In the eyes of some observers, spinnerbaits for bass have lost some of their luster from the glory days of the early 1980s or their renaissance in the late 1990s. In the practiced hands of early bass pros like Jimmy Houston and Hank Parker, blades became the go-to bait in almost every situation. Nearly 20 years later, new alloys breathed new life into the genre, as technological advances allowed improvements in blade color, skirt materials, and head design.

Did spinnerbaits recede to the dim recesses of your tackle trays? They sure didn’t for pros Kevin VanDam, Aaron Martens, and Scott Rook, who used blades to sack big limits on Day 1 of the Bassmasters Classic on the Mississippi River Delta in Louisiana. They switched to shallow cranks in later rounds, as the prespawn bass turned finicky. But the blade was the deal in the dark, warming waters of that backwater lake. And Skeet Reese took the title on the Red River, Louisiana, in 2009 on a Lucky Craft Redemption he helped design.

Recognizing when a lure’s features match the inclinations of nearby bass is one of the hallmarks of pro anglers, who fish several hundred days per year on diverse waters. It’s also a key for all anglers seeking a handle on what baits to use when. Spinnerbaits should always enter this decision process.

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