The Original Chatterbait by Z-Man fishing products 12/7/18
The chatterbait is high on the list of popular lures for bass fishers everywhere. It’s even said jokingly that if you’ve never fished a chatterbait (among other lures), then you haven’t really fished.
The chatterbait I’ve picked up is an eighth oz. and produced by Z-Man fishing products which holds the official ownership of the chatterbait name, but like most classic lures, there are other generic forms for this by other companies which would fall under the category of bladed swim jigs. The eighth oz. chatterbait is dubbed the ‘micro’ and boasts the patented EZ Skirt which is an interchangeable rubber strand skirt. If the skirt becomes damaged or if a different color scheme is desired, the skirt can be removed and replaced on the jig head. The jig head itself is, as would be indicative by the eighth oz. size, an eighth oz. weighted head with a hook reaching approximately one and three quarter inches in length. Attached to the tie-on of the jig head is a small metal plate about the size of a dime, that is hexangular and loosely pivots from the jig head tie-on. From the top of the plate comes a non-swivel snap tie-on. You can directly tie your line to this rather than the Jig head with this lure. Overall from the end of the hook to the top of the metal plate, the length of the lure is a total of about 2 inches. Again, this is for the eighth oz. model and specific to that micro size. Other sizes include ¼, 3/8, and ½ oz.
The metal chatter blade is thin enough that it can be bent between your fingers. What this achieves is an adjustment in depth control. The blade somewhat counteracts the sinking action of the jig head by cutting the water at a certain angle during descent. This gives the angler more control over how the lure is placed amidst various underwater terrains. The blade doubles as a guard against snagging weeds, and triples as a shiny rattling attractant. The chatter blade is really the defining element of this lure.
Z-Man fishing products touts the lure as having the “Action of a crankbait, profile of a jig and flash of a spinnerbait…” This makes sense as it has a controlled steady retrieve style, is primarily a jig-body lure, and refracts light off the chatter blade similar to a spinning lure. Unlike these however, it is not specifically designed to dive to depth like a crankbait. It instead inverts the spoon design to slow its descent that occurs naturally from the jig head weight. It also functions differently than a jig in that it relies on other components than a soft bait to attract fish. Lastly it is very much not a spinnerbait, in that it doesn’t spin. It really doesn’t even need a swivel because it ought not to spin even on accident. However, one can see the advantages that this design borrows from those classes of lures.
I would say with a lure like this, that it is good to keep on hand throughout the summer, however many anglers will tell you that it is particularly effective post spawn. For bass, this occurs late-spring, early-summer as the water is reaching a consistent 50o F and higher. Bass are the primary target of a lure like this, however you can also catch musky, pike and maybe even walleye around mid-June if you are able to find some that begin to feed before dark.
Another modification that can be made to this lure is the addition of a soft bait to the jig. If you have a swimbait or something with a size appropriate length, you can mount the hook of the jig right through it with the skirt concealing the main body of the soft bait. The tail of your soft plastic bait will trail behind the rest of the lure and add length and appeal to it.
Grab a couple sizes and colors of this popular lure, maybe grab some extra skirts. Have them ready for early to late spring and see how they work for you. Fishing isn’t all science after all. Catching fish is mostly about getting out there and putting the time in. Try out the Chatterbait and see how it works in your local water. I’ll be taking mine to a nice deep pond a few miles from here come spring. In the mean time I’m checking the ice buildup and getting my auger sharpened for some winter ice-fishing action.
*If you have any luck with the lure of the week, feel free to email your pictures to email@example.com for an opportunity to share them on our website. If you have a favorite kind of lure we haven’t reviewed yet, feel free to send that lure to our office at PO box 150 Narrowsburg, NY 12764. We will add it to our weekly reviews and share the results. Check back each week on Fridays to see the new lure of the week!