ChatterBait Vs Spinnerbait | When to Throw Each

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Video fishing a chatterbait

Arguably two of the most popular fishing lure wire baits would have to be ChatterBaits and Spinnerbaits. And this is another couple of lures where anglers often ask us which is better or preferred when it comes to ChatterBait vs Spinnerbait for bass fishing.

While both baits are longtime fish catchers now, and they can be fished in a lot of the same places and bear a lot of similarities, there are times where one prevails as the dominant player over the other when it comes to bass fishing situations and scenarios on the water.

If you understand their similarities, differences and best applications, you can decide which one, the spinnerbait vs the ChatterBait you should fish based on what you encounter while fishing.

SPINNERBAIT AND CHATTERBAIT SIMILARITIES

While both skirted wire baits use flash and vibration and lively skirts coupled with trailers to attract bass in a various ways, the also can be fished in a lot of the same places. For instance, spinnerbaits and ChatterBaits are both very effective around grass. Both come through the grass well and can be snapped out of the grass to trigger a bite from nearby bass waiting to ambush.

They also both can be fished shallow or deep. By changing the weight and size of the lure and the speed of your retrieve, you can fish both a spinnerbait or a Chatterbait at every depth you find bass. You can also choose versions with bigger blades for harder thumps and more vibration.

CHATTERBAIT VS SPINNERBAIT DIFFERENCES

Generally speaking, spinnerbaits are going to be a little better around wood. The wire arm and blades act almost like a weed guard to protect the hook and force snags away from the hook. While it’s not fool-proof, it does seem to come through wood better than most other wire or hard baits.

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Whereas a ChatterBait can be fished around wood, it gets snagged a bit more on wood cover. While it excels in grass, it can have a hard time with wood because the bait is shaking back and forth a lot more and the hook can be exposed a bit more. There are versions with weed guards and you can make your own weed guards as well that work very well.

I also like that a Chatterbait skips a lot better than a spinnerbait, so I can skip a ChatterBait under docks and get to a bunch of fish other moving baits can’t get to.

Z-Man Chatterbait and Spunk Shad

WHEN TO USE A CHATTERBAIT

When I’m fishing sparse grass or grass edges, I will usually reach for a ChatterBait over a spinnerbait. I like a 1/2 ounce ChatterBait most of the time. I will downsize to a smaller Chatterbait and take the skirt off and put a small minnow plastic on it like a Zoom Super Fluke Jr. when I am fishing for bass on smaller fisheries with a lot of small baitfish. So that’s a cool way to catch numbers of fish on smaller waters.

I like a ChatterBait around docks. I also like a ChatterBait in cold clear water like the prespawn on clearer lakes where a crankbait and a spinnerbait might be too obtuse. A ChatterBait can be made to look very natural and subtle in clearer waters.

Terminator Double willow Spinnerbait

WHEN TO USE A SPINNERBAIT

I start throwing a spinnerbait deep slow rolling it for prespawn bass in stained to dirty water as soon as February. And I throw it a lot more in March and April. When fish are staging before the spawn, a spinnerbait can be your best bet to find these staging fish.

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If I’m fishing a little dirtier water, I’ll use a spinnerbait over a ChatterBait. I think you can play with more blade combinations and colors and find a profile, thump and color that really produces in muddy water.

If I’m fishing a lot of laydown trees or stumps, I will always reach for my spinnerbait first. A big number of my big bass have come off of laydown trees, brush piles and stumps and a good number of those have come off of a spinnerbait. It’s probably the lure I’m most known for besides a swimbait around my own fishing buddies and partners because I throw it so much from February to November.

Like a ChatterBait, my spinnerbaits are very versatile and produce on a lot of diverse bodies of water.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CHATTERBAITS AND SPINNERBAITS

ChatterBaits and spinnerbaits have accounted for a ton of fish catches and tournaments won. Knowing all you can about when they work, where they work and when a ChatterBait is better versus a spinnerbait and vice versa will help you catch a lot more fish and make the most of your short time on the water.

Here’s hoping our experiences will help you catch more fish on both lures. It boils down to choosing the right blade size, weight of your lure, and things like the best ChatterBait trailers or spinnerbait blades to catch the most bass for what you encounter on the water. Check out our other extensive articles on Chatterbaits and Spinnerbaits to speed up your learning process with both lures.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>