With summer now in full force, Yamaha pro Mary DiVincenti always knows the first lure she’s going to choose to begin her fishing day. It’s a ½-oz. white spinnerbait with a chartreuse plastic trailer.
She also knows where she wants to use it: in practically any type of vegetation, which she knows will holds bass throughout the warm weather months.
“Spinnerbaits are all-around lures for summer greenery you can fish different ways for different conditions,” explains DiVincenti, who competes on the Women’s Bassmaster® Tour across the southeast. “The lures are fun to use, too, because you’re constantly reeling and moving them with your rod tip to change their speed and direction.
“They don’t look like anything natural in the water, so bass hit them purely out of reflex.”
For DiVincenti, ideal summer spinnerbait water ranges from four to six feet deep, has a stain to it, and includes submerged vegetation that grows to with about a foot of the surface. For this she’ll use a spinnerbait with double willow leaf blades, and burn it over and through the vegetation.
“The two willow leaf blades not only cut through the grass, they also add extra flash,” notes the Yamaha angler. “They were developed for Florida fishing where most of the lakes have some type of vegetation, but they work well all over the country.
“In fact, the most popular spinnerbait anywhere is a 3/8-oz. model with one smaller, more rounded Colorado blade ahead of a larger willow leaf blade. This combination has the flash from the willow leaf but increased vibration from the Colorado blade and can be fished just about anywhere you’d ever throw a spinnerbait.”
For summer bass fishing, DiVincenti emphasizes the importance of vegetation to bass, so it’s always the first feature she looks for wherever she fishes. It can be hydrilla, milfoil, lily pads, or wiregrass, but bass will move to it because vegetation offers cover not only to them but also to baitfish, and they will remain in it throughout the summer.
“When the vegetation is really thick and matted on the surface, spinnerbaits are more effective when fished around the outside edges,” DiVincenti explains. “I’ll fish a spinnerbait as close to that edge as I can, making long casts and then retrieving the spinnerbait fast but erratically to make bass notice it.
“I’ll start by reeling fast, but then I’ll stop so the lure suddenly begins sinking. Then I’ll jerk it with my rod tip to make it jump, and then I’ll start reeling again. I do this every cast, and that’s the beauty of fishing a spinnerbait. It allows you to have as much variation in your retrieve as you want, and the more you do have, the more effective it becomes.”
The Yamaha pro nearly always fishes spinnerbaits with 10 or 12-lb. fluorocarbon line, but if she’s fishing particularly thick vegetation, she may use heavier 14-lb. fluorocarbon. All three sizes will come through weedy cover well and still allow the spinnerbait to maintain its action.