John's Journal...


Fishing a Large Spinner Bait

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: My friend and longtime expert fisherman Jackie Thompson of Eufaula, Alabama, has guided on Lake Eufaula for 34 years. As a full-time guide, Jackie deals with fishing all day, every day.

QUESTION: Why are crappie fishermen so important to catching Jackie, I know you’re excited about a discovery you’ve made recently about a new fishing line. Can you tell us about that?

THOMPSON: I was already fishing what I believed to be the best fishing line ever made, Stren, when I started fishing Mossy Oak Fishing Line. I found it to be really limp and very abrasive resistant. I fish in rough cover on Lake Eufaula and have found that Mossy Oak Fishing Line can take a rough beating. Too, this line doesn’t have the memory that many other lines do.

QUESTION: Jackie, you fish one of the biggest spinner baits on the market - the Ledgebuster, which weighs 1 – 2 ounces. What pound test line are you fishing the Ledgebuster on, and how are you fishing it?

Click to enlargeTHOMPSON: I fish these big spinner baits on 20-pound-test line with a heavy-action rod that has a little bit of tip sensitivity. I need the tip action to cast the big hunk of lead on the spinner bait a good distance behind the boat. I’ll fish anywhere from a 1- to a 1-1/2-ounce Ledgebuster spinner bait. Because Mossy Oak Fishing Line doesn’t much stretch, I can feel the spinner bait working the bottom of the lake and can actually feel the big blades turning.

QUESTION: What kinds of places are you fishing that big spinner bait?

THOMPSON: I fish it around ledges, humps and standing timber on Lake Eufaula. That spinner bait comes through a lot of structures, and the line that’s holding it has to be tough enough to handle the abuse the line will take. I need a line that will stand up when I get a big, heavy fish on it that I have to fight out of the cover. Mossy Oak delivers that line.

QUESTION: What time of year are you fishing the big spinner bait?

Click to enlargeTHOMPSON: I primarily fish with a big spinner bait in the summer, but I also use it in the winter. I like to use it when a warm trend comes through because the bass will become more active. I primarily fish the spinner bait from late February through late September.

QUESTION: How are you fishing the spinner bait?

THOMPSON: I fish it several different ways. I cast it out, let it go all the way to the bottom and then reel it in slowly just off the bottom. Because the spinner bait is so heavy, you can keep it in the strike zone of the bass all the way to the boat without having an arc in your retrieve. Too, if my boat’s positioned in front of a big drop, I’ll use the big spinner bait. I like to cast to the shallow side of the drop, drop the spinner bait off the bottom and then when it reaches the breakline, I’ll let it fall vertically all the way to the bottom. When you drop this type of bait into deep water, you tend to get a lot of strikes.

QUESTION: Jackie, How do you troll that big spinner bait?

Click to enlargeTHOMPSON: I use a 2-ounce spinner bait for trolling, called the Gorilla Spinner Bait. I fish from a 19-foot Ranger bass boat with a 150 horse-power motor. At a slow idle speed, a 150 motor trolls the spinner bait at just the right speed. Most of the fish we catch using a big spinner bait weigh from 4- to 10-pounds each.

If you want to learn more about Jackie Thompson or fishing Lake Eufaula, you can contact Thompson at (334) 687-9595. For more information about top-quality Mossy Oak Fishing Line, go to


Check back each day this week for more about FISHING LAKE EUFAULA WITH JACKIE THOMPSON

Day 1: Fishing a Large Spinner Bait
Day 2: Rigs and Leaders for Spotted Bass
Day 3: Crappie Fishing Eufaula
Day 4: Thompson Fishes for Bream
Day 5: Double Down for Cats and Bass



Entry 305, Day 1