What are Chatterbaits?

Chatterbaits are effective and universal lures for fishing bass. They imitate a variety of prey, for example, shad and baitfish. What distinguishes them from other baits is the vibrating and wobbling action in the water.

Discover some tips on how to use chatterbaits effectively. 


Choose the Right Chatterbait Rod 

Chatterbait fishing can be fun, and as it’s quite easy, it can be a good start for beginners. However, you need to find the right rod to fish with. There are numerous factors that should be considered while picking your rod. We won’t be getting into details here as we cover other matters, but Larry Starks’ list of his favorite chatterbait rods is a great place to check for your best options. 


Vary the Speed 

While fishing with chatterbaits, be sure that you vary the retrieve speed. Check if the bass is responding to a particular pace, and if not, try a different one. You can start with a medium retrieve and observe the fish’s behavior and how active they are. 

Experimenting with speed can trigger reaction strikes. Slow and subtle retrieves can attract inactive and sleepy bass, while fast and steady retrieves usually get aggressive strikes. 


Use It Close to the Structures Where Fish Feed 

Chatterbaits work well in bass-holding areas, for example, weed edges, docks, underwater vegetation, and other submerged structures. When you fish there, be sure to retrieve your chatter bait parallel to the structure or near the edges. In this area, you can find actively feeding fish, which strike quite easily. 

To avoid snagging, vary your retrieve. Try to keep steady and retrieve bait just above the tops of the structures. You can experiment with stop-and-go techniques, which help to imitate fleeing baitfish with its bouncy moves.


Add Trailer Baits 

If you want to enhance your chatterbait appeal, add a trailer bait to it. Anglers often pair chatterbaits with soft plastic trailers, such as swimbaits and crawfish imitation. By attaching a trailer, you make your bait more bulky, which creates more vibrations. Thanks to that, you can easily imitate larger prey, and that can attract a larger fish. 


Explore Color Options 

Chatterbaits come in virtually all colors. You should experiment to check which shades work best. The color should be adjusted considering water clarity, natural prey colors, and forage availability. 

When you fish in clear water, you should choose the most natural colors, such as gray and silver. Contrarily, for muddy and murky water, choose brighter colors that create contrast and better visibility.


Try Various Blades 

Sometimes fish won’t respond to your standard chatterbait. In this situation, you can try changing the blade. By doing it, you can modify the lure’s action and vibration. Different blades produce different sounds and vibrations and can attract various fish. 



No matter if you are planning a family fishing holiday, or a solo fishing trip abroad, while using a chatterbait, always adapt your approach considering the fishing conditions and the current behavior of bass. Don’t be afraid to change your strategy if the first one doesn’t work. Use various retrieval tactics, colors, and blades to increase your chances of getting a fish.

Do you have any recommendations for using chatterbaits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.