A spinnerbait is one of the most-effective lures when it comes to catching bass, but clearly not all spinnerbaits are created equal.

The number of color combinations, skirt styles and differences in sizes and shapes of blades is enough to turn a fisherman’s brain into soup when he tries to narrow down his options.

This is where bass pro and guide Andy Montgomery steps in.

Montgomery, who hails from Blacksburg, S.C. and fished in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic earlier this year, said he can narrow things down greatly for fishermen.

Most spring situations, he said, can be covered by one of three combinations.

“I guess the No. 1 situation in spring is when we have off-color or dirty water, and for that I will use a white/chartreuse bait with a combination of Indiana and Colorado blades,” he said. “This is the ‘thumper’ bait. You want to fish it when you need bass to feel the vibration of that Colorado blade.

“No. 2 is for when the water is just a little stained; that would be a double willow-leaf combination with No. 3 and No. 4 blades in silver and gold. It doesn’t matter which one is which — I like to fish plain nickel blades, but that doesn’t matter. 

“When the water is slightly stained, they don’t need to find the bait by vibration. You want them to see the visible flash of the blades, and willow-leaf blades are perfect for that.” 

If the water’s clear, the only time you really use a spinnerbait in the spring is when the wind ripples the water and visibility might not be perfect for bass.

“When the water’s clear and it’s windy, I like a three-bladed spinnerbait with three little willow-leaf blades,” Montgomery said. “The color doesn’t matter as much, but I’ll use a combination of silver and gold blades.”