By Glenn May of BassResource.com

pinnerbaits are often referred to as "the most versatile" lure because they can be fished in nearly any condition, year 'round. They can be fished in winter, summer, fall, spring, hot water, cold water, muddy water and even clear water; from just under the surface to as deep as you want to fish it. It also is the type of lure that can be fished in, over, through and around many forms of cover.
    Spinnerbaits used to be called "safety-pin" lures, because their shape resembles that of an open safety pin. A lead head of varying weight is combined with a wire framework, sharp hook and one or more flashing spinner blades. A soft-rubber, plastic, silicone or "lumaflex" skirt is added to cover the hook. The spinnerbait has a smooth, flowing action that mimics a swimming baitfish. The blades vibrate and flash, attracting the attention of bass. You can use spinnerbaits in most bass-fishing situations, but they are especially suited to fishing shallow cover. The most popular sizes range between 1/4-ounce and 3/4-ounce.
Spinnerbait Designs

The length of the top wire arm is

shortened. Can be fished anywhere but is especially suitable to dropping or "helicoptering" off ledges.

The length of the top wire arm is lengthened. Can be fished anywhere but is especially suitable to grass or brushy cover.
Work best on the bottom or as a drop-bait.
Spinnerbaits work best as a "contact lure", one that is bumped against structure. They usually should be fished at a slow to medium retrieve. Use 14 pound test line or better on a baitcasting reel and medium action rod. A heavy, worm-type rod often causes you to overreact when a strike occurs pulling the lure from the mouth of the bass. After the lure enters the water, give it a little "pop" to get the blades moving. Always fish the spinnerbait near the surface (close enough so you can see it). If you have to catch fish with it out of site, there's a better bait to use (such as a worm). Note what you were doing when a bass hits - then try to duplicate it. A fast retrieve, in which the

lure remains high and in sight in murky water, often produces well on feeding fish.
The best advice for fishing with spinnerbaits is to experiment with many different styles of retrieve. No single method works all of the time. On any given day, you should switch around with your retrieve until you find something that works. Stick with it until it ceases to work, and then go on to another method.

Experiment with these different retrieves:

Contact Retrieve
Locate a shallow creek arm or flat with stumps, grass, brush or weed cover. (Polarized sunglasses will help you detect submerged cover.) Cast well past your target and retrieve the spinnerbait slowly. Try to knock the lure against the stump, brush or grass you're fishing. This changes the direction and action of the bait slightly and often triggers a strike.
Wake Retrieve
In murky, shallow water, cast past a logjam or other heavy cover and immediately raise the rod tip high and reel quickly. The spinnerbait will rise to the surface. Slow the retrieve slightly so

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Barbed or Barbless
Ralph Manns

    Although studies reported in fishing magazines have suggested there is little difference between the survival of fish caught with barbless and barbed hooks, this isn't the case with black bass.
    The studies were almost all made with trout, using small trout flies and/or salmon egg hooks. The hooks typically

used to take bass are larger, with much more damaging barbs than those found in typical trout gear. Moreover, on the few studies made with bass, the fish were caught only once rather than repeatedly.
Moreover, the studies measured on survival and mortality of hooked fish, without assessing the non-fatal damage done

by hook removal. Damage to bass, not survival, is the main reason we should use barbless hooks.
    Now that catch-and release is more popular and the most rewarding fishing waters are those that force the release of most bass with special limits, the chances that bass will suf

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