When trolling in Ireland a few years ago I tried a spinnerbait and couldn't get a take. Then me and Eddie Bibby decided to move to the other side of the lough and Ed opened up the throttle of the outboard before I had chance to reel in.
We were going so fast the spinnerbait came to the top and started skipping across the surface. Not in little leaps, but big ones about 6ft or more apart.
Yes, you've guessed it, a pike grabbed it and was successfully landed. Then followed one of the best days trolling we ever had. Nothing bigger than mid-doubles but loads of fish. All on spinnerbaits skipping across the surface like you wouldn't believe.
It made me realise more than anything just how fast pike can travel to catch something.
When nothing else works and you want some fun, try a top water buzz bait for pike or bass. You can also take a double Colorado bladed spinnerbait and run it fast just below the surface. Spinnerbaits in general can and will be successful if used in the right place, in the right manner, at the right time. When buying spinnerbaits, don't buy 3 of the same model in different colors, buy 3different models in the same color. Get for starters a double Colorado, a double willowleave and a combi (1 Col. & 1 willow blade). Good producing colors are yellow, black and white. You can try different methods with all 3 until you find what works when. You can fast spin (7' fast action rod & high speed reel), spin & drop (2-4 turns on the retrieve &let it sink, than repeat), you can bottom bounce (retrieve just fast enough to get the blades to spin and than bounce off rocks or mud eddys on the bottom). Also different line size and retieve speed combinations will make it run at different depths. Most bass hunt from under the prey (their eyes are focussed forward and up v.s. pike or zander which hunt straight outfront with little upward vision), so the depth of the run is importent. No luck on the fast run, slow down and allow the bait to go a bit deeper, etc. Sometimes you will feel a tug but no hookup, the fish are biting short, or you are too fast. Change spools to a heavier line to be able to fish slower at the same depth(I fish strickly spinning reels for that reason. They cast farther than bait casters and you can have 2 or more spare spools w/ diff. line, easier than carrying extra rods). Still biting short, add a trailer hook. Also in most cases an attractant (real craw or something similar) helps as the fish will taste the bait on the strike and may pursue harder. Spinnerbait fishing is an art and usually does better in spring and fall rather than the hot and muggy dog days of summer. Than try some jig fishing as the fish are deep and the jig can get to and stay closer longer making it an easier target.
As an additional note: any of you that are multi species fishermen (as I am) and you can't get that bass, put some corn on a hook and add a bit of realcraw on the corn. The carp absolutely love it.
Nick Hoekstra, London, Ont. Canada