Best Chatterbaits for Bass Fishing
1. Z-Man Jackhammer Chatterbait
You cant talk about chatterbaits without starting with the Jackhammer. It is hands down the best chatterbait on the market. This bait has won countless tournaments and caught a ton of giant bass. The best thing about the Jackhammer is the blade is directly connected to the jig. This makes it start faster and be the most consistent chatterbait on the market. It’s constantly on Tackle Warehouse’s bestseller list and you see pros throwing them all the time.
Jackhammer’s have a super strong 5/0 gamatatsu hook, a double wire keeper, and a very solid head design. The skirt is thin and flows extremely well. The blade is heavy and painted to match the head and skirt. It is more expensive than other chatterbaits but you know you are getting the highest quality. If you are fishing for money in a tournament or don’t have many chances to fish and want the most out of limited time then the Jackhammer is the clear choice.
Best Jackhammer colors: Green Pumpkin Shad, Spot Remover, Bhite Delight
2. Z-Man Jackhammer Stealth Blade Chatterbait
The Stealth Blade Jackhammer is a new chatterbait that is similar to the original Jackhammer except that it has a clear blade. The clear blade creates a slightly different vibration that isn’t quite as aggressive. It has a tighter action that is more of a balance between a chatterbait and a swim jig. It is basically a finesse-style chatterbait. It works great in pressured or clear water. Although the action and blade are a little different from the original, the Stealth Blade still uses the same blade to jig connection so it starts up quickly and has the same excellent build quality.
Best Jackhammer Stealth colors: Clear Water Shad, Green Pumpkin Shad, Spot Remover
3. Z-Man Custom Chatterbait
The Z Man Custom is from the same makers as the Jackhammer. It comes with a smaller 4/0 hook and only has one wire keeper instead of two on the Jackhammer. The custom is the best bang for your buck chatterbait. It’s about a third of the price and only a slight decrease in quality. They are perfect for trying out a chatterbait for the first time or the seasoned vet who doesn’t need the absolute best. Custom’s are only available at Tackle Warehouse so unfortunately you won’t be able to find them at your local tackle shop. They are well worth the short shipping wait over their competitors though.
Best Z-Man Custom colors: Threadfin Shad, Green Pumpkin, Bhite Delight
Best Trailers for Chatterbaits
Craw Style Chatterbait Trailers:
- Yamamoto Cowboy – Has Huge double tail grub-style claws that produce a ton of movement and flow when going through water. It is great for slow-rolling along the bottom. It is the perfect trailer for adding some bulk and drawing in big bites.
- Strike King Rage Tail Craw or Rage Tail Chunk – Both produce a ton of tail movement and pair perfectly with a chatterbait. They are great when you need a smaller profile craw trailer.
Swimbait Style Chatterbait Trailers:
- Yamamoto Zanko – This bait was specifically designed to be a chatterbait trailer. Its tail produces a very tight and subtle kick while the riveted body gives the mid-section a lot of movement. These two different actions in the trailer allow it to pair perfectly with chatterbaits.
- Keitech Fat Impact – Very popular swimbait trailer that is used with many other styles of fishing. When using a keitech as a chatterbait trailer you do need to rig it differently or make a slight modification. The first and simplest option is to rig it upside down. The reason you want to rig it upside down is because chatterbait blades displace a lot of water above the bait which kills that tail action of a keitech when rigged normally. By flipping it you are allowing the paddle tail to get the resistance it needs to produce great secondary action. The second option is to cut the paddle off the tail and rig it the right side up. Cutting the paddle tail off leaves you with a small sliver of a tail that will produce a tight fast swim action. With one of these changes, you will see much better results when used on a chatterbait.
- HogFarmer Spunk Shad – This bait has a very different action than the previously mentioned trailers. It has a tiny pointed tail that gives it a shimmy and shake action that pairs perfectly with a chatterbait.
If you are going to fish a chatterbait and you can afford it, buy a Jackhammer. It is without a doubt is the best and most consistent chatterbait on the market. If the Jackhammer is out of your price range then the Custom is a great option from the same company. I have tried other brands but after losing them I never replace them simply because they just don’t compare to what Z-Man is putting out.
Learn more by reading our complete guide to chatterbait fishing.