The Delaware River Blog

Spinner Bait for Delaware River Smallmouth Bass

Composed and written by: Allen C. Winco (smallmouthaholic)

Most bass anglers love to throw spinner baits for bass. They are relatively easy to cast and retrieve. The choice of spinner bait becomes more complex, especially for river smallmouth bass. Here are some important factors to consider when choosing spinner bait.

1-     Color of water-clear or stained

2-     Weight of the spinner bait -3/16,3/8.1/2,3/4 and 1 oz. models

3-     Blade configurations –Colorado /willow combos- double willow combos and single spins w/either a willow or Colorado blade

4-     Color of the spinner bait and skirt

These are the components necessary for reliable performance, durability and attractive qualities for river smallmouth bass.

1-     .040 open R bend stainless steel shafts

2-     The body of the spinner bait must have a cone-shaped collar that keeps the skirt in place w/o letting the skirt slip down on the hook.

3-     Mustad Ultra-Point (Nickel plated) wide gap spinner bait hooks

4-     3 color epoxy painted heads

5-     3-d realistic eyes

6-     24K Gold blades

7-     Worth MFG. American made ball bearing swivels and blades

8-     Custom 30-35 strand skirts to don’t overpower the spinner bait

9-     Blades must be balanced and spaced properly so they spin freely on the drop and retrieve

Spinner baits work throughout the year but there are special times when they excel in attracting strikes from aggressively feeding smallmouth bass.

1-     Spring time when water temperatures rise past the 46 degree mark

2-     Cloudy and/or rising water conditions after considerable rain fall

3-     The late summer early fall period when the  YOY shad fry schools are chased by smallmouth bass causing surface boils and scattering baitfish

4-     Mid-fall when water temperatures drop to 60 degrees and the shad fry have migrated and left the river

5-     Late fall slow-rolling when water temperatures drop below 50 degrees

The Delaware River can be clear most of the time w/white spinner baits being the color of choice. 3/16 and 3/8 oz. are the most commonly used. A ½ oz. spinner bait is the bait of choice for faster currents and deeper holes



These larger spinner baits in weights of 3/8 to 3/4oz. – work well during periods of rising and stained water w/their bigger blade configurations

These “BRONZE BUSHWHACKER”- Short-arm spinner baits are excellent drop baits that fall in a straight vertical position w/ their single blade spinning @ all times. You can feel the blade spin when you pump and drop this specialty spinner baits during your retrieve.

I use these custom, 6 color silicone skirts on all of my white and chartreuse spinner baits I manufacture

I’ve experience excellent success @ 46 degrees water temperature using this technique. I use my 3/16 oz. white spinner bait designated as S.S. Slow-Rolling spinner baits available on my website. This works when the water is clear. The 3/16 oz. size works best as it “ticks’ the rocky bottom in 3-8’ depths, ticking the rocky substrate w/o getting snagged frequently. I do not use a trailer hook as it will throw the 3/16 oz. spinner bait out of balance. The Worth MFG .willow blade begins to spin the moment the bait descends in the water column and continues w/its “tight-to the shaft” rotation @ the slowest of retrieve speeds. Most hits in this colder water will be a light tick or bump.

Tip: Check the hook point frequently after several fish and contact w/ rocks. A sharp hook point is imperative for slow-rolling hook-ups.

Copyright © 2010
Allen C. Winco  –  all rights reserved

River spinner baits – spinner baits for smallmouth bass- spinner baiting the flow

Smallmouth bass and spinner baits