most of the field on a tough Grand Lake. Spinnerbaits are effective because when Grand Lake becomes stained to muddy, it provides a thump and has drawing power to trigger bites from bass when most subtle lures struggle. Spinnerbaits also are effective because of their profile and ability to look like one or multiple bait fish swimming through the water – which is what most of these bass were likely keying in on.
Blade configuration throughout the week seemed to be personal preference, but many anglers mentioned that having multiple different brands and types of spinnerbaits was important. Again, when you get that much pressure on a lake, presenting something unique is important and can be the difference between getting bites or pounding “empty” water.
Standard vs Painted Blades
Michael Matthee on the final day of the event mentioned multiple times on FLW Live, his opinion on why he was triggering and getting bites that many other anglers were missing – the difference being the blades on his spinnerbait. Michael opted to use a ⅜ or ½ ounce spinnerbait with chartreuse and white blades. He believed that this provided a different look to his bait and provided some additional bites.
Jeremy Lawyer – the eventual winner of the event, by tiebreaker with Michael – also credited painted blades as being a big factor to his success.
Jeremy actually had more than 4 different spinnerbaits on the deck of his boat with different blade configurations and colors and sizes. Jeremy’s key lure was a spinnerbait, but he rotated through a variety of brands and colors to trigger bites behind other anglers.