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Finally got one to eat a jerkbait in the neighborhood pond yesterday, only a pound and a half but it broke the ice.

I am curious when you guys have the best luck fishing chatterbaits and which ones work best for you. I tried one yesterday for the first time and really liked the way it looked. The fish didn't care for it, but I think it was just too noisy for a sunny/clear/cold water situation. Seems like it would be a great choice when the water is dirtier. Any input appreciated.

Good luck to everyone after the cold weather bass.
 

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I've caught a couple nice bass around lighted docks at night in the fall with a black/blue zman with a 3 inch black paddle tail trailer. The bass in my profile pic happens to be one of those fish. The best docks are usually adjacent to deep water, isolated, and near some rip rap. You can pull 5 fish off of a good dock like this, makes for a fun night!
 

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What I understand is that you would use them in any situation where you would fish a spinnerbait.
stop thinking of them as a spinnerbait alternative and think about them another tool in your arsenal. you're combining the flash of a spinnerbait, the tight wobble of a crankbait, and the ability to bounce the bottom like a jig in to one cast - all while adding a heavy vibration! The options for these baits are limitless and when you start to use them to their full ability

Water Sky Smile Fisherman Fish
 

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stop thinking of them as a spinnerbait alternative and think about them another tool in your arsenal. you're combining the flash of a spinnerbait, the tight wobble of a crankbait, and the ability to bounce the bottom like a jig in to one cast - all while adding a heavy vibration! The options for these baits are limitless and when you start to use them to their full ability

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I see your point but I still think I'd fish them the same places as a spinnerbait. I think spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and square bill cranks all are great options for moderate to heavy cover in less than 10 FOW. I probably need to fish them more because so many have had good success with them. It is just a confidence thing at this point. I think trying more of a lift and drop retrieve would be helpful instead of a slow roll.
 

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I have severe confidence issues with the Chatterbait. I have slow rolled, bounced it along the bottom, slow, fast, varying to rise and fall. Nothing; not a tap. And I have switched off and caught fish on other lures, so I had fish around me. In fact, sometimes I would have two rods; one with Chatterbait and one with a small grub and switch back and forth taking bass casts and panfish casts and end up catching bass on the grub.
 

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I have the privilege of fishing one of the best smallmouth/pike lakes in Northern Michigan each summer. I use the lake as a testing grounds for new baits. I bought a z-man green pumpkin chatter bait w/ trailer thinking it would really hooks some nice bass in that lake. Not one bite at all, and I fished it a little each day for a week. Like OptiMystic I was left with little faith in that bait after throwing others right after and hooking massive smallies. It looked great in the water, action and all. And I can see in murky southern waters it being something that catches fishes attention. But, I'm still fishless using one after a year of giving them a shot. (fished a NC farm pond with one last spring too) Now, the drop-shot technique I fished last year heavily with tremendous success from Mich to FL. and in NC!!! Swear by that as a solid fish catcher!!
 

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I have severe confidence issues with the Chatterbait. I have slow rolled, bounced it along the bottom, slow, fast, varying to rise and fall. Nothing; not a tap. And I have switched off and caught fish on other lures, so I had fish around me. In fact, sometimes I would have two rods; one with Chatterbait and one with a small grub and switch back and forth taking bass casts and panfish casts and end up catching bass on the grub.
It took me a while but I became a believer last year. One day during spring when cranks weren't working I figured heck why not try ended up with a 6 n a 4 that day. NCStateFisher was the one who led me to this path and now it's just another in arsenal. I never had faith in spinners till this January and now will work them more not just red eyed shads!
 

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There is a reason why those Pros have so many rods on the deck. Every bait has its time and place and sometimes even then it just doesn't make sense what they will bite and when.
 

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I threw a Zman some this weekend and liked how I could really control the depth on it unlike others that seem to seek the surface much more aggressively. I even let it sink and worked it up and down through the water column. Good sound and vibration on the baits. I will be buying more.
 

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I have Z Man blue/black in a couple of sizes. Mostly tried the 3/8. I do believe they work for others, not sure what I do to jinx them. I felt that way about plastic worms many years ago and then after I caught a few nice fish it's like they improved. I think it is fishing with confidence and paying more attention, but I am not sure what I need to do different.
 

