What’s a Bladed Jig? A bladed jig is also known as a Chatterbait. Chatterbait is the name coined by Z-Man tackle company that invented and named their bladed jig the Chatterbait. Since these baits have become a success story on the tournament bass trail, every bass tackle company has got one, but I still like the original Chatterbait and I prefer the 3/8 ounce size for most of my fishing.
At first I didn’t think much of a Chatterbait,. I had one that sat around in my tackle box for 10 years, just waiting to make it to casting rotation on my old reliable St. Croix Premier casting rod that seemed to always have a crankbait attached to it. Now I’ve come full circle because I like to catch fish and boy oh boy-ar-dee do Chatterbaits catch fish! Smallmouth, pike, muskie, walleye, white bass, catfish and of course largemouth bass find them irresistible.
Chatterbait is great in the weeds
The reason that I never thought much about them is because I figured that I could catch more fish on a spinnerbait and that I could work a spinnerbait through heavier cover than I could with a Chatterbait. Well, think again old man. As it turns out, the Chatterbait is extremely snagless and exudes a different vibration that drives fish coo-coo.
I like to fish around cover, fallen trees, rocky shorelines, weed beds...areas that hold predatory fish. I also like to fish in water that is 10 foot deep or less. Toss one out, give them a little pop and then a steady, slow retrieve, just above the snags. Sometimes, I’ll work them with a stop-and-go motion or speed up and slow down.
Love me some smallmouth bass
Probably the sportiest of all the sportfish is the smallmouth bass. They pull, they jump, they have a ton of power for their size. Large ones are built like footballs and fight like running backs. Smallmouth are available throughout the Midwest in thousands of lakes and rivers and can be readily caught with a variety of methods. The biggest smallies come from the Great Lakes systems. Lake Michigan and Erie and have given up monsters over the years.
One thing that all the areas that I focus on smallmouth bass have are rocks. Whether it be boulders out in the depths or rocky shorelines, smallmouth are there. Clear water calls for darker colors like pumpkins, black, blue and browns. Dirty water smallies prefer bright colors like white and chartreuse.
Catching pike with chatterbait
I’m a big fan of B Fish N Tackle AuthentX plastic on the back of my Chatterbaits. I’ve got every color and style imaginable, but my favorites are the Ribb-Finn, the Pulse-R, the Moxi, and the 5” K-Grub.
My favorite is the Ribb-Finn, It’s got a ribbed body and a fork tail that provides a little extra wiggle to the lure. Snake it over rocks and it will shimmy and shake up the smallmouth. I’ve caught some nice walleye on this combo also. The vibration and the wiggle is a crazy-effective attraction.
Northern pike are plentiful in weedy lakes in the Midwest. Those smaller snakes (pike under 30” attack like 30 pounders and fight well on medium action rods. These fish get a bad rap, because they are slimy, bony and give up easily when you use heavy muskie tackle, but hook one on a medium heavy 7 foot St. Croix rod and you’ve got a fight on your hands!
I like bigger plastic like a Moxi or K-grub when I’m into a pike-field. Where there is one, there are ten. If you can find nice green weeds like cabbage, you are in the pike business!
Bright color baits and plastic are usually best for pike, like all white or chartreuse. In clear water, however a black and blue combo with a nickel blade is killer!
Walleyes love chatterbaits too!
Even the elusive walleye love them some Chatterbaits. For my money, a Pulse-R on the back is tough to beat. Walleye live the blades vibration and the added vibration of the Pulse-R tail. Walleye are a lot shallower than you think, even in summer, even in mid-day, especially in stained water. Nighttime is the right time to toss a Chatterbait and Pulse-R shallow on your favorite river or lake!
Chatterbaits and AuthentX plastic are an unbeatable combo for gamefish. Whether you are after, bass, pike or walleye...tie on one and hang on!