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Chatterbait

Although the original ChatterBait (Bladed Jig) went on sale in 2004, it wasn’t until the late 2000’s that the angling world learned just how deadly of a bait they were when several major tournament wins were credited to the spinnerbait/jig/crankbait hybrid. From that point on, anglers have taken notice. The once thought to be gimmick bait not only has made its way into people’s tackle boxes, they are flat out catching fish. 

Without the proper equipment, fishing a ChatterBait can be frustrating. With these few considerations you can increase your chances of not only getting bit but bringing them into the boat. 

Selecting the Right ChatterBait:

Choosing the correct bait to use can be very simple if you break down where and how you will be fishing it. The variations come down to weight, color, weedless, and trailer. 

Weight. ChatterBaits are often used as shallow water reaction bites. Anything in that 1 – 6 ft range. The speed of retrieve will be the main determining factor in the weight you want to use. The faster the retrieve, the heavier the bait you need so it stays at the desired water column level you are trying to fish. A great starting point is a 3/8 oz bait and moving to a 1/2oz if you are using a faster retrieve or targeting deeper water.

Color. Color is determined by water clarity and forage. In low visibility situations (murky water/windy/storms), gravitating towards high contrast colors like the black/blue or white/chartreuse are perfect options. In high visibility scenarios (clearer water/light wind/clear skies) you will want to choose colors that match the forage in the lake. Common colors include green pumpkin, bluegill, or shad imitation shades. 

Weedless. Are you getting hung up often? Then move to a weedless version. If you plan on throwing the ChatterBait in thick brush or heavy vegetation, the weedless option will help deflect the bait through the nastiest cover.

Trailers. The amount of vibration a ChatterBait gives off from the blade will almost always drown out any action the trailer will add, which is why any chosen trailer should be based on the forage you are trying to imitate or the lift you want the bait to have. Common trailer types are minnow style or craw like soft plastics in 3 – 4 inch sizes. Larger profile trailers will imitate larger forage and let the bait ride higher in the water column with smaller options doing the opposite. 

Using the Proper Equipment:

You selected the perfect combinations of the above characteristics to get bit, now it’s time to go over the right equipment that is needed to fight the fish back to the boat. 

Rod: There are two important features needed for a great ChatterBait rod. A soft tip and a solid backbone. The soft tip is a must for giving the fish a split second longer to fully engulf the bait while the solid backbone is needed to rip the bait through cover. A 7 to 7.5 ft Medium Heavy graphite rod will give you that perfect combination. When fishing more open water scenarios, switching to a glass rod is a great option for the extra feel and bend of the rod.  

Reel: Medium retrieve reels are ideal when throwing a ChatterBait. Anything in the 6.1 or 6.4 to 1 gear ratio. The reason for a medium speed reel is two part. A common retrieve for these style baits is slow rolling it and having a high gear ratio reel would make it difficult to really slow the bait down. Also, with a ChatterBait being a reaction style bait, there are often times when the fish will attack and keep running toward you. Using a medium speed reel will give you the ability to reel up slack line quickly and keep tension on the fish. 

Line: All three types of line can be used depending on the scenario’s you fish. The most common line is a 15 – 20 pound fluorocarbon. This gives you ample strength to pull fish from cover and is combined with the stealth of the nearly invisible line. If you are having trouble with your bite to hook-up ratio try switching it up to monofilament. The extra stretch in the line will delay your reaction just enough to let the fish get the bait better before you set the hook. The third option would be to go to a 50 – 65 pound braided line around thick mats or heavy lily pads, making it easier to cut through vegetation. 

How to Fish the ChatterBait:

Slow Roll: Slow rolling is one of the more common retrieve options among ChatterBait fishing. Finding isolated clumps of grass or weed edges are perfect for this style of fishing. After you determined the desired depth you want to run it at, make a long cast and slowly start reeling it back just enough to engage the blade. During the retrieve, make slight movements of the rod tip to avoid the bait coming back in a straight line. The slight movements are often what cause a reaction strike. 

Burn: The complete opposite of slow rolling. You want to throw it out and reel it back fast. This retrieve is great around hard structures like rocks points or bluff walls when the fish are in feeding mode. Just like with the slower retrieve, make sure to add slight twitches in the rod tip to help entice that reaction strike. With the faster retrieve, generally a heavier bait option is needed in order to keep it running at the desired depth. 

