How To Use Red Z-Man Chatterbaits To Crush Spring Bass

Bass fishing turns red hot when spring water temperatures rise above 50 degrees. The warming weather puts bass into the prespawn mode, which triggers appetites and kicks off the annual road trip towards the shallow spawning grounds.

Around the same time, crawfish are emerging from rocks, mucky bottoms, and other wintering areas, and if the nutrient-rich crawfish aren’t careful, they might get gobbled up by a hungry prespawn bass cruising the shallows.

A red or orange skirted Z-Man Chatterbait covers water quickly with a tight swimming action while looking like a favorite spring snack for hungry bass. The uniform motion from moving baits like a Z-Man Chatterbait helps eliminate bad water quickly with a loud but not overly obnoxious action. And the red and orange colors seal the deal for hungry prespawn fish. 

Crawfish are high in protein and loaded with minerals and nutrients that help fish spawn, so give them the next best thing, a red skirted Z-Man Chatterbait.  

Chatterbait Spring Fishing Tips

  • Fish the northside of the lake to find warm water
  • Dock channels, feeder creeks, and shallow bays are premier spring Chatterbait spots
  • Use a slow and steady retrieve in the early spring just fast enough to keep your blade thumping
  • A 7′-7’3″ Medium to Medium Heavy powered casting rod with a moderate to fast action tip is ideal for Chatterbait fishing
  • Use a red colored trailer like the Yamamoto Zako, Z-Man StreakZ, or 10,000 Yoto Worm to maximize the crawfish vibe
  • Winding chatterbaits through emerging vegetation like lily pad stems, hydrilla, and coontail are popular patterns for spring bass anglers
  • After establishing a hot spring bite with the Z-Man Chatterbait, work back over that area with a slow-moving jig or soft plastic

Here’s A Deeper Dive Into Karl’s Favorite Chatterbaits For The Spring

Spring Chatterbait Fishing
Z-Man Original Chatterbait
Karl’s Club $4.39
Non-Member$5.49

The OG that started it all is a true game-changing lure. Aside from the distinctive chatter buzz, each OG model comes with a suitable hook and tightly secured skirt in various fish-catching colors. The Z-Man Orginal Chatterbait is an affordable choice that can still catch and handle big bass.

The Fire Craw red works when mimicking crawfish, and the perch patterned looks just like any bluegill of small baitfish pattern. Both options are deadly in the Spring when worked parallel to the bank in the shallows.

Spring Chatterbait Fishing
Z-Man Big Blade Chatterbait
Karl’s Club $9.59
Non-Member $11.99

A new member of the Z-Man family, the Big Blade Chatterbait, turns up the noise with its upsized leading blade meant to make more ruckus underwater. Anglers fishing stained lakes or flooded water can lean on the Big Blade to chatter loud and proud, helping fish with poor visibility dial in on the lure.

Spring Chatterbait Fishing





Z-Man CrosseyeZ Chatterbait
Karl’s Club $7.99
Non-Member $9.99

The Z-Man CrosseyeZ Chatterbait includes two distinct bug eyes crowning the jigs head along with a nylon weed guard extending out over the hook making it more snag-free around the brush.

Anglers fishing rip-rap banks, brush piles, or flooded forests should tie on the CrosseyeZ Chatterbait in Fire Craw or Chartreuse White and start working their bait tight to the cover in the spring.

The standard retrieve creates a smooth and steady chattering action, and a jigging method lets the bait flutter down while ticking towards the bottom.

Spring Chatterbait Fishing
Z-Man Jackhammer Chatterbait
$12.79 Karl’s Club Member Price
$15.99 Non-Member Price

2018 was an insane year for the Chatterbait JackHammer. This bait was created by Brett Hite and his pal Morizo Shimizu to absolutely dominate the grass, and it does. Trail it with a thick swimbait or creature bait and bass won’t be able to say no. The skirted jig has a patented bladed head to vibrate and “chatter” (get it) through the grass and trigger big strikes!

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