Psst! Wanna know a secret? Rip a spinnerbait this fall for non-stop smallmouth action. Just ask bass legend Kevin VanDam
Selecting a spinnerbait with the right size, shape and colour of blades is also key. Wide-cupped Colorado blades grab too much water, as do intermediate-width Indiana- and French-style blades, slowing down the speed at which you can wind in the lure. Instead, the spinnerbait must be equipped with thin willowleaf blades (below). They allow for a fast retrieve, and rotate in a much tighter arc to produce more flash.
When water conditions are clear and the sky is cloudless, VanDam favours a combination of silver- and gold-coloured blades. When conditions are overcast, cloudy or raining, on the other hand, he opts for painted blades in hues matching the colour of the baitfish. According to VanDam, painted blades provide the perfect silhouette. The skirts on his big-profile spinnerbaits, meanwhile, are generally blends of white, clear, chartreuse and blue that complement the colour of his blades.
Finally, VanDam always tips his spinnerbait with a short, sharp, free-swinging 1/0 to 3/0 stinger hook, depending on the size of the lure. This helps catch smallmouth that rocket up from the bottom and slap at the bait. On many days, he catches a quarter or more of his fish on the stinger