At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be that much difference between where and how someone would fish a chatter-type bait versus a swimming jig.
Upon close examination, you’ll notice that the only difference between the two is the chatter bait has a blade in front while a swimming jig doesn’t.
“Swimming jigs are also under-used baits, and I throw one every now and then just to see if they will hit it,” Kenny Covington said. “The funny thing is when I throw a swimming jig I have to move it around while I’m swimming it.”
In other words, Covington realized that all he is doing is incorporating the action that a chatter bait has built into it with the inclusion of the blade.
“The blade is definitely the key to the chatter bait,” he surmised. “But I don’t think they hit the bait because of the blade. Rather, I think they hit a chatter bait because of the action the blade gives the bait.”
Covington said the speed of the retrieve can make a chatter bait work with a slow and steady thumping action or a frantic, high-speed, tight, ripping action.
“As it comes through the water, the way the blade works makes it push a lot of water to the front of the bait rather than off to its side like a spinnerbait does,” Covington said. “It’s kind of like a ship pushing water because it has a lot of front and backward movement as that blade kicks around.”
Pushing water to the front rather than to the side may be just enough of a difference for bass to feel this bait approaching them long before they would feel a spinnerbait.
And, for Covington, the blade is reason enough alone to fish a chatter bait over a swimming jig.