Hard Baits

Spy Baits

Fishing spy baits is a new but powerful technique to bass fishing in the US. Find out what they are, how and when to fish them in this guide!

Recommended Line

Fluoro Mainline


Braid Mainline


Mono Leader


Recommended Rod & Reel

Rod Type


Rod Length


Rod Action

Moderate, Moderate-Fast, Fast

Rod Power

Medium, Medium-Heavy

Spy Baits


Video Guide

Best Spy Baits for Bass

If you are looking to improve your fishing finesse or learn some techniques of the pros, you might want to consider exploring mastering the use of spy baits. This is a relatively new technique in the US, but it’s quickly becoming more popular. Part of the reason for this is that it will provide a suitable and effective option for reeling in some of the more tricky bass. Indeed, people have found that spy baiting will deliver results in most scenarios. So, let’s dive a little deeper and discover if this could be the right choice for you.

What exactly is a Spy Bait?

The concept of spy baiting originated in Japan and has been around for eight to nine years. It was particularly noticeable for its use by those fishing at the famous Lake Biwa. One of the reasons for this is the lake being notorious for having incredibly clear water to fish in as well as pressured fish.

As such, many would consider the use of spy bait fishing here an evolved necessity.

A spy bait is a type of bait that is lipless and small. The hard bait jerkbait design has two propellers with one begin attached to each end.

The spybait is designed to sink slowly and can be fished through the water column. When it is retrieved the bait rocks back and forth, in a subtle motion. It’s this movement that makes it an irresistible type of bait for various types of bass.

At first glance, you might think that a spybait needs to be reeled in quickly. Or, you could assume that it requires additional action. In reality, the opposite is the case. Instead, it should be retrieved with a light line on a particularly long cast. Indeed most pros who use this technique will do so with spinning rods that are spooled using fluorocarbon.

Best Spybait Lures

How do you fish with a Spy Bait?

Many people have described the spy bait as a form of “silent capture” and this is quite an apt description. Typically, when you are fishing for bass, lures will rattle, flash or vibrate to gain the attention of the fish. The main difference with spy baits is that the lure doesn’t do this at all. While they do have little propeller blades, the movement of the bate is incredibly subtle yet still attracts attention.

Spy Baits Props

Another difference is how spybait is fished. Usually, the angler fishing for bass will need to work the lure and move or crank it. In the case of spy baiting, there is no need for this. All an angler should focus on is completing a simple retrieve. With spybait fishing, there should be no movement of the rod at all.

The lure is designed to swim through the water and this means that bass anglers must learn a completely new technique to get this form of fishing right. It can take some time to get the right speed and ensure that you do not engage in any action with the lure. When completed correctly, this fishing tactic will work wonders. There are a lot of different mindsets on the right technique to use. For instance, some people claim that if you’re going deeper then you will need to retrieve the lure at a slower speed. Often getting the right speed is the most difficult part of the puzzle.

A key part of ensuring that you are successful when spy bait fishing is knowing how deep the lure is. To do this, you need to test how quickly the lure falls per second. Usually, the rate of fall will be about a foot every second. Once you understand this, you will be able to know exactly where the lure is in the water column.

You will then need to decide where you want your bait to be. This is going to be dependent on the depth where you are getting bites while also checking your electronics to see how deep the bass are swimming. Usually, you will have the bait above the fish however in some cases you can put it closer to the bottom if that’s where the fish are swimming.

When Should You Use This Technique?

Similar to all techniques, when to use spy baiting depends on the conditions where you are fishing. As already mentioned, spy baiting is considered to be most useful when fishing in clear water.

It is ideal in a situation where fish aren’t willing to chase the aggressive lure types that are available. One of the reasons why clear water provides the right environment is that it is a highly visual technique. If you are using spy bait fishing for bass, then it’s important to realize that they will track the lure over a significant distance before they decide to strike or realize that it is above them in deeper water.

Some people have suggested that spy baiting is dependent on the temperature of the water and that it should only be used for cold-water fishing. However, this is not the case and instead, it’s all about visibility. People will often see the best results with this technique in water that provides at least 2 or 3 feet of visibility.

What Spy Baits are Right For You?

If you decide to try spy bait fishing for bass, then you need to choose the right type of spy bait that is going to work for you. Over the past few years, various manufacturers have released their one individual type of spybait. Most of these are no more than four inches in lengths waugh about ⅜ to an ounce. Since they are fast sinking, they can be used in water as deep as you like.

Of the companies that are known in the mainstream, there is Duo Realis. Their spybait is available in several different versions. The most popular options are the Spinbait 80 as well as the G-Fix Spinbait 80.

best spy baits

There are also options from companies such as Berkley. Their bait known only as “The Spy” was designed and developed by Josh Bertrand. The pro angler has created a spybait that sinks fast and one that sinks slow. The spybait that sinks slowly does provide fishers a way to effectively use this technique in shallow water as well as deep water.

When you are choosing your spy bait, you also need to think about color. This is particularly important if you are using spy bait fishing for bass. Many of the colors that are available for spy baits are similar to jerk baits. As such, you can find options that are either translucent or those that are designed in natural baitfish shades.

Ideally, you should make sure that the spy bait has a forage base that is the same shade as your local water. You should also consider using translucent spy bait if you are planning to fish in water that is quite clear. However, if you are fishing during overcast conditions, then solid colors will be best.

What Gear Do You Need When Spy Bait Fishing For Bass?

Aside from the spy bait itself, you do need to make sure that you have the right setup for this particular type of fishing. Be aware that spy baits are typically designed to be lightweight and small. As such, light lines and spinning gear will typically be used for casting and fishing.

Light lines are ideal if you are planning on using long-distance casting. It will also use that you do get more out of the lures that you are using. A heavier line will significantly limit movement as well as the speed of the fall.

If you are looking for the ideal setup for spy fishing, then you might want to consider something that is quite similar to drop shotting. It’s worth noting that if you are using large spy baits, then you might want to consider using baitcasting gear. Anglers that do opt for larger spy baits tend to use equipment that is quite similar to that of jerkbait fishing. You could start with a ten-pound fluorocarbon line as well as limber rods.

What Type Of Bass Can You Catch Using Spy Bait Fishing?

According to the pros, spybait fishing can be useful for catching various types of bass. For instance, smallmouth bass is known for being very picky with the bait that they go after. Pro anglers have found that spybait works at any time of year and will allow you to catch fish, but it’s particularly effective during cold-water fishing. Spotted bass is another type that seems to respond well to spybait. Some pro anglers have found spybait workers for spotted bass when other techniques have failed. The important thing is to ensure that you work the spybait slowly with a steady reel.

Spybait can also be used for catching largemouth bass with the right gear. For instance, you might want to use an 8-pound fluorocarbon line with a spinning rod.

We hope this helps you understand everything you need to know about spybait fishing and whether it could be the right technique for you.

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