Ambassador Spotlight | Zach Chafin
MONSTERBASS Ambassador Zach Chafin frequently fishes one of the best spotted bass fisheries in the country, Lake Lanier. And though a worm is his primary go-to bait, the underspin is quickly catching up.
“Not many people throw an underspin, but I like to,” said Chafin. “If I can’t get a hit on a worm and I’ve gotta change it up, that’s pretty much what I go with next. It’s something I have confidence in, a confidence bait. And I’ve started to use it a lot.”
Chafin has seen the advantages as of late of the drawing power that an underspin has. His underspin of choice? The Strike King Tour Grade Spin Head Underspin. And he trails it with one of two soft plastics.
“I put a 3 inch white Strike King Rage Swimmer on it. Or sometimes I throw a white Fluke and die the tail chartreuse. Try to be a little different than the normal old white.”
An underspin works well in a wide range of scenarios. From open water to isolated cover, Chafin says this bait just gets you bites.
“I fish it around cover and brush piles mainly. Sometimes I’ll hit points and shallow humps out in the middle of the lake that are marked. And if I roll up on a ball of bait I’ll throw it in there and see if I can get lucky.
Chafin typically targets spotted bass with an underspin. But that’s partly because of where he’s fishing. There are far more spotted bass in Lake Lanier than largemouth. To be fair though, all three common species of black bass will bite an underpin if you get one in front of them.
“I normally throw it on a medium heavy baitcaster with 15- pound fluorocarbon.”
The fluorocarbon sinks, which helps Chafin get his bait down deeper near the bottom where the fish are. Once the bait gets into the strikezone, his retrieve is methodical.
“Slow and steady. I let it hit bottom and just reel it real slow, barely getting it off the bottom.”
Reeling an underspin slowly like this, the bass are able to track it down as the flickering blade lures them in. The slow and steady retrieve allows Chafin to keep the bait near the bottom where these fish often are.
Chafin stresses the importance of patience when fishing an underspin. Not only in reeling the bait slow and steady, but also when setting the hook.
“Sometimes they’ll just hit the blade and I’ll jerk and there won’t be anything there. Sometimes they’ll hit it and try to knock it out and come back and hit it again.”
Allowing the fish to take that first swipe at the bait and then come back and eat it converts a lot more bites into hookups. Chafin recommends you continue to reel through the initial contact until the fish makes its second attempt a moment or two later and you’ll have a much better chance of catching the fish.
There are a few simple things to remember when fishing with an underspin. Practicing patience is key. Let the bait get down near the bottom and reel it slowly. And fluorocarbon is your friend here, since this type of line sinks and this will help you get your bait down and keep it down.
When the fish bite, make sure they have the bait before setting the hook. Take these tips and employ them the next time you hit the water and hopefully you’ll be catching more bass in no time!