A chatterbait is a jig and bait that are attached to the end of a fishing line with another length of leader. When you cast the chatterbait out into the water, it will make noise underwater as it moves through the water column.
This movement and sound mimics live baitfish trying to escape from predators in deep water like bass, pike, and catfish. With this technique, you are able to catch fish that will not consider your other lures or baits while they would be too scared to take your other baits.
In this blog post, I'll be going over 20 chatterbait fishing tips you should know before trying this new technique for the first time.
I'll be going over the exact equipment needed, what makes a good chatterbait, how to fish it properly and where you can find additional information about this great technique for fishing in freshwater.
Here are all 20 tips:
Chatterbaits Are Available In 2 Different Types
The first thing you should know is that there are 2 different types of chatterbaits:
These 2 different types can be distinguished visually as follows: the top has a bigger blade and smaller body. The one on the bottom is more compact with a bigger body and a small blade.
The larger blade will create more vibrations while the bait moves through the water column.
You can choose from regular chatterbaits or minnow chatterbaits. The difference is in the body shape with the minnow version having a tube-like shape that allows it to dive deeper and swim much more naturally.
The Chatterbait Rod Should Be Short And Easy To Handle
A good chatterbait rod will be made of medium to stiff weight carbon fiber. A longer rod will make casting this bait out into the water a pain as it will most likely hit your knees or other body parts while you are standing on shore waiting for the cast.
A shorter length from around 8 feet and up is preferred by most anglers because with such a short rod, it will be easy to cast a chatterbait out into the water. I personally recommend the Shimano Talica TC70S or the Daiwa Ebiten 10 Foot Short Rod for Chatterbaits
Chatterbaits Are Attached To A Rod With Enough Length
You should attach your rod to the reel using a long enough section of fishing line to allow you room to move the bait around in the water column. I recommend this Braid Fishing Line because it's super strong and thinner than regular monofilament line so that there is less chance of tangling while you cast your chatterbait out into the water.
Chatterbaits Can Be Fished With The Regular Rig
The most common way to fish a chatterbait is with the regular rig which involves attaching it to your line and hooking on a plastic worm for bait as you might do with any other fishing tackle. When using this method, be sure not to use any hooks that have any barbs on them.
Chatterbaits Can Be Fished With A Slipbait Rig
You can also fish a chatterbait using a slipbait rig with the same principles as with the regular rig. The only difference is that it is hooked on directly without being attached to any other fishing line or hook. This can be done by drilling a hole in the body of the chatterbait with a sharp object and using the hole to attach two pieces of line with swivels on both ends.
You Should Keep The Chatterbait Moving
One thing you want to keep in mind when fishing this bait is that you should not let it sit still because if the blade stops moving, the fish won't catch any of its vibrations and will be unable to find it.
A Quick Retrieve Will Place The Chatterbait In Front Of Fish
A quick retrieve when fishing with a chatterbait, like with other lures or baits that create vibrations in the water column, will allow you to place the bait right in front of a fish so it can catch the vibrations and swim up to check it out.
A Slow Retrieve Will Move The Chatterbait Through Water In Front Of Fish
On the other hand, if you want to move your chatterbait slowly through the water from one spot to another while fishing, do a slow retrieve that will allow you to cover more area while giving the fish time to find and bite your bait.
If Your Chatterbait Doesn't Catch Anything After A While, Change The Location
If you cast out your chatterbait and nothing is biting after a while of waiting with no signs of fish activity in the water, change to a different location. Fish won't always be in one place so move around until they show up again. They will usually be close by if you are in the right spot.
Be Sure To Maintain Your Chatterbait
A good way to make sure your chatterbait works properly after each use is to remove any loose screws or nuts that could fall off and get lost in the water next time you go fishing. This will also keep it running as good as new for a long time with minimal amount of maintenance needed.
Change The Blade On Your Chatterbait After Awhile Of Use
Another good tip for ensuring that your chatterbait works properly all the time is to replace the blade after so many uses, especially if you are using a one-piece bait. This will ensure that it doesn't break while you are fishing and prevent losing it.
Chatterbaits Can Be Trolled In Deep Water
Chatterbaits can be trolled in shallow or deep water depending on how much weight you add to the line and how fast you want it to travel through the water column. Adding more weight will make it sink whereas using less weight will allow you to move it through the water at a faster speed and in shallower water.
Rig The Hooks On Chatterbaits To Catch Multiple Fish At A Time
You should rig the hooks on your chatterbait with care because you are trying to catch multiple fish at once, whereas other fishing techniques will only allow you to catch one at a time. This can be done by threading multiple hooks through the same eye on the body of your bait and using a sturdy leader to keep all these hooks in place.
Use The Right Amount Of Weight To Keep The Chatterbait Under Control
You want to use enough weight to make sure that your chatterbait doesn't fly around all over the place as you cast it out, but not so much that it will sink too fast or travel too far away from you. Use a lighter weight with more hooks if you want to catch multiple fish, and heavier weight with less hooks for individual fish.
You Can Attach A Leader To The Chatterbait With A Swivel At The Midsection
If you want to attach a leader to your chatterbait, you should not do this at the hook because it will interfere with the hooks themselves and spoil your chances of catching anything. Instead use a swivel so that there are no knots in the line and also keep everything working smoothly.
The Body Of A Chatterbait Can Be Changed To Catch Different Kinds Of Fish
You can use various kinds of bodies for your chatterbait depending on the situation and what kind of fish you want to catch. Using a more slender body will allow it to move faster through the water and be less affected by wind resistance when fishing in moving water, whereas using a thicker body can better withstand high amounts of wind resistance encountered when fishing in still water.
If Your Chatterbait Gets Stuck In You Reel Or Rod, Move It In A Circle
If your chatterbait gets stuck and is not turning even though you are reeling it in the right direction, try moving it in a circular motion to loosen whatever is causing it to hang up. Try not to force the bend or pull on it too much because this could make things worse and you might end up breaking your line as well.
A Good Chatterbait Can Be Used To Catch Several Different Types Of Fish
You don't have to get a different type of chatterbait for every different kind of fish that you plan to catch, but simply use your favorite one and change the body to match whatever is available. Just remember that the larger bodies can slow down in deeper water and be too bulky to handle some light winds, whereas smaller ones are better when fishing in shallow water where wind is a problem.
Make Sure The Blade Of Your Chatterbait Has Sharp Edges
After catching lots of fish, the blade on your chatterbait can wear out to the point where it isn't effective anymore and doesn't cut through the water as well. You can add little pieces of bait or use a sharpening stone to keep it in the best condition possible.
The chatterbait is one of the most effective and versatile high-speed lures that you can use when fishing. It uses vibration waves in the water to attract fish, where a steady retrieve is important for bringing in any kind of game whether it be bass, pike or even trout.
Learning these chatterbait tips will help you land more fish in the future, so try them out for yourself and see just how beneficial they can be.