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Spinner blades alert most species of a meal

Predator species like bass, walleye and this hefty Mantrap Lake northern love spinners in the late portion of the open water season. The flash and vibration of the blades emulate naturally present forage. (Jason Durham / For the Enterprise)

Whether you want to catch walleye, northern, bass, muskie or even panfish, the flash of a spinner blade fools fish throughout the fall.

The positive attributes of a spinner attached to several types of lures is that they are an excellent attractor, not only adding visual flair, but the vibration that alerts fish of a meal from afar.

Spinner blades are found on spinner rigs for walleye and pike, which is essentially a live bait rig with added "bling;" some beads, maybe a colored float and of course, a spinner blade or two.

Many anglers get into the mindset that since conventional live bait rigs are trolled at a very slow pace, they should treat spinner rigs the same.

Spinner rigs are typically trolled at speeds varying from 1.2 to 2 miles per hour. And since walleye are often a bottom-relating fish, a weight from 1 to 3-ounces is required to ensure the presentation stays on the bottom.

Yet there are times, especially in late summer and early fall, when walleye suspend over deep water. A spinner rig is a good choice, though it takes some practice and specialized equipment to strategically place your spinner rig and subsequent live bait at a specific depth.

Spinnerbaits; a silicone skirted, bent wire arm and hook, often used to catch northerns and largemouth bass, come in single blade, tandem (two) blades or through some manufacturers, up to five spinner blades. Those flickering pieces of shaped metal are meant to simulate baitfish, though the idea that "more is better" is debatable.

The "thump," meaning the vibration of a spinnerbait is a supreme attractant for huge largemouth and gargantuan northern pike in the fall. Though they approach a spinnerbait because of its vibrating blades, they hit the "bulk" of the lure, meaning the hook hidden beneath a flashy silicon or hand-tied hair skirt.

Spinnerbaits are very easy to use; simply cast them out and reel them in. The angler will feel constant tension as the bait is retrieved and a strike typically feels like an interruption in the tension.

Expert spinnerbait users often employ soft plastic trailers as an attractant, trailer hooks if fish are hitting the bait but don't make it to the net and a change-it-up start and stop retrieve that drives big fish wild.

Muskies are another species that are enamored with spinners. A common presentation for "the fish of 10,000 casts" is an in-line spinner.

Commonly referred to as bucktails, an in-line spinner is simply a short length of wire with a spinner blade or two, some beads, a weight to keep it in the water with a fast retrieve, some skirt material (hair, marabou or silicon) and most importantly, some super sharp hooks.

In-line spinners and spinnerbaits are presented in a similar fashion, a steady or stop-and-go retrieve.

The bass and pike will readily smash the two presentations as they move through the water column. Yet don't expect to catch a walleye, that's best left for the spinner rig.