The chatterbait has become one of the most fished baits on the market. It constantly comes up as a top tournament bait, and in this article I’m going to dial you in and teach you the best way to fish a chatterbait.
I’m going to walk you through where to fish a chatterbait, when to fish it, colors to choose, the retrieve, trailers to use, which ones to use, ideal rod to use, and line to use.
Be sure to check out the end of the article for links and discount codes you can take advantage of. Using those links and codes also helps to support me.
Where to fish
In my opinion the chatterbait is best around grass. I’ve also fished it around rocks with success. The one place I’d stay away from is wood and brush. There are some people that will say they’ve had success around wood with a chatterbait, but the chatterbait is notorious for hanging up on wood. It’s not the best at deflecting off the wood, so the hook tends to snag the wood.
When to fish
I’ve had the best success fishing a chatterbait in low light situations like early morning or the evening, in the wind, or in stained or dirty water. The chatterbait excels in those scenarios due to its vibration, which helps the fish find the bait. I’ve also caught fish in ultra clear water on a chatterbait, but that’s typically in the low light situations or the wind. You need the low light, and wind to break up the amount of light going through the water so the fish doesn’t get as good of a look at the bait. Calm, clear water never bodes well for a reaction bait like a chatterbait.
I tend to keep it really simple with a chatterbait. I have green pumpkin colors, shad colors, and red colors. The red colors are for the delta specifically. Fire craw is a great color nation wide in the early spring, but for my fishing it’s usually just a Delta color. I do carry variations of shad and green pumpkin. I like the green pumpkin chartreuse colors, and white/chartreuse colors. I’ll also have a green pumpkin red color at the
ready for the delta. You can’t go wrong by having 3-4 staple colors at the ready. White, green pumpkin, black/blue, and a red.
The chatterbait typically isn’t a bait that you want to burn. I’ve had the most success with a slow roll retrieve. Often when burning a chatterbait, it will blow out. Meaning it will flare out to one side, and then come back and run normal. Incorporating a slow steady retrieve with some rod twitches, or couple quick turns of the reel can help create reaction strikes. Most of the time, you want the chatterbait to be hitting the cover in some manner. If you’re around grass you want it to be hitting the tops of the grass, and even occasionally getting snagged in the grass where you can rip it out. Often strikes come right after ripping the bait out of the grass. If you're around rocks, you don’t want to drag it over them like a jig, but you want to slow reel the bait to where it comes in contact and deflects off the rocks occasionally. This will help increase the number of bites you get.
Trailers play a big role with a chatterbait, and there are a ton of options on the market. I’ll use a swimbait trailer, a craw style trailer, or a zako style trailer. For the swimbait trailer I typically use a 6th Sense Divine swimbait in a color that compliments the color of my chatterbait. For a craw style trailer you can use a beaver style bait like a 6th Sense Prawn, or Stroker Craw. For a Zako style trailer, I actually pour my own with a mold I bought.
The reason the trailers make a big difference is because it changes the depth at which the chatterbait will swim and the vibration that comes off the bait. A swimbait and zako style trailer allow the bait to run deeper, and the craw style trailers allow the bait to run more
Rod: 7’3 MH 6th Sense Divine
I use a 7’3 MH 6th Sense Divine casting rod. This rod allows for long casts with a chatterbait due to its length, which can be key when running grass lines or fishing large grass flats. It also has a soft tip that allows the fish to eat the bait, and stay hooked during the fight. Having too heavy of a rod can lend itself to losing fish during the fight. You don’t want a super soft tipped rod because it will make it difficult to rip out of the grass correctly. This is why the MH rods seem to work best.
I use a quality fluorocarbon line like Seaguar Invizx or Sunline FC Sniper in 15lb test. If the water is super clear, and a big fish for the lake I’m at is 3-4lbs, I may go down in line size to 12lb test, but I can recall a time where I had 12lb test on, and a good fish broke broke my line and my heart!
I’d definitely recommend starting out with 15lb and adjusting from there if needed.
If you use the information in this article the next time you’re out fishing a chatterbait, you can have the confidence to know you’re doing it right! Make sure to check out below for discount codes and links to the items talked about in today's video. Make sure to use those links and codes to help support the page.
Video Version of this article: https://youtu.be/1UZve2oFLLU
Thunder Cricket: https://omnia.direct/zxkvND
Rod: https://tinyurl.com/3supuvu4 - Code Luna10
Prawn: https://tinyurl.com/yk4be2ee - Code Luna10
Divine Swimbait: https://tinyurl.com/3cansbzw - Code Luna10