The Versatility of the Chatterbait
Call it competitive nature or call it a tackle addiction. As anglers, we are always looking for the next best lure that hits the market. We all watch the videos from ICAST of the newest baits that are set to be released, because we think they will give us an upper hand. We think it is what we need to catch our next personal best. Some of them are “flash in the pan” lures and some are staples in fishermen’s plano boxes for years to come.
One particular bait that has been tied on the end of my line lately, was for me, a bait that I hadn't really given the time of day. I thought it was one of those late night commercial baits that swore to catch every big fish in the water. I thought it was a lure that had been marketed really well and caught a few fish.
Today is the day, I tell you that I was wrong. This lure is a fish catching machine. It can be fished in so many different ways. It can be fished at many depths. It can be fished at different speeds with various retrieves. It catches both bronze and green fish. It is a combination between two lures that have been catching fish for years. This lure is the Chatterbait. There are companies that have similar products, but specifically the ZMAN Chatterbait is the original bladed jig on the market.
Essentially the Chatterbait is the equivalent of a crank bait and spinnerbait mashed together both in action and looks. It doesn't look anything like a crank bait, but wiggles through the water with the same side to side shimmy. It does sport the silicone skirt and lead jig head that the spinnerbait offers, but has a more compact design. The beauty of this lure is ultimately the versatility. That versatility comes from the patented blade on the front that makes this lure catch fish... BIG fish.
What started as a supposition, quickly turned into reality. I was forming my plan for an upcoming kayak tournament. I prepared my tackle and spoke with a friend that recently fished the water. I came to the conclusion that it was time to try the once rejected lure. I stopped by the local tackle shop, grabbed a black/red chatter bait, and headed to the lake for pre-fishing. I immediately tied on the lure and started going to work. It didn't take long to feel the unique vibrations that are sent through the rod as the bait pulsates in the water. Apparently it didn't take the fish long to feel that same unique vibration. In the first 30 minutes we had boated to 2 fish, both over 18 inches. Its tournament day and this lure that I thought would be my saving grace absolutely flopped. It just would not catch a fish, and I was almost ready to write it off as the “flash in the pan” lure.
I went home only to give this lure another chance. I thought the farm pond would be a great place to give it another try. Well, I wasn't disappointed with the results this time and was able to gain supreme confidence with this lure. I casted near a down tree and start to burn the lure back when it gets inhaled by a giant largemouth. It was the largest fish that had ever came from that pond and it solidified the versatility of this lure. I wasted no time ordering more Chatterbaits from the Fishing Online website.
When they came in, I had to test their effectiveness on my favorite species. I went straight to the river in search of the smallmouth bass. The water was slightly stained and moving fast; an area when the bait can really shine. In murky water most fish rely on their lateral line in order to pick up vibrations in order to feed without the use of sight. The ability to fish the lure in fast flowing water was paramount and the specific vibration emitted definitely garnished the attention of many smallmouth that day, including a solid 19 inch bruiser.
Here is the concluding breakdown: First and foremost, it catches fish. It is something that requires confidence, so fish it early and often. Try to add a soft plastic trailer, for both bulk in profile appearance and extra vibration. My favorite trailers are the 412 Bait Co Yoda swim bait and the 412 Bait Co SmallJaw Craw. Vary your retrieves and speeds to tailor the technique to what the fish want. Some want it fished like a jig, raising and lowering it of the bottom. Some fish want it bouncing off cover like a crank bait. Some want it slow rolled like a spinnerbait. Fish it any way you like, but you should unquestionably fish it!
- FishOn ProStaff