Slow-rolling a spinnerbait is an awesome technique for largemouths from fall through the cold months, and recently, Booyah brand ambassador Scott Larsen has been taking full advantage of it. The Florida angler, who typically plies small to medium-size waters near his hometown of New Port Richey, says the objective is to imitate a shad or bluegill by creating an underwater commotion at low speed.
Here are four tips that will help you catch late-season largemouths.
1. The Lure: While you can slow-roll a spinnerbait of any type or size, Larsen opts for a tandem-blade lure in the fall — specifically Booyah’s Double Colorado Blade spinnerbait with a chartreuse-and-white skirt. The blades, one silver and one gold, wobble and thump at slow speeds, making the lure especially effective on oversize largemouths in cool and cold water. While some anglers fish spinnerbaits that weigh ½ ounce or heavier, the angler prefers the 3/8-ounce Booyah because it allow him to fish shallower water more easily.
2. The Rig: Larsen fishes a 7½-foot, medium-heavy rod, but more critically he loads it with 15- to 20-pound braided line, which slices through underwater vegetation cleanly. While it seems logical to use a low-speed reel, Larsen believes a baitcaster with a high gear ratio allows him more control over the lure.
3. Lure Speed: The spinnerbait should move just fast enough so the blades barely turn. “You’re trying to mimic a shad or bluegill,” Larsen explained, “and you want the blades to vibrate the water, but big bass won’t chase the lure very far so the retrieve is slow and steady.
“If you’re fishing a weedbed, hold the rodtip high, and with a bit of bow in the line, run the lure just through the tops of the weeds,” he added, “especially along any cuts that run through the bed. Use the rodtip to steer the lure, but don’t hesitate to let it bump cover.
“In lily pads I’ll swim the spinnerbait among the stalks, steering it with the rodtip and making multiple casts from different angles. If a pad or certain spot looks like it should hold a bass, I’ll stop the retrieve and let the spinnerbait helicopter toward the bottom for a second or two.
4. Deep Water: Bass in deep water, 12 to 20 or more feet, are lethargic, especially when the weather turns colder. Keep the spinnerbait in contact with the bottom, and make the retrieve excruciatingly slow. “You want the blades to mimic a dying shad,” Larsen said. When probing the depths, he added, go with a heavier lure — up to 1 ounce — in order to maintain bottom contact.