Blade baits emit strong, fish-attracting flash and vibration, but it’s their ability to stay in the strike zone that makes them so productive.
If they show one weakness, though, it’s that they have a tendency to foul a hook around the line as they fall to bottom during the second half of the lift-drop presentation that works so well on fish congregated in deep water.
These timely tips will help you fish blades foul-free this fall:
Use A Stiff Leader
Blade bait expert Craig Mason of Export, Pennsylvania, uses a 12- to 15-inch fluorocarbon leader of at least 14-pound test, relying on the line’s stiffness to keep the hooks out of the danger zone. The leader is joined to the braided main line with a swivel to minimize line twist, and he ties a small snap to the terminal end as a lure attachment. A large snap, he says, allows the blade too much freedom to roam on the drop.
“Braided line also gives me better control over the bait as it falls,” he adds. “I follow it down on a fairly tight line, rather than letting it free-fall, which often results in slack and snarls.”
Less Reach Northwest Pennsylvania blade-angler Bryan Stuyvesant downsizes the hooks so they don’t have as much “reach” to get them into trouble. He removes the size 4 treble, and installs size 6. He forgoes the split rings, and instead, slides on a split-shank hook, such as a VMC 9608BZ treble, in the smaller size.
Bonus Video: How To Fish A Blade Bait
Here's a blade bait rod that might interest you.