Chatterbait Fishing Tips: How To Fish Every Z-Man ChatterBait

The Z-Man ChatterBait has become one of the most popular bass lures on the market and has accounted for multiple professional bass tournament wins. The ChatterBait family includes many different versions, with the Original, Elite, and Jack Hammer being the three most popular.

All of the different versions of the ChatterBait include the same characteristics, a hex-shaped blade that generates tons of vibration and a jighead with skirted material. Here is a rundown of the most popular versions of the ChatterBait and how to fish them.

About the Bait

Z-Man Chatterbait Fishing Tips

The ChatterBait originated 15 years ago as professional angler Bryan Thrift won the 2006 FLW Stren Series (now Toyota Series) event on Lake Okeechobee in Florida. At the time, he was one of the few anglers with access to the bait originally made by RAD Lures. In 2007, Z-Man fishing took over the production and distribution of the bait and has continued to evolve the lure with multiple blade sizes and materials and baits for all budgets.

Initially, many anglers pegged the ChatterBait as only a tool for fishing around grass, but it works everywhere. It still excels when fishing around vegetation, but it can be fished shallow or deeper and around rocks, wood, and anything else in the water. 

ChatterBait Styles

While all of the different baits have the same basic design, there are some key differences. Each price jump to the next level will offer better components, including better hooks, snaps, and skirt material. They also have slightly different vibrations, but they all catch fish.

Chatterbait Fishing

The Original ChatterBait is where it all started and still catches fish everywhere. They are the least expensive and an excellent option for getting started with these lures.

$4.39 Karl’s Club Member Price
$5.49 Non-Member Price

Chatterbait Fishing

The ChatterBait Elite, which costs a few dollars more than the original version but offers better quality. This version also has a wire keeper to secure your trailer, a wire-tied skirt that doesn’t fall down like collared skirts, and a stout Gamakatsu hook.

$6.39 Karl’s Club Member Price
$7.99 Non-Member Price

Chatterbait Fishing

The Chatterbait Jack Hammer is the top of the line for the ChatterBait and has the higher price tag to go with it. Even with a much higher price, it has become a hot seller because of its performance on the water. In addition to different colors, it has a hand-tied skirt, double barbed keeper for your trailers, and a premium heavy-duty flipping hook. It has a different action in the water and starts chattering immediately, and it is much easier to get going and working correctly.

$12.79 Karl’s Club Member Price
$15.99 Non-Member Price

Chatterbait Fishing Tips Gear Recommendations

When fishing ChatterBaits, baitcasting gear is preferred, and selecting the correct rod is crucial. Many anglers prefer a crankbait rod because of the limber action that aids in landing fish. 

A stiffer rod tends to pull the bait from the fish as many of the bites with the bait will simply be the rod loading up and continuing to reel or merely sweeping the rod is all you need to drive the hook. For rods, there is a delicate balance between being too limber or too stiff for a ChatterBait, but picking one over seven feet long and a medium-heavy action is a great place to start.

For reels, a 7.1:1 gear ratio offers a nice balance of speed and power to fish the reels. Spooling it up with 15 to 20-pound fluorocarbon is the most common practice, but dropping down to a 12-pound test will let the bait run slightly deeper.

Z-Man Chatterbait Seasonal and Situational Tips

The basics of fishing the ChatterBait are to cast it out and reel it back in. This lets the bait do its thing and you will catch fish with the simplest of retrieves. But, there are a few tricks that can expand your use of the ChatterBait for different situations.

One of the best ways to fish a ChatterBait is with a lift and drop retrieve for cold water. Cast the bait and let it fall to the bottom and then lift the bait with your rod to get a vibrating action and then let it fall. Many of the bites will occur right as the bait begins to descend.

Many different trailers will work behind the bait, including craw trailers, creature baits, and swimbaits. Experiment with trailers, as some will cause the bait to rise higher in the water column or sink more, each of which may be good in some instances. 

The ChatterBait has become a must for any bass angler and it catches fish in all seasons and everywhere bass swim. They are an effective tool that everyone should use because they simply get bit.

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