• Bobby Bergren

“Bobby B’s” Keys to Spinnerbait Success on the South-End of Lake Michigan

In a world where the popular bass crowd has shunned the spinnerbait away and turned the crowd to different and newer techniques. I still tend to always find me G Loomis SBR 813 on the boat deck with a spinnerbait tied on the end. The Spinnerbait still has its moments where it has helped me to put some of the biggest smallmouth in my box to win late-spring and summer tournaments.

I think a spinnerbait was probably one of the first artificial baits I learned how to use and throw as a kid (along with the good olé fashioned husky jerk). Spinnerbait fishing is not just about chucking it out there and reeling it back in. It is more is about the location, weather conditions, current, structure and baitfish population to give the smallmouth the right presentation. It’s like finding the right tool for the job.

(Bobby B and Ryan Whitacre)

Location of throwing Spinnerbaits on Lake Michigan relies on flats with rocks, shallow man made structure, warm water discharges, and steel or chunk rock break-walls are locations where I would start to look first if I was going straight for a Spinnerbait bite on the south-end of Lake Michigan.

Weather conditions to throwing a spinnerbait on noncurrent related structure like shallow break walls or rocks need to have some wind and a little bite of waves makes the spinnerbait a prime target for aggressive Big-Water Small Jaws to come destroy it, when a subtle finesse approach is not necessary and tough to fish.

Current is key to calm sunny days and I try to find areas that have current and off-colored water, I tend to do better on chartreuse spinner baits if the water is dirty. If the water is clean and has a lot of current, I tend to do better on white spinnerbaits with silver willow blades or shad pattern Spinnerbaits.

(Ryan Yoos and Bobby B)

Starting out you typically only need touse two sizes of Spinner Baits and those are 3/8 oz and ½ oz on the south end of Lake Michigan. I use the 3/8 oz Jackall Super Eruption Spinnerbait when I am fishing in tighter areas, shallower areas, and discharges to give the bait a smaller profile closer to the shad the smallmouth are gorging on in the discharges. With all the pressure at discharges on the South-End of Lake Michigan. I try to stay heavier in weight with the spinnerbait to get down in the water column of the warm water discharges with heavy current but have the spinnerbait profile compact enough to show them something they haven’t seen and resembles the size of the shad. (Most anglers are typically throwing big and heavy 1 oz spinnerbaits) I absolutely believe these smallmouth on the South-End and other smallmouth waters prefer a smaller compact spinner bait.

(Tommy Thompson)

I throw the larger ½ oz Jackall Super Eruption Spinnerbait when conditions are rough, like rolling 1-3 foot waves and water is supper muddy. This bigger profile spinnerbait puts off enough vibration and flash for smallmouth to find and come barreling up 15 feet of water to decimate the spinnerbait. This ½ oz Spinner bait is also used to make longer casts and cover water as much water as possible.

Remember cadence is the key to spinnerbait fishing. I like to match the speed of the current or go a little faster the current in discharges to imitate an escaping baitfish. When I’m covering water I prefer to do a stop and go retrieve to entice the followers to bite.

I throw a lot of spinnerbaits and fine tune myself in the art of spinnerbait fishing every chance I get to throw one. My favorite spinnerbait is the Jackall Super Eruption Spinner Bait. For 5 reasons this is the smallmouth bass spinnerbait to go with. 1st I really like the light wire that holds the blades, its small enough to take some abuse and welded together at the end so your blades with never come breaking off (Which BIG smallmouth are notorious for). 2nd reason is that the skirt is hand tied so there’s no cheap elastic band falling off ruining the awesome skirt combinations they come with. 3rd Is that the head on this bait gives this spinnerbait a very realistic and looks like the head of a baitfish head and the head allows the spinnerbait to run true (vertical) without falling to one side like cheaper unbalanced spinnerbaits. The 4th reason I like this bait is because it has a smaller, ultra-sharp compact hook which gives the bait an over-all smaller appearance and I do not loose smallmouth bass on this Spinnerbait hook even without a trailer hook, because it really pins them exceptionally well. 5th and final reason are the blades on the Jackall Eruption have a unique and totally different shape than other spinner blades which puts off a different sound vibration in the water column and gives the something the fish have not seen much. This helps especially when fishing in pressured waters.

(Jackall Super Eruption Spinnerbait)

I am a perfectionist by nature and I’m always looking to find the best of the best for any situation I encounter (which Leaves me broke but happy with my rod selection, my performance in tournaments, and joy on the water). I have 3 different spinnerbait rods I use on Lake Michigan and they are the G Loomis SBR 812 and the other 2 rods are G Loomis SBR 813. Hands down they are the finest spinnerbait rods all around in my honest opinion. I use the 812 which is a 6’9’’ Medium rod that I use with the smaller spinner baits 1/8oz-3/8 for accuracy with smaller baits and having the right amount of hook setting power to keep the smallmouth buttoned. The G Loomis 813 is a medium/heavy rod based on spinnerbaits ½ oz to ¾ oz. By Far the G Loomis Spinnerbait series rod 813 is my favorite and the best spinnerbait rod on the market. It casts a mile, loads and unloads spinnerbaits on the cast perfectly and has the power to keep 4 pound + Smallmouth buckled with a good hookset and the power to pull it away from rocks coated in zebra mussels or other sharp objects in the urban industrial land of water we call the South End of Lake Michigan.

For reels I use a Shimano Curado 200 I (6.3/1) spooled with 15lb Seaguar InvizX and Shimano Metanium (7.4/1) also with 15 lb Seaguar InvizX.

I really hope you learned a bit from this Blog and it will help you to catch more smallmouth on spinnerbaits on the South-End of Lake Michigan. I hope you to will be hooked on spinnerbait fishing for smallmouth after catching your 1st 3 ½ pounder on the south-end that will practically want to rip your arm off!

The next blog will be on Swim Jigs on Lake Michigan. Stay tuned

To be Continued…

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