A bass fisherman’s lure selection is his pride, his joy and his confidence. Every imaginable colour and profile of bait is religiously packed before each trip to ensure any scenario or change in conditions can be counteracted by a change of bait. But what if you could only choose one lure, that’s right, one lure in one size and in one colour? This choice would reflect not only your infatuation for your favourite bait, but also which bait suits your strengths, and which one lure could you use even when conditions change or the bass abate? So, which one lure would you choose?
Well, we are going to discuss my one and only choice of bait, and for me, the decision is a no brainer! A 3\8 oz, Golden Shiner, Picasso Spinnerbait sporting a small silver Indiana and a large gold Oklahoma main blade. To me this particular spinnerbait has everything to offer and when I think of this bait, I admire its versatility. I can fish it as shallow as water will go and can effectively slow roll it down to 20ft. This bait has won me tournaments, caught boatloads of fish and rescued me in tough times.
An earlier 2009 BETT tournament at Albert Falls was a prime example of this bait’s reliability. My boat partner Garth and I already had a limit, a good limit, but not good enough to claim a win. I made the decision late in the day to move to Khayalami Bay and fish a narrow creek channel lined by bass- holding vegetation.
When we arrived at the spot the boats were stacked up in the vicinity and we were told that the fish had all been caught out of the creek and they had seen baits all day. I did not doubt this but also knew what they hadn’t seen! I positioned the boat and fired and then let the bait bottom out in the 14ft channel and precisely allowed it to throb enticingly along the weed line. I repeated this for about 4 casts when the first fish stopped the bait in its tracks. I reared back hard, attracting much attention from the not so confident anglers around us. The fish came up in a futile attempt to rid the wire bait from its jaw. I kept the rod down until the fish was closer, then took a step back and raised the rod to present the fish to the awaiting net. A 2kg fish at this stage of the day was a huge bonus, but I was not done. The ripples had not yet subsided when my spinnerbait was back in the zone, motivated by my hopes that I had ignited the pressurized fish. Fortunately this was the case as I loaded up on yet another culling opportunity. At 1.8kg, this fish had us well on our way to making a last minute dash for the podium. But I was still not done and two casts later I had a 1.6kg fish to join the rest of his schoolmates in my live well. This secured nearly a 9kg bag for us, which was good enough for a 2nd place finish, a huge comeback thanks to my “go to” bait!
So why would I choose this bait, and only this bait? Versatility as mentioned, is the key to this bait’s success. This particular spinnerbait features some overlooked aspects, which make it my top choice. First of all, an Oklahoma blade is not everyone’s first choice, but is a huge attribute in this context. This particular blade gives off an immense amount of vibration and can be reeled at super slow speeds thanks to the light wire frame this bait boasts. The light wire flexes, and at low speeds allows the blade to throb, maintaining it’s horizontal plane. When targeting shallow cover, you can slow this bait way down when making contact with the cover and if need be, you can also burn this same spinnerbait at high speeds to trigger reaction strikes. But that’s not all, because of this oversized Oklahoma blade and light wire to boot, this spinnerbait is a deadly helicoptering tool. I will often pitch it at standing timber and let the bait flutter down, appealing to suspended and bottom dwelling bass. You will physically see your rod tip pulsing as the blade does its work on the way down.
This helicoptering action also comes into play when you are slow rolling. Most other blades will cause the spinnerbait to rise quickly through the water column making slow rolling tough, but not the Oklahoma blade. This combination has a far more horizontal plane and will raise the bait, but gradually. This is fine though, because you then have the opportunity while slow rolling to let the bait helicopter down again to make bottom contact. This varies up the baits’ appeal and means you are triggering reaction bites on your spinnerbait even offshore! I tackle up with a 6’6” cranking rod and a baitcaster reel loaded with 15lb mono. In my opinion this outfit is optimum.
So my one and only lure choice is simple, and my choice has been made simple by versatility in motion. If I could only choose one lure to fish with, this exact Picasso spinnerbait is what it would be. So now let me ask you the question again, which one and only bait would you choose?
*Grant Hewitt is a Goya Pro Staffer