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I have Z Man blue/black in a couple of sizes. Mostly tried the 3/8. I do believe they work for others, not sure what I do to jinx them. I felt that way about plastic worms many years ago and then after I caught a few nice fish it's like they improved. I think it is fishing with confidence and paying more attention, but I am not sure what I need to do different.
andy, i have used a slow retrieve literally rolling it along the bottom. Most of my luck has been on Chartrues since that is a color that works in Lynn. NCStatefisher likes the blue black I only have caught one small one on it in a clearer water. I use a fluke trailer on the chartreuse seems to work better than a craw for me
 
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I have never done well with a chatterbait, but I know others who have great success with them. I don't usually fish them. However, I will throw in one anecdote which underscores the 'arsenal' discussion. I was at Belews a few weeks ago up in the "cold" water above hwy 65 (cold means 46 to 47 degree water there) and I was in the bait, I mean IN it. I found a pocket where there were bait balls all over, and saw some bass in there. Saw them. 2 and 3 lb fish rising slowly to suck in a floundering shad, that would dart off as soon as I put any bait in front of them, saw a wolfpack of 5 fish in 2lb class smash the surface and cruise on by, ignoring my jerk bait, fluke, shakey head, zara puppy... I had had a skunker so far and I knew I was in bait and in bass, and I just knew this was where I had to make it happen. I threw it all... lipless red eye shad, T-rig, A-rig, shakey head, bass jig, x-rap, pointer, float-n-fly... could NOT get hooked up for almost 2 hours.

Saw a guy come tooling by just casting as he went, he hauled in a 2lb fish and was moving along, I asked him how it was going... said it was his 3rd fish for the day, he was from out of town and didn't know the lake, just fishing. I was past pride and well into humility, and had to ask what he was throwing (couldn't get quite a good enough look), and he said "white chatterbait." Ok. Not what I was expecting. Water up there was a little stained for Belews but still clear by most Piedmont lake standards, probably 4 ft visibility, but I tied on a white chatterbait and started in. Saw a boil in a shad ball and put that chatter bait right through there and bam! 3lb'er, the first and best fish of the day. I ran out of time before really giving that chatter bait its due diligence that day, caught two spots on steep banks on a float-n-fly and had to pack it in due to time constraints, but that chatterbait stood out that day for quality and as a major ice-breaker.

It was like Design in a Frost poem that day... "What had that flower to do with being white...what brought the kindred spider to that height, Then steered the white moth thither in the night..." I don't have a great degree of confidence in a chatterbait yet because I don't throw them that much, and I don't know what variables made it the bait of choice at that moment but I can say I threw EVERYthing at those fish that I usually use, and that chatterbait was the only thing that got bit; and that was just because that other guy came by throwing one at that particular time. I ain't saying it's magic, but I will say it's worth a try as you cycle through the arsenal I guess is all that really proves, but I will keep it in my lineup now. Sorry, long story but it stood out in my mind, while we were talking about chatterbaits.

I should go to bed.
 

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I have never done well with a chatterbait, but I know others who have great success with them. I don't usually fish them. However, I will throw in one anecdote which underscores the 'arsenal' discussion. I was at Belews a few weeks ago up in the "cold" water above hwy 65 (cold means 46 to 47 degree water there) and I was in the bait, I mean IN it. I found a pocket where there were bait balls all over, and saw some bass in there. Saw them. 2 and 3 lb fish rising slowly to suck in a floundering shad, that would dart off as soon as I put any bait in front of them, saw a wolfpack of 5 fish in 2lb class smash the surface and cruise on by, ignoring my jerk bait, fluke, shakey head, zara puppy... I had had a skunker so far and I knew I was in bait and in bass, and I just knew this was where I had to make it happen. I threw it all... lipless red eye shad, T-rig, A-rig, shakey head, bass jig, x-rap, pointer, float-n-fly... could NOT get hooked up for almost 2 hours.

Saw a guy come tooling by just casting as he went, he hauled in a 2lb fish and was moving along, I asked him how it was going... said it was his 3rd fish for the day, he was from out of town and didn't know the lake, just fishing. I was past pride and well into humility, and had to ask what he was throwing (couldn't get quite a good enough look), and he said "white chatterbait." Ok. Not what I was expecting. Water up there was a little stained for Belews but still clear by most Piedmont lake standards, probably 4 ft visibility, but I tied on a white chatterbait and started in. Saw a boil in a shad ball and put that chatter bait right through there and bam! 3lb'er, the first and best fish of the day. I ran out of time before really giving that chatter bait its due diligence that day, caught two spots on steep banks on a float-n-fly and had to pack it in due to time constraints, but that chatterbait stood out that day for quality and as a major ice-breaker.

It was like Design in a Frost poem that day... "What had that flower to do with being white...what brought the kindred spider to that height, Then steered the white moth thither in the night..." I don't have a great degree of confidence in a chatterbait yet because I don't throw them that much, and I don't know what variables made it the bait of choice at that moment but I can say I threw EVERYthing at those fish that I usually use, and that chatterbait was the only thing that got bit; and that was just because that other guy came by throwing one at that particular time. I ain't saying it's magic, but I will say it's worth a try as you cycle through the arsenal I guess is all that really proves, but I will keep it in my lineup now. Sorry, long story but it stood out in my mind, while we were talking about chatterbaits.

I should go to bed.
Quoting frost I am impressed. Great story. Just shows sometimes ya have to use the entire arsenal
 
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