Blade Bait Fishing 101: Heavy Metal Bassin'
As the water begins to cool each year, those in the know pick up a blade bait. They are an old-school lure that is about as simple as you can get, a metal blade with a section of molded lead. You can go as basic as you want and stick with a generic gold or silver blade, or try a modern blade bait with great paint finishes and a more realistic look.
No matter which route you take, blade baits will help you catch fish late in the year when the water temperatures dip in the fall and all winter long.
Fishing a Blade Bait
The 10,000 Fish DeathStalker features a trailing willow blade which adds flash and vibration.
The blade bait is a unique bait that produces tons of vibration from the metal blade. They can be fished with a simple retrieve, almost like a lipless crankbait, but they truly excel when fished another way: the lift and drop.
Lifting and dropping your rod will let the blade bait do its thing and as you lift, the bait will vibrate up. Then, lower your rod, and it will fall back down to the bottom. You can experiment with different cadences regarding how high to lift your rod and how quickly to raise it, but as with everything in bass fishing, let the fish tell you what they prefer and try different movements until you find what is working that day.
Many of the bites will occur as the bait falls, so pay close attention to your line and use a high visibility braided line with a fluorocarbon leader to make it easier to detect bites. Spinning tackle is great for blade baits, but you can also fish them on casting gear.
Another time when bites will occur is right when you lift to make another lift and drop. Sometimes bass will crush the bait, and other times it will just feel heavy, so be ready for anything.
Another cool thing about fishing blade baits is that you may catch various species while bass fishing. It seems that everything loves a blade bait and you might hook into a walleye, trout, crappie, perch, pike, striper, or anything else that coexists with bass in your home waters.
When and Where to Fish a Blade Bait
Blade baits are multi-species lures known for catching bass, walleye, pike, panfish, and trout.
These baits will work all year long but excel late in the fall, into winter, and through spring when the water is at its coldest temperatures of the year. Part of the reason they work so well this time of year is that many shad and other baitfish are dying off and the blade bait imitates them perfectly.
You can fish them everywhere, but deeper water is generally the prime location to fish them due to the time of year. Fishing near mainlake points, deep flats, and on the edges of deep weed lines are a few places to look for first. They are also excellent around rocks but beware; they will hang up often if you are fishing them correctly near the bottom.
Blade baits can be fished by casting out and working them back in or simply dropping them below the boat and fishing vertically. They work great in northern climates late in the fall when the water is down into the 40s, and when fishing those frigid temperatures, they may be your best option but will work equally well in other areas that never get that cold.
The blade bait is a tried and true method for catching bass late in the year and can provide some of the best action when nothing else seems to work. Learning to master fishing a blade bait will provide tons of bass fishing fun with the chance to catch everything else that swims in your lake.
Updated December 10th, 2021 at 10:26 AM CT