Seasonal Spinnerbait Fishing in Ohio

Maria L., GoFishOhio Website Manager
Better Half Tour Tournament Director
February 15, 2021

There’s no secret about it – I love spinnerbait fishing! Every time I go fishing, I will have a spinnerbait tied on as my primary lure when searching for bass. I catch bass with spinnerbaits year round and on all types of water. While I am no Pro angler, after 16 years of using spinnerbaits, I hope I have a tip or two to share.


Maria of Better Half Tour

Generally, I have one “go-to” 3/4 oz. spinnerbait I start the day with all year long. Call it my “favorite”.  It is versatile enough to slow roll a little deeper or reel in quickly just under the surface. I am comfortable and confident throwing it accurately and for long periods of time. This is the one I always start with this particular spinnerbait to see what response I get and make changes as conditions present themselves. The seasons play a big role in changing spinnerbait presentations. Let’s take a look at them a little more closely.

Spinnerbaits in Springtime

Maria`s BIG BASS at Lake Milton, OH

Oh, how I love to slow roll big, thumping blades for cold & hungry bass! Can you say CHOMP? With Ohio waters still being whipped up by gusty Spring winds, I use BIG Terminator or willow blades combined with a small Colorado blade. I roll it just fast enough to keep the blades spinning, allowing the heavier, 3/4-oz. weight sink the bait as deep as possible. Big, lazy bass will hear you coming and not be able to resist biting. On sunny days, I shine up my blades to get them as flashy as possible, too.

I use larger trailers in the Spring, too. My personal choice is a modified twin tail grub in chartreuse or white. I like a lot of flappy, wiggly stuff trailing along. Red is another color I choose in the Spring. I often paint my Colorado blade red, along with a few stripes on the underside of the head or dotting the eyes with red. Red is the first color to disappear in the water column. Not sure if this has an effect on the fish, I just know it seems to encourage more bites in the Spring when I do it. Try it out for yourself and let me know how it works for you!

Summertime Spinner Slim Down

Post spawn spinnerbait fishing is fast and furious fun! I love covering large areas with lots of casts and quick retrieves over weed tops and edges. The adjustments I make from my Springtime setup include smaller, slimmer blades and trailers. Many of the Ohio waters we fish are clear to lightly stained, making the bait more visible. I find a “finesse” spinnerbait with a smaller profile invites more bites.  I typically will choose a lighter, double willow blade – either 5/8 or 3/8 oz.  Something that  I can zip along just under the surface and easily comes through any vegetation. I also change to a single tail, smaller trailer. Lower profile and faster moving to stimulate bass into biting.

I like summer spinnerbait fishing across points or flats with deeper edges close by. Especially where there is a little ripple in the water. Hungry post spawn bass hiding in the weedline like to smash spinnerbaits so hard, they set the hook themselves! Don’t be afraid of throwing your spinnerbait in Summer’s calm waters, either! Bass don’t expect loud, vibrating baits in calm conditions. It may be just different enough to incite a bite. I sometimes even use it as a wake bait, keeping the blade just below the surface. This turns the spinnerbait into a unique topwater bait bass will not be able to resist.

GoFishOhio - Mosquito Lake Maria

Fall Fun

Fall spinnerbait fishing means BIG BITES in Ohio waters! The bass are gearing up for winter and munching abundantly. I always have a couple spinnerbaits tied on in Fall. One for slow rolling with a big, single blade and one for retrieving quickly across shallow water. The water temperatures can vary greatly and may require a combination of techniques and presentations with your spinnerbait. Cool early morning water and deeper pockets may find you slow rolling a big single blade. Afternoon sunshine may beg for a quicker retrieve in shallow, warmer waters and backs of creeks.

I will generally go back to brighter colors and bigger trailers in the Fall, too. Ohio waters seem to get dirtier in the Fall from blooming and dying vegetation. I usually find success with what worked in the Spring as the water temperatures get colder. I will thump the big blades right through the schools of shad. The bass are no doubt close by waiting to ambush the juiciest looking bait.

My Spinnerbait Sales Pitch

I find it easy and very worthwhile to adjust my spinnerbait use for the seasons. It has proven itself as a super versatile tool  for me.  I will always have one tied on all year long! Often two or three – one smaller and more finesse-like, and one with different blades or colors I feel may be appropriate for the conditions I am expecting on the lake that day. There is so much variety available in weight, blade style and size. Add in all the color and trailer options and its easy to make spinnerbaits work well in any season.

Spinnerbait fishing is a great tool to add to your bass fishing arsenal. Tried and true by many anglers over decades, there is a reason spinnerbaits have remained at the top of the list for bass catching.  I highly recommend taking the time to find a few different styles and sizes to fit your fishing needs. Keep your favorite one tied on all year and stay tuned for some FUN fishing!