Jig and Rip: The Jig and Rip method is a great option for when the fish need a little extra enticing to charge at a lure. Fish it exactly like you would a lipless crankbait, make short snaps of the rod upwards to engage the blade. Then let it fall back down while reeling up slack line. The key is to have it rip and fall in high percentage areas. Focus on areas like grass clumps, dock pilings, and isolated boulders. The sudden jolt of vibration followed by a lifeless fall of the bait will often cause strikes during the fall. 

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Chatterbait Fishing

Although the original ChatterBait (Bladed Jig) went on sale in 2004, it wasn’t until the late 2000’s that the angling world learned just how deadly of a bait they were when several major tournament wins were credited to the spinnerbait/jig/crankbait hybrid. From that point on, anglers have taken notice. The once thought to be gimmick bait not only has made its way into people’s tackle boxes, they are flat out catching fish.

Without the proper equipment, fishing a ChatterBait can be frustrating. With these few considerations you can increase your chances of not only getting bit but bringing them into the boat.

ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait 3/8 oz / White
ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait

Weight: 3/8 oz

Color: White

$15.99

ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait 1/2 oz / White
ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait

Weight: 1/2 oz

Color: White

$15.99

ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait 3/8 oz / Black/Blue
ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait

Weight: 3/8 oz

Color: Black/Blue

$15.99

ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait 1/2 oz / Black/Blue
ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait

Weight: 1/2 oz

Color: Black/Blue

$15.99

ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait 3/8 oz / Green Pumpkin
ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait

Weight: 3/8 oz

Color: Green Pumpkin

$15.99

ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait 1/2 oz / Green Pumpkin
ZMan Jack Hammer Chatterbait

Weight: 1/2 oz

Color: Green Pumpkin

$15.99

ZMan Original Chatterbait SHAD/BLUE GLIMMER / 3/8 OZ
ZMan Original Chatterbait

COLOR: SHAD/BLUE GLIMMER

WEIGHT: 3/8 OZ

$4.99

ZMan Original Chatterbait SHAD/BLUE GLIMMER / 1/2 OZ
ZMan Original Chatterbait

COLOR: SHAD/BLUE GLIMMER

WEIGHT: 1/2 OZ

$4.99

ZMan Original Chatterbait BLUE/BLACK / 3/8 OZ
ZMan Original Chatterbait

COLOR: BLUE/BLACK

WEIGHT: 3/8 OZ

$4.99

ZMan Original Chatterbait BLUE/BLACK / 1/2 OZ
ZMan Original Chatterbait

COLOR: BLUE/BLACK

WEIGHT: 1/2 OZ

$4.99

ZMan Original Chatterbait GREEN PUMPKIN PURPLE / 3/8 OZ
ZMan Original Chatterbait

COLOR: GREEN PUMPKIN PURPLE

WEIGHT: 3/8 OZ

$4.99

ZMan Original Chatterbait GREEN PUMPKIN PURPLE / 1/2 OZ
ZMan Original Chatterbait

COLOR: GREEN PUMPKIN PURPLE

WEIGHT: 1/2 OZ

$4.99

ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless BLACK BLUE / 3/8 OZ
ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless

COLOR: BLACK BLUE

WEIGHT: 3/8 OZ

$8.99

ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless BLACK BLUE / 1/2 OZ
ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless

COLOR: BLACK BLUE

WEIGHT: 1/2 OZ

$8.99

ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless PEARL GHOST / 3/8 OZ
ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless

COLOR: PEARL GHOST

WEIGHT: 3/8 OZ

$8.99

ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless PEARL GHOST / 1/2 OZ
ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless

COLOR: PEARL GHOST

WEIGHT: 1/2 OZ

$8.99

ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless BREAKING BREAM / 3/8 OZ
ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless

COLOR: BREAKING BREAM

WEIGHT: 3/8 OZ

$8.99

ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless BREAKING BREAM / 1/2 OZ
ZMan Project Z Chatterbait Weedless

COLOR: BREAKING BREAM

WEIGHT: 1/2 OZ

$8.99