The chatterbait is one of the newest lures in the fishing industry and one of the most deadly. If you take a look at professional bass tourneys you’ll see almost all fisherman having them in their boat. And many tournament wins coming from bass caught on them as well.
There are many reasons that the chatterbait is so good for bass fishing, but let’s get into the big 3.
- Chatterbaits mimic all of bass’s favorite food sources
- Bass can feel a chatterbait when they can’t see it
- A chatterbait can catch bass in any type of water
Chatterbaits mimic all of bass’s favorite food sources
The number one reason that a chatterbait is a great lure for bass is because they can mimic all of a bass’s favorite food sources. While bass are likely to eat anything that entices them and fits in their mouths – bass feed mainly on two sources. Small bait fish and crayfish.
Bait fish can be many things depending on your body of water. Shad, blueback herring, perch, bluegill – all are potential forage sources for bass to feed on. So trying to find one lure that can mimic all of them is a little bit difficult.
Thankfully, the chatterbait does just that. Simply by switching out the soft plastic color on the end of the bait, you can mimic every type of baitfish species. If you want to mimic bluegill, try a green pumpkin Rage tail menace. If you want to mimic shad, try a BPS speed shad in white. If you want to mimic blueback herring, try a Berkley grass pig in blueback.
You can fish a chatterbait no matter what type of baitfish the bass are feeding on. Just make sure your trailer bait is mimicking the right color and sizes of the baitfish. Not many lures provide you the ability to do that so easily.
But better yet – a chatterbait can also mimic a crayfish. Often times in the dead of winter or on lakes without a good bait source bass will fish heavily on crawdads. And in my experience, the bass feeding on crawdads can be a lot bigger.
If you want to start mimicking a crayfish, you can do that with a chatterbait too! Simply get your favorite craw-style trailer like a Rage craw in the big tex color and thread it on as your trailer. With that one simple move you now have a bait that can be fished near or on the bottom to mimic crawdads.
This versatility that a chatterbait has in its ability to mimic all of the things bass love to eat is part of what makes it so deadly. But it’s not the only reason it’s a great bass lure…
Bass can feel a chatterbait even if they can’t see it
The majority of bass lures simply look like something a bass eats. Take a plastic worm for example. It just looks like a worm bouncing on the bottom of a water. Or a crankbait, it just looks like a fish swimming from side to side.
A chatterbait with the right trailer will not only look like a crayfish or baitfish, but will also “chatter” and cause vibration in the water that a bass can feel.
The unique head design of the chatterbait is designed not to flash or create anything the bass can see. It just moves water that creates vibrations that can be felt in the water. And while we may think that bass feed solely by sight that isn’t actually the case.
Bass can actually feel things in the water. This is why they’ll turn to look at a bait moving near them even if they can’t see it in their peripheral vision. They feel it coming. A chatterbait just takes that sense a bass has and turns it up to 10.
So when you’re fishing a chatterbait you don’t have to rely on a bass seeing your lure from a distance. Which makes it great for fishing big areas and really dirty water where bass can’t see well.
Instead they will feel your lure coming and swim to it to see what it is. Then it sees the fish or craw imitation and knows its food, so will actually bite it.
This is a deadly combination that the chatterbait possesses by looking like things bass love to eat and preying on their other senses that most baits just can’t compare with. But believe it or not, there is still one more reason a chatterbait is so good for bass.
A chatterbait will catch bass in any type of water
If you ever listen to a professional fisherman talk about the bait they choose it often has something to do with the water clarity, temperature, weather, type of water they are fishing, lake contour… the list goes on and on.
And if you’re a professional fisherman you may have bass fishing down to a science where you can pick the perfect bait every time. But frankly most of us just aren’t at that level. But that’s okay, because a chatterbait will work in almost every condition.
Now I don’t want to oversell this too much. There are certainly times where a chatterbait works better than others. But if you want to give yourself a bait that works in the widest variety of situations, a chatterbait might be the best choice.
This is because a chatterbait can be fished from shallow to deep water. It maintains depth really well so if you just start winding quickly as soon as you throw it in, it will stay shallow. Let it fall for several seconds and then wind slowly, it will stay deep.
If you’re fishing a crankbait, it’s rated for one depth and stays there. Topwaters can only be fished on top of the water. Jigs only go on the bottom. A chatterbait? It can easily be fished in almost any water depth.
Plus it works in muddy or clear conditions. As discussed earlier, chatterbaits are great muddy water baits because they create vibration that the bass can sense without seeing the lure.
But if you’re fishing clear water a chatterbait can work too because it still looks like a food source in the water. So from muddy to clear water, you can fish a chatterbait the whole time.
It also has one hook and is pretty weedless, so you can fish it in all types of cover from grass to wood. I have caught many chatterbaits fishing across stumps as well as the ends of boat docks. Rocky banks? They can absolutely hammer bass. They just work in about every place that you can cast them.
So while I won’t pretend like the chatterbait is the best option no matter the conditions or places you’re fishing, it is almost always a viable option to catch bass. The dead of winter is about the only time you won’t be able to catch bass on chatterbaits. Aside from that, they work basically in any time of year or under any condition.
Now that you know why a chatterbait is such a good bass catching bait, read this article which goes over the best chatterbait that you can buy. Or this article which talks about how to use chatterbaits. But most importantly, go out to your local fishery and start throwing chatterbaits. I didn’t use them for a while and have been kicking myself for not buying in. Now, they’re probably my #1 confidence bait to tie on. Give them a try and they might become yours too!