November 12

How To Tie A Chatterbait

Chatterbaits are a relatively new type of lure in the bass fishing industry. I just jumped on the gravy train in 2019 hoping that it would be invigorating for the bass as well as myself. One thing that people ask is how to tie one on. This question pertains to the issues that you will have if you use certain knots with spinners like Panther Martin. However, this is not that type of lure.

The place where you tie a chatterbait is on the end of the wire right under the blade. You can do a direct cinch knot or a loop style knot. Making these types of knots takes a bit of practice, but they will both work well. Using a loop style knot will work better because of the movement of the lure.

How To Tie A Chatterbait For Bass

Tying on a chatterbait for bass is not a difficult task. You will want to know something very important. There is a lot of tension when fishing with chatterbaits because they are heavy and the force from the blade makes it feel like a fish is already on the line. I like to use the heavier line when fishing with this and even use a baitcasting reel. 

ZMAN Chatterbait

Go try out a ZMAN Chatterbait!

You will need a good knot so go with a loop knot or a Palomar knot. The strongest knot that I know of is the Palomar knot. It uses a similar technique used to make snell hooks and those never let go. It is also great to use this knot when using braided line. Doing a cinch knot can be a pain in the wind sometimes because the threads will unravel and then you can’t get it through the eye hole or through the loops efficiently. No fisherman likes wind that much anyway.

How To Tie A Palomar Knot

In the video below, I will show you how to tie a slip knot and a Palomar knot. Both of these are not hard to do and will work perfectly fine with a chatterbait. A lot of people are worried about the natural movement of the chatterbait being hindered by a clinching knot, but I do not see that much difference. It is a bit freer to move with a loop knot, but not much. You could run a test and see, which one works better, but I am not aware of a difference.

As you can see from the video, tying either knot is not that hard.  I personally you both of these knots quite regular. If you are looking for a good not to use then definitely these. for this particular type of lure it is definitely better if you want the max percentage of movement. I personally like to use things that are easy and don't tie too many loop knots. These are more popular with spinner lures.

How To Tie On A Jackhammer Chatterbait By ZMAN

The Jackhammer ChatterBait by ZMAN is a recent update. It was designed by a professional fisherman name Brett Hite. it has a special channel groove that allows the blade to chatter loudly and allow the head of the lure to move freely.

ZMAN JackHammer Chatterbait

You should tie this no differently than the chatterbaits above. You won't find a difference happening with a different style of fishing knot. What do you still have to make the knot strong enough to go through cover. Going through cover it's a little hard to do. Most spinnerbaits and crankbaits would get stuck in structure, but ChatterBait is able to go through it.

When Should You Use A Chatterbait?

One of the main reasons that people use a chatterbait is for the simple fact that it can go where spinnerbaits can’t. For instance, thick weeds and grass are no match for a chatterbait. It will float right over the top and keep doing its wiggle action with an exposed hook. This will lead to explosive strikes where they may or may not breach the top of the water. 

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Whenever you see the grass around then you want to tie on a chatterbait and throw it right in the middle of it and get it moving fast! You may be surprised at what will jump out to get it. A spinnerbait or crankbait would be good to work the edge of the grass or weedline if you want to cover a lot of area searching for fish.

Chatterbait Action

The action of a chatterbait will depend on the blade size and shape as well as the groove that runs along the wire that you tie onto. You want the blade to rock freely back and forth will allowing a slight rattling sound that is not audible for you, but is heard well underwater.

This generally mimics a baitfish trying to escape something. When fish hear the noise of desperation they come running to see if they can join in on the fun! You can work it slow and fast and achieve the same amount of movement so don’t be afraid if you think you are not doing it right. It definitely will make anybody look good because a lot of the technique is done automatically.

How To Fish A Chatterbait

You will want to fish a chatterbait in floating cover. A chatterbait is able to float above masses of vegetation unlike a spinnerbait, which is its relative. This is the main benefit of this bait and technique. The action of the lure also is a bit unique and mimics baitfish trying to run away. 

When you see heavy grass, lily pads, or even underwater trees don’t be afraid to throw it right in the middle. It will float along the surface and present itself to fish that most people wouldn’t be able to attract unless they dropped a jig or worm right on their nose. 

lily pads

Another great place to fish this is under overhanging trees. Most likely there will be hidden structure beneath it and fish will hide in the shade while they wait to jump out at any bait that comes near them. This is a great place to fish with anything, but it shouldn’t be overlooked.

With all this said, you will want to use a bigger lb test line (10lb+) and possibly a braided line. This will allow you to quickly pull it out of the weeds if you go to slow or run into some unknown obstruction. You will also want to use a medium-heavy rod because you need some stiffness. I would prefer that you use a baitcasting reel as well for consistent high speed and control.

Do You Use A Swivel With A Chatterbait?

You can use a swivel and that will mimic the effect of a loop knot. The metal to metal contact will cause some friction, but not too much unless you have a swivel that is too small. I remember trying swivels with lots of lures when I was younger just for convenience, but eventually, I decided that directly tied to the lure was better.

Lure Swivel

Go try out a Lure Swivel!

You will also find the swivel will get caught in the grass and junk where if you tied directly you wouldn’t run into any problems. This is more of a preference for people, but I believe it is better to tie your lures directly to the line.

How Do You Fish A ZMAN chatterbait?

ZMAN just happens to make the best chatterbaits and they may have created the first commercialized one in the United States. I believe this was a Japanese lure originally. You will fish it just like I have stated above and no different.

How To Fish A Chatterbait In The Spring

During the spring, the weeds and grass will begin to grow and that is where large bass will congregate. You will want to throw your chatterbait right to the shoreline if you can and go right over this big mass of cover. I can almost see a huge fish attacking right now! It is also good to work the edges of the weeds, grass, and lily pads as well. 

underwater stump

I know people have had luck in open water with this lure just like a buzzbait, but I am partial to using it within thick cover just like what it was made for. Let it be known that this lure is really heavy and will sink and get hung if you don’t pay attention to what is happening. You can always get it out with a LURE RETRIEVER if you get hung!

Chatterbait Trailers

A great trailer for a chatterbait is the same ones you would use with a jig. Since this is mimicking a baitfish you will want to use baitfish style trailers. However, you will find that you have lots of action with crayfish trailers as well. It makes you think what do they believe this is or do they even care?

ZMAN Minnowz

Go try out a ZMAN Minnowz!

I would recommend a paddle tail plastic minnow of the same color type and pattern as your chatterbait skirt. This will give the look an action minnow with increased girth near the body and head. This will attract a large fish to bite because the possibility of a large meal is near. ZMAN happens to make a great paddle tail minnow.

Strike King Rage Twin Tail Menace Grub

You will find that curly tail grub patterns work well too. I would go for ones that have a very large diameter with a lot of texture to them. You simply want a thick trailer that has some form of movement on the tail that can mimic a baitfish. You should also hook these like a Texas Rig Worm instead of like a jig head. You will find that the trailer will slide down if you don’t. This will also allow you to work it through cover slower and not get hung.

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