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How to Fish a Chatterbait (Guide for Beginners)

A chatterbait is an improved jig designed to give you a big catch. If you haven’t tried using it, you’re missing out. Not only that, but chatterbaits are also versatile, making them the best jig for any level of angler.

So, whatever fish you’re trying to catch, the chatterbait should be in your tackle bag.

Ready to learn how to fish a chatterbait? Keep reading!

What is a Chatterbait?

As I’ve mentioned, a chatterbait is an improved jig. How does it differ from other jigs? Chatterbaits are a kind of bladed jig with a skirt attached to them.

Chatterbait fishing is popular among anglers of different levels because it’s effective. These bladed jigs vibrate, which moves the water and attracts fish. Besides this, it’s versatile. You can use it for slow-rolling or even fish them fast.

Additionally, chatterbaits are better than other baits. Because the latter can get too fast for water conditions. Another good thing about the chatterbait? You can rig it Texas-style with soft plastic trailers. The bottom line? It’s a versatile lure that can help you catch big bass on your next fishing trip.

how to fish a chatterbait
Source: Canva Pro

When to Fish a Chatterbait

There are fishing conditions that you have to look for if you want to go chatterbait fishing. And, the chatterbait is one of the most versatile baits out there. But, you have to remember that some situations don’t favor a vibrating jig. 

So, if you want to know when to throw your chatterbait, here are fishing tips you have to remember.

1. Water Conditions

Considering the water condition, you can use a chatterbait if:

There’s weed and grass.

Chatterbaits are vibrating jigs designed to slide through thick vegetation, especially the green pumpkin one. This, in turn, catches other bait. Because chatterbaits have a single hook, they move swiftly through the foliage. And, they vibrate like they’re on steroids!

If you don’t have the green pumpkin chatterbait, you can purchase this online. No worries about payment options as online shops accept credit cards, even Apple Pay Diners Club.

There’s dirty water with a breeze.

I like fishing chatterbaits in waters where you can use spinners. That’s generally the rule of thumb. 

There’s clear water below 60 degrees.

Many anglers fish chatterbaits for clear waters too. If you’re catching bass and you think spinners aren’t working, these can be effective too.

2. Seasons

Besides these conditions, you should also consider the season you’re angling in. Here’s what you should know for each:

Summer

Bladed jigs aren’t as effective during the summer. However, you can pull back weed edges so you can use chatterbaits. Slow roll the bladed jig like a spinnerbait, and you’re good to go.

Fall

Bass follows the shad’s movement in the fall. Because of this, chatterbait with the color of a baitfish is most effective.

Pre-spawn

Bass anglers use chatterbait during the pre-spawn season. It’s because they’re effective in catching big female bass. It’s also a great option if you don’t want to use lipless crankbaits.

Spawn

During the shad spawn, you can use a bladed jig as a search bait. Sight fishing isn’t possible when there’s foliage. Instead, you can catch fish by searching for them using a bladed swim jig.

Post-spawn

Big female bass move out of the spawning flats after the spawning season. Usually, there’s a shallow cover at the first drop-off. As such, using chatterbait is an effective way to intercept the fish.

Where to Fish a Chatterbait

This type of bladed jig is versatile. But, it isn’t as effective where there are rocks and heavy cover. If you’re planning to go chatterbait fishing, here are the best places to do so.

Shallow and Mid-Depth Grass

The best place to use a chatterbait is where there’s mid-depth vegetation. Generally, grass should be underwater by around 1 to 6 feet. Even with thick grass, you can fish these bladed swim jigs on top of weeds.

Wood Targets

Bladed swim jigs are also effective when used with laydowns and stumps. The ticket here is to monitor the lure and work it through around the wood. If you’re familiar with fishing a square bill crankbait, you’re in luck! The techniques are similar, so you’ll find it easy.

Docks

Chatterbaits aren’t known as dock bait. Yet, it’s an effective method of catching more fish. The rule of thumb is to tie the vibrating jig if there’s grass growth. This is helpful during the early summer and early spring.

Shell Beds

Bass cannot resist shell beds, especially in the summer. With this, you can crawl a chatterbait along the water and grind it on the shell bed. Do this technique when crankbait fishing isn’t working for you.

How to Fish a Chatterbait

Now that you learned when and where to use a chatterbait, it’s time to discuss how to use it. That said, here are some tips you can follow on your next angling trip. Especially if you’re in the bass fishing world.

Choose Your Spot

Fortunately, you can fish this bait almost in most lakes all year round. Depending on water clarity, the color and size of the chatterbait you’ll use will vary. 

Fishing Tip! Check out our article on lake fishing for more tips!

You can also use chatterbaits in submerged grass. Using a steady retrieve, you can mimic a baitfish among the weeds. Also, chatterbaits are more effective if you set your bait free where there’s little wind.

Skip Shallow Water

Chatterbaits are also effective when used in docks. It’s more compact than a traditional spinnerbait, making it move swiftly across the water’s surface. Because of this, you can easily lure in bass and other big fish.

Now, the technique here is to avoid medium-heavy trailers. And, use a streamlined trailer instead. Long trailers usually create long casts, which slows down the lure too quickly.

A medium action rod works well with chatterbait too. You can also add a braided line for a better chance of catching bass.

Add Soft Plastics

While using it on its own is a great technique, you can add more bulk and action to this vibrating jig. You can add a trailer hook, grubs, or boot tail to chatterbaits to increase your chances of a bigger catch. Also, ensure that your rod tip isn’t broken.

Final Thoughts

While bigger baits are effective in angling bass, using chatterbait is a game-changer. With this, start finding your strike zone and bait fish where the water begins. For those near Georgia, you can drop by Lake Seminole and do what we’ve discussed. 

You can also practice for a tournament trail or a bass pro tour. After all, it is FLW Tour pro Brett Hite’s winning bait, earning him $125,000 during one season opener. Whether you’re looking to unwind or get better at angling, the chatterbait is an all-in-one lure you can use. 


The Anglers Behind This Article:

Johanes Godoy
Editor

Jon Stenstrom
Founder

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