Best Ways to Fish a Bladed Jig: ChatterBait Do's and Dont's

Best Ways to Fish a Bladed Jig: ChatterBait Do's and Dont's


The Z-Man Takeover box is absolutely loaded with chatterbaits, their signature bladed jig! The chatterbait is one of the most versatile lures, and since it has become popular, most experienced anglers nearly always have some sort of chatterbait in their tackle box. Here we explain how to fish 'em, where to fish 'em, when to fish 'em, and what not to do with 'em.

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Video transcript:

John Carroll:
Hey. What's up, guys? John, from Mongo Fishing. Today, I'm here on the MONSTERBASS channel to talk to you guys about some of these chatterbaits that came in the February MONSTERBASS box; some of the tips and techniques that I do, some dos and some don'ts that you need to think about when fishing with chatterbaits. So if you guys are new to the channel, go and hit the subscribe button right down there, along with the bell notification button, so you're notified every single time MONSTERBASS puts out another video. Now, let's get into this.

John Carroll:
All right, guys. So like I said, my name is John from Mongo Fishing, and this is the MONSTERBASS channel. MONSTERBASS channel is dedicated to make you guys become better anglers. Regardless of your skill level, there's probably something on this channel that will assist you in becoming a better angler. My channel, Mongo Fishing, will be linked down in the description below. My channel's primarily tournament footage, whether I do well, or if I suck, I still put the video out. I think it's important for people to see success along with failure.

John Carroll:
Every trip you go out there on the water, you need to learn something. Michael Jordan once said, "The key to success is failure." Like I said, whether I do well or I bomb it, I still put the video out for you guys. Let's get into these. I just got done with tournament practice. I have a tournament this weekend. Today I was out there practicing. I was looking for bites, not looking to catch fish. I don't want to sore lip all my fish, not before the tournament.

John Carroll:
I actually had two chatterbaits tied on. I will always have a chatterbait tied on this time of year. Spring, late winter, I'm always going to have one tied on. Today I had two, I was running the Willow Vibe. They came in this month's box, along with the Finesse ShadZ that was in this month's box. I was fishing this for schooling fish. I was looking for schoolers that were stacked up around bait. I was using my Lowrance Active Target and trying to pick off individual fish. And then when I was fishing dirt shallow, I was throwing a Jackhammer. Jackhammer is another Z-Man chatterbait. It was not in this month's box, but that's just what I happened to have tied on.

John Carroll:
I'm a huge fan of the Jackhammer in Fire Craw. But the other two that were in this month's box are also suitable substitutes and would certainly fit the situations that I was fishing in. And so we're going to get into these also again, the dos and don'ts that you want to do with chatterbaits. Then I'll go into each one and break down what I like to do with each one.

John Carroll:
The thing with chatterbaits, is if you ask ten different people, how they like to fish them, you're probably going to get seven different answers. It's a very versatile bait. It's highly effective and you can use it almost everywhere. There are some exceptions, some places that it doesn't work as well as it does, in some places it's better or than others, but that's why there's so many different options you can help cover all scenarios basically. So the number one thing that I want to do with any chatterbait is I'm going to have a trailer on it. Now, the reason for that serves a couple purposes. One, this is going to feel like food. This is going to feel like a chunk of steel and lead; so rigging these things, super simple. It's just like rigging pretty much any other jig. Chatterbaits, all they are, are bladed jigs. So anyway, just thread it right up on, pop it out through the center.

John Carroll:
Now with this being an ElaZtech, it can sometimes be a pain in the butt to slide up because it is such a squishy material, that you may have to work it a little slower than you would most soft plastics, but it'll still go on the same. Pop these little flappers apart on this goat, and then there you go. This is rigged, ready to rock and roll. So this is the CFL Freedom. You know, this I'm probably going to use mostly around rocks, docks, grass, stuff like that. I'm not a big fan of throwing Freedoms around wood. They get hung up quite a bit on wood, but one huge advantage to this Freedom is, it's called the Freedom, because that head is free swinging. Okay? And that's because they have a little patented design right back here.

John Carroll:
So you can actually take this hook off and replace it with your favorite hook. If you want to throw a larger trailer, because again, we're going to want to use trailers every time, you want to put on a larger trailer, take your hook off. It comes off. It doesn't come off on the other models. It does come off on the Freedom. So you can swap it out with your favorite hook, larger, smaller, whatever. Again, we're going to have a trailer because trailers, they add something that feels like food. They add bulk making this a larger profile, without actually adding much weight. The Z-Man ElaZtech products are neutrally buoyant. So it's not going to make this thing sink faster. It may actually slow the sink right down, depending on the trailer you have and the weight of the chatterbait in the first place. So you're adding bulk, you're making it a larger profile without actually adding much weight. It's huge. Plus with flat bottoms like on this little guy, it's going to skip underneath docks a little bit easier if you're a person who's into skipping underneath docks, because that's another advantage of having that.

John Carroll:
All right, so these are bladed jigs, right? So with that said, you don't want to fish them like you would a regular jig. You're not casting it out, letting it sink to the bottom and dragging it back or hopping it back. Kind of think of it as more like a crankbait. You're casting it out, but you're letting it sink to whatever depth you want and bringing it back. They're, for the most part, pretty shallow techniques. I don't really use a chatterbait much deeper than 10 feet, much deeper than eight feet. I prefer to be six foot or less, but I'm a shallow water guy. I live shallow water year round. So if I'm throwing one, it's going to be, I'm throwing it up in the mud. I'm keeping it dirt shallow. Great for grass. Great for rocks. Rip wrap underneath docks, et cetera, not so good around wood. This just likes to hang up really good.

