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​Blade Baits and Spoons are Hot Right Now!

Posted by Walt Matan, Chief Lure Designer, Custom Jigs & Spins and B-Fish-N Tackle on Mar 6th 2024

​Blade Baits and Spoons are Hot Right Now!

Blade Baits and Jigging Spoons are the overlooked lures in your tackle box, they are just not very glamorous! But if you are a river fisherman or fish power plant cooling lakes in Illinois and other states you need to have a good selection of each and use them right now.

When the open water season starts and the water is cold, it’s that time when the vibration of blade baits and drop speed of jigging spoons create a motion that walleye, sauger, white bass, striped bass, wipers, smallmouth and catfish can't resist!

photo of waterside plant

Fishing blade baits

I like to think of a blade bait as a metal crankbait. It relies on vibration and sound to get the fish to attack on a reaction strike. A blade bait consists of a flat metal spoon body with a weight below the nose and a pair of sharp treble hooks.

It will vibrate on the retrieve and vibrate on the lift. Blades baits are fairly heavy for their size, so they cast like bullets and get down to the fish zone fast, which is great when the fish are schooled up.

details for a B3 Blade Bait

My favorite blade baits are those made by BFishN Tackle. Their B3 Blade baits come in 1/4 and ½ ounce sizes which are perfect for most species. What sets the B3 Blades apart is their high quality VMC hooks and split rings, hot glow paint finishes and perfect balance for the highest vibration.

There are three holes on the top of the blade. I use the front hole for casting and the middle hole for vertical jigging as it sets off the most vibration.

Wolf’s Big Dude blade bait

Another top blade is the Wolf’s Big Dude. This blade has a hooked shape and a slower vibration than the B3. White bass really love them and so do walleye. It only has one hole up top, so there is no fussing around and you work it the same as the B3 Blade.

You will need to add a small snap at the top of the blade to give it freedom of movement and max vibration. A lot of anglers only use two colors; gold and nickel. While gold is my go-to color, I also like chartreuse and orange perch patterns, pink and white glow and purple variations. Always good to have a nice selection.

My buddy, FishNMission, guides in the LaCrosse area of the Mississippi River and uses blades extensively right now.

Here is his take on BFishN Tackle B3 Blades:

St. Croix Rods LegendX610MXF with Seviin Reels GX3000 spooled with 8lbs suffix braid with a 16" 20lbs fluorocarbon leader tied to a metal snap attached to the blade.”

Yauk holding a big walleye he caught with a B3 blade bait

Which sizes and colors should I use?

BFishN Tackle B3 Gold or Nickel colors are my favorite. I prefer colors that represent the food forage. 1/4, 3/8, 1/2oz. If you have to use anything heavier then it means you're fishing in too heavy of current for fish.

MAKE THE BLADE IMITATE A DYING SHAD/BAITFISH...if you ever watched an injured fish you will see that it slowly falls/sways to the bottom with sudden erratic bursts of acceleration then falls again.

School of shad floating to the top.

The technique

I cast the blade and wait for it to fall, I will give a 3 count and then with a flick of my wrist I rip it up, and as soon as I feel the vibration I let it fall back down (wash rinse repeat) doesn't take that much effort to make the blade jump 6".

Most of the time I see people overwork the blade and it doesn't appear natural to the fish. Make small adjustments according to what the fish tell you.

I rarely cast straight down stream with the current, I rather cast at an angle so as I work the blade back I'm getting multiple forces affecting it....downstream currents x angle of retrieval (it matters).

Hang time is important too because it allows the 2 trebles to sway in the current appearing as fins of a baitfish, this is why you will get a lot of fish barely hooked on the back treble, they are nipping at imitation fins.

You will also get fish pinning the blades to the bottom, they are trying to kill it, or keep it to themselves from other fish, (nature's law Strongest shall survive).

The Swiss Army Knife of lures

Blades are the Swiss army knife of lures, you can vertical jig, cast/retrieve, troll, or even deadstick it. The price point is very reasonable compared to other $10 lures that offer one presentation. Once you master it you may not use 90% of the tackle box anymore.

It's not a lure for everyone, I always say go with what you're most confident in. I prefer full engagement with my presentations, it's more rewarding when I catch a trophy.

Most importantly keep this in mind, the most successful fishermen/women aren't the ones with a secret lure(s)'s the ones who know what the fish are doing!! Knowledge is power, and most of time it's FREE!!

I hope this helps...tight lines and be safe!!”

Great tips for using jigging spoons for more fish

Jigging spoons are a different animal altogether. They rely more on flash and drop speed as opposed to vibration to attract the fish in. My favorites are also used by ice fishermen.

Pro Series Slender Spoonin the 1/4 ounce and 5/16 ounce sizes work best for us as do the 3/8 ounce and 1/4 ounce Vertiglo Lightnin’ Spoons. Wolf’s One Eyed Shiner jigging spoons are best in the ¼, 1/8 and ¾ ounce weights, choice depends upon forage size, depth you are fishing and current speed.

One-eyed blade bait

The Wolf’s One Eyed Shiner is a top bait right now!

When a jig fisherman has to add a stinger hook to his jig, because walleye are nipping the tail, these same fish will slam a jigging spoon or a blade bait even when the bite is slow. Reaction strike my friend!

Walleye, sauger and white bass are all making their Spring migration upriver to the dam and they become vulnerable to blade baits and jigging spoons cast up to and around the dam.

With a blade, most fish will hit on the first few cranks of your reel, so be ready to set the hook. A slow retrieve, just fast enough to keep the blade vibrating is key. Mix the retrieve up with a slow pumping motion for violent strikes.

Look at these different fish caught off a bridge

You will get a mixed bag when you fish a blade!

Fishing a creek mouth

Creek mouths are also hot spots. Cast blade baits to the mouth of the creek and to the shorelines upriver and downriver of the creek. Depending on the size and scope of the river you are fishing, you might need to be out in the middle of the river channel and cast towards shore.

Deep water holes also offer great action. Holes usually occur in the bend of the river channel or around bridges. You’ll want to fish the holes vertically by dropping the jigging spoon to bottom and jigging up.

Many anglers will jig the too hard. This is not as effective as a quick four to twelve inch lift. You can pull your boat to the front of the hole and slowly drift downstream working that spoon.

Mike showing off a blade bait in the mouth of a big fish

Using a blade bait off a bridge

Bridges are prime areas because they have deep holes, current and eddies. You can jig vertically or cast towards shore. Try both sides of the river and be ready to set the hook!

One thing to remember about blades or spoons is that they are heavy, so they cast far and fall quickly. When casting towards shore, you’ll want to get the blade moving as soon as it hits the water, so you don’t snag up, then as you are reeling in and the water gets deeper, you can slow things down.

I’m familiar with Illinois power plant cooling lakes like LaSalle, Heidecke, Clinton, Powerton and Baldwin and they are great places to fish blade baits right now. Not only do these lakes hold walleye, but wipers, white bass and smallmouth are top target species.

Casting the rip-rap shores with Blade Baits is a great search technique to find what species are active. At that point you can slow things down and try the lighter jigging spoons (especially the Slender Spoon) or keep pounding them with blades. Personally, I like to keep pounding until the fish tell me to stop!

Walt with a nice wiper from LaSalle Lake

Blade baits and jigging spoons are often overlooked, but when the water is cold, they are really hot! For more information BFishN Tackle B3 Blades, Big Dude Blade Baits, Wolf’s One Eyed Shiners and Slender Spoons call 1-800-831-5535 for a free “Tips and Tricks” catalog or log on to

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