Smallmouth Bass How to catch fish using blade baits "aka" the Silver Buddy

blade bait A tournament secret by many professional anglers seeking smallmouth bass after the ice has cleared on the lake is the silver buddy or a blade bait. This lure can be deadly when it comes to catching smallmouth bass this time of year up until they move shallow to spawn. I personally like using them in 30-15ft depth ranges. Silver or Gold seems to work equally as good most days. Although on cloudy days I opt for gold. The big trick with this bait is getting some confidence in it, just as it is with any new bait. Any how do you get confidence you ask? Well the easy answer is catching fish, but how to catch fish on this bait is not as difficult as you might think.

I first use my depth charts and sonar to locate some spots that offer me a chance at finding smallies this time of year. I look for water in 30-15ft with steep banks. Preferably even areas that are not too far from spawning areas or rocky shallows, this is especially true as the water temps get closer to the mid 50s. Of course if your marking fish on your sonar then that’s a no brainer spot. Ok now comes the info your really reading this article for. How to fish the silver buddy once your at the right spot. First before I can tell you what to do after the cast, its important you are using the right equipment. 1/2oz size of this lure or even slightly bigger will do just fine. Also make sure you have a clip between your line and the lure itself since the lure can wear on your line. Most come with a clip. In terms of line use some strong line. I prefer p-line CXX 12lb. You will be hooking up plenty of rocks and logs and sometimes even other things that lie on the bottom of your favorite lake (cups, umbrellas, mussels, you name it and I have seen it). OK assuming you have the right equipment now its time to catch some fish. Cast the lure out away from the boat as normal. Sometimes I work it from deep to shallow or shallow to deep depending on the placement of the boat and where I’m hitting fish. After you cast it out, let the lure fall to the bottom. Make sure you give it time to reach the bottom, and you will know it did when you get some slack in your line. Take in any slack and then pull back on your rod tip about 4 inches. The trick with this lure is to barely pull it off the bottom and not to pull it too quickly like you would a slash bait. You want to pull your rod tip back until you feel 2 wobbles or so approx. Then you put your rod tip back down, letting the lure fall to the bottom again and you reel up any slack. Let it sit there a sec or two then do it again. Sometimes it almost feels like your barely picking the lure off the bottom and sometimes you can really feel a few wobbles of the lure. Either way keep it somewhere in that range in terms of how much you move the lure each time. Most strikes will come on the initial movement of this after the initial fall, or on the pause (fall) after you raise your rod tip during your retrieve. Like mentioned earlier, don’t be surprised when you hook up a rock and usually a different ankle and a few pulls gets it free. Also don’t be surprised if you donate some of these lures to the bottom when you get caught. Its completely worth the aggravation and lost lures however, as this lure will put lots of smallmouth bass in your boat. Give it a try for a day and you will certainly become a believer.

Once the water temps hit mid 50s the smallmouth will begin to spawn and this lure will not be the lure of choice. However this lure can be used in vertical jigging for suspending fish over deep water humps later in the summer. You need to locate them using your sonar or at least the humps for this to be a very fruitful technique, but its one of the few ways to get those deep water smallies that I prefer.


Good Luck!