John Carroll:
But to fix that problem you have the CrossEyeZ. CrossEyeZ has this little weed guard right here, that you can adjust and put it down further or up or spread it or however you want to adjust your weed guard. It also has a slightly different bait keeper back there in the back. You want to match your trailer close, if not identical, but close to what the bait is itself. So that last one, I had a PB and J with a Green Pumpkin. I think it's called The Deal. It's Green Pumpkin on one side and like this kind of pearlescent on the other side, this actually matches up decent. This being Fire Craw and a Fire Craw RaZor ShadZ. This will match up even better.

John Carroll:
All right, so you get your trailer on there. Now this is the RaZor ShadZ. The RaZor Shadz is one of my favorite swim bait style trailers to use. It was specifically designed by Z-Man for chatterbaits. It has these little notches right here in it, which allows this thing, as the blades kicking back and forth, that's going to impart a little bit of action on this tail. It's not drastic. It's not swinging back and forth like that. It's slight. I made a video, an underwater chatterbait trailer video, made a couple of them and one of them, I used this. This is one of my favorite chatterbait trailers to throw. It's not a good swimbait trailer. If you rig this on a swimbait head, it's not going to do much for you. Again, it's designed for chatterbaits. It's a killer, killer chatterbait trailer. Fish will flat out choke this thing. The benefit of this is now you have that weed guard where the CFL Freedom is going to get stuck running through wood. This will deflect off a little better. Again, the same sort of concept though. You still want to use it in grass, rocks, wood, docks, et cetera, but shallower than 10 feet. Again, me personally, I'm less than six feet normally.

John Carroll:
Last one being the Willow Vibe. This one, I throw this chasing for schooling fish...using my Lowrance Active Target. And just trying to pick off individual fish. This sort of little guy right here. You want this, there's no skirt, anything like that. You want straight tail trailers like this Finesse ShadZ or a Jerky J or a Fluke or something along that line. You can do a swimbait trailer if you want, but it doesn't seem to work as well as the straight tails. Again, that's a personal preference. Maybe if you ran it with a regular swimbait trailer, you would think it does look good. Me personally, I don't think it looks good. I think that looks a lot better, those Finesse ShadZ.

John Carroll:
Probably one of the most important things you can do when it comes to Z-Man trailers and that is make sure at the end of the day, you take it back off of your chatterbait and you put it right back in its original storage container. Do not store these with your other soft plastics in your tackle box. They will melt to your tackle box. So put them back in their original container, put them back in their bag, seal the bag and keep them out of direct sunlight. These things will last really long and catch a mess of fish, as long as you treat them right. Store your ElaZtech products with ElaZtech products. Don't mix them with your other soft plastics, it'll cause problems.

John Carroll:
So again, at the end of the day, when I'm done fishing, I take the trailers right back off. It's okay to store them while you're fishing, you don't need to take them off immediately. As soon as you're done and swap out with a different, different bait or whatever, but you definitely do want to them off at the end of the day. Do not store them in direct sunlight. Line size. Okay. So for that little Willow Vibe, it's an open water technique. I'm throwing it on 10 or 12 pound fluoro. I'm not a fan of throwing light braid, that's just a personal preference of mine. I wouldn't want to do it on mono. I'm doing it on fluoro. For these other guys, 15 to 20 pound fluoro, you can do braid also if you want. Again, it's a personal preference thing. I'd much rather go with fluoro. It's just how I roll. I don't use braid very often, except for certain techniques and chatterbaits, for me, aren't one of those techniques.

John Carroll:
So you're going to want to rig it however you feel comfortable. If you prefer braid, throw braid, you prefer fluoro, throw fluoro, but you don't want to do mono. Mono has too much stretch. And although it allows it to get the bait in their mouth a little bit better, when you're trying to rip this out of grass, it just causes too much stretch and you're not getting the same action that you're trying to get, so fluoro or braid is your best bet.

John Carroll:
Rod size, medium to medium heavy. I throw it on the same thing. I throw my jigs on again. That's my swim jigs. Again, it's a personal preference. Throw what feels comfortable to you. I don't believe that you need to have a dedicated chatterbait rod. To me, that's a luxury, not a necessity. Go with what you feel comfortable with medium, medium heavy, again, 15 to 20 pound fluoro is what I throw. I think I've got 17 on this right here, on that Denali Swim Jig Rod.

John Carroll:
Gear ratio. However as fast or as slow as you want, the faster you reel it, it could blow out or it'll start hunting, meaning that instead of just a slow, steady retrieve, and it's heading, it's tracking straight for you, you start reeling fast or pumping the rod or whatever. It might start hunting dart and back and forth. In part more action, get more bites.

John Carroll:
I think that's about it guys. Again, if you have any questions drop them down below, myself or one of the MONSTERBASS staff will gladly answer your questions as best we can. Again, my channel Mongo Fishing, we linked in the description below. I dig it if you came over check me out, but think that is about it. As always guys, get under the water, be safe and go catch a MONSTERBASS.

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