What is Spy Baiting??? Spy Baiting is the newest technique coming out of Japan right now. This technique has yet to win any money to my knowledge here in the states, but it is raising a lot of eyebrows in the bass circles. Spy Baiting is believed to have shown up on the Japanese bass scene in or around 2007 or 2008. It came about has a technique to trick tough to catch giant largemouth on high pressure ultra clear lakes. You may be saying to yourself this story kinda sounds similar to the early days of the Drop Shot Rig. Which is now one of the dominate techniques used by bass fisherman today.So we can see why savvy bass anglers are taking notice.
A spy bait is a sinking hard bait that is shaped in a way that the bait wobbles as it sinks. It also has two small props on either end of the bait. These props are setup to start spinning at very slow speeds. It is finished off with masterfully done paint jobs for ultra realism and light wire treble hooks. Right now here in the US there is two major players DUO Realis Spinbait and Jackall i-Prop. Other major Japaness style hard bait companies also have offerings such has Lucky Craft, Megabass and Evergreen International.
How you fish these baits is really quiet simple and the equipment needed is also simple and can be bought at just about any quailty tackle shop. For the rod your going to want a Med-light or a Light Power rod with a fast tip. I really like the Med-Light 13 Fishing Omen Black 7’1″ spinning rod for this. This rod lets you cast it a country mile and the length helps you fight those big bass on light line. The reel needs to be able to hold and manage 4 -8lb fluorocarbon line so I like the 1000 or 1500 size reels for this technique. I use the Shimano Stradic CI4 1000 for this technique. For line I like Sunline FC Sniper or Sufix INVISILINE, both of these lines are cast-able fluorocarbons .The reason you are wanting to use fluorocarbon and not a braid or mono is because those lines tend to want to float on you so it will affect the action of the bait and pull it up out of the strike zone to soon.
These baits are designed to sink at about a foot a second so when you make your long cast countdown to the depth your wanting. Once you reach that depth begin to reel the bait in at a slow steady pace just fast enough to get the props spinning but not to fast that it comes up and not to slow that it continues to sink.Your wanting it to maintain and consent depth. You want to point the rod low and at the bait has you reel back to you. With practices you will get a feel for the speed and cadence you need to reel. There is no need to jerk or twitch the rod to impart action to the bait. The action is already designed into these baits. The props disturb the water going along the bait which makes the bait shimmy side to side. This bait also has a killer wobble to it has it sinks so stopping and starting can be deadly at times with it.
The areas this bait shines are on clear lakes such St. Clair, Burt , Mullet and Traverse Bay. You want to work it on or around ledges, rock piles, and just over the tops of large sand grass and perch grass flats. This is not a bait you want to fish down in the weeds you want to make sure you fish in a way that it will stay above them. I even have had success fishing this bait around the docks in the large marinas here St. Clair. What time of the year you throw, I really don’t know if there will be a time not to throw it. But I can see it being deadly in the spring and fall and working deep hump holding smallmouths.
Even tho this was a Largemouth bait over in Japan, here in the US it has shown it self to be a deadly smallie bait and I see no reason why Spotted Bass wouldn’t eat this up has well.Below I have attached a few youtube videos that explain this style of bait well; warning you will have to read captions has the guy is speaking Japaness in the 1st one.