It’s hard to believe that March is almost gone. There were even still flakes of snow in the air yesterday.

When I start fishing this season I could fish for saugeye or even hybrid stripers this early (I hear both are being caught at Buckeye Lake), but when I do I’ll be chasing bass and I would like the water temperature to be pushing 50 degrees and the air temperature high enough so my fingers aren’t turning blue.

To get that, we need to get rid of these cold nights.

When I do go out, I will certainly have at least one rod rigged with a spinnerbait. The reason for that is that they are extremely versatile. You can crawl them on the bottom, burn them near the surface and everything in between.

I’ve had some decent success with spinnerbaits in the spring. I remember especially one tournament on Burr Oak in mid-April, which I won by slow-rolling a white spinnerbait next to weedbeds and other submerged cover.

Bladed jigs (such as the Chatterbait) have become another go-to bait in the spring, but they’re not as versatile as a spinnerbait.

The traditional “jig and pig” (although these days it will usually sport a plastic trailer rather than pork rind) is also a must for early season bass fishing.

The spinnerbait user is faced with a myriad of choices. Skirts come in every color of the rainbow and blade styles can make a big difference.

In general, Indiana and Colorado blades put out the most vibration and are probably best in murky water, while the longer willow leaf blades provide more flash and are often best in clearer water.

However, you can also use painted blades (white and chartreuse are both popular), and whether you use gold, nickel or copper blades can alter the amount of flash you get.

My starting choice is usually a 3/8-ounce white spinnerbait with a nickel Indiana blade backed by a smaller gold Colorado blade.

My second choice is a 3/8-ounce chartreuse spinnerbait with chartreuse willow leaf blades.

I’ve also been known to use spinnerbaits with single blades (especially in smaller sizes) when bass are being reluctant about going after a larger spinnerbait. A number of years ago I was fishing a farm bond and was having no luck with a “normal” spinnerbait, but caught a 6-pounder as soon as I switched to a 1/8-ounce single-bladed bait.

For a few years, I used spinnerbaits almost exclusively on braided super lines, but recently I’ve been going back to monofilament. I liked the greater “feel” the braid gave me, but I seem more comfortable with the mono.

There is probably no “wrong” way to fish a spinnerbait — other than to leave it in the tackle box — but I had to chuckle this month when I read two articles about spinnerbaits in the same magazine which gave very different views on blades and colors.


Don’t forget, you need a new fishing license and now you can buy multiyear licenses. Licenses are also now good for a year from date of purchase, instead of all expiring at the end of February.

Youth clinic

The second annual “Passport to Fishing,” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Wolf Run Regional Park.

The event is sponsored by the Kokosing Valley Jr. Anglers, the Knox County Park District, Ohio Division of Wildlife, Knox County Fish and Game, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and Amanda Hills Spring Water.

Watch for information about registration.


Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @