Find Your Chatterbait Trailer
The chatterbait craze has been going for years now and it shows no sign of slowing down. The “bladed jigs” are proving to be very versatile and fish are not getting used to seeing them. Chatterbaits continue to catch fish in many seasons at a high rate. On the pro tours, the Z-Man Jack Hammer has risen to be the gold standard that most pros fish with. The trailer options vary wildly. So, what do you put on it?
The angler that really put the chatterbait on the map is Bryan Thrift. It was a friend of his that developed it. The angler that really put the Jack Hammer on the map was Brett Hite. He is sponsored by Yamamoto. He was using the Lake Fork Magic Shad as a trailer so much and won so much that he designed something similar for Yamamoto. Personally, I think both plastics are too big, and they inhibit action and the hook up ratio.
It is hard to knock the track record that Brett Hite has had on the Jack Hammer. I would counter that in the last couple years, his tournament record has showed that once more of his competitors were throwing it, his finishes are more average. His major success came when he was one of the first to throw it. Heck, his name is on the package alongside Morizo Shimizu. I would hope Brett still “wins” every time a Jack Hammer is sold.
As a guy they never settles on what everyone else is throwing, I have used a ton of different trailers for a chatterbait and especially a Jack Hammer. Once I started to try different baits, I realized different amounts of drag affected the action of the Jack Hammer. I tried the bulky D Bomb, smaller Baby D Bomb, Baby D Stroyer, Zoom Fluke, Zoom Super Fluke, Twin Turbo, Missile Craw, Craw Father, and many more. Once I put the Missile Baits Shockwave 3.5, I know it was different.
The Shockwave 3.5
The little swim bait has a small amount of resistance so the Jack Hammer will “come alive” and jump back and forth in an erratic fashion on a straight retrieve. It was an eye opener when I first threw it in clear water. I told a few friends about it. The ones that listened to me about it have all told me about out catching their boat partners and other anglers in the area. It is a difference maker. I have caught hundreds on this trailer and they hold up to at least 10 or 12 fish per bait.
Since the Shockwave 3.5 comes in mostly shad colors, it matches up great with shad colored Jack Hammers. Pearl White, Fisholicious, Bomb Shell, and Frosted Purple are great colors when you want that white or shad look. The Shrapnel is a perch or bluegill color so they match up with those color Jack Hammers.
A New Player
At the 2020 Bassmaster Classic, Missile Baits released the Quiver 4.5 and 6.5. They were designed specifically for Neko and Tokyo rigs. When looking for a trailer to match up with the red and orange Jack Hammer color called Fire Craw, I looked in my tackle bag. There was this Quiver 6.5 in a reddish color called Cherry Blossom. I took about an inch off the front and threaded it on my chatterbait. When I pulled it through the water to look at, I nearly fell out. The Quiver had amazing pulsing action with every thump of the Jack Hammer. It also did not inhibit that erratic jump that the ½ ounce Jack Hammer does so well.
Since then, I have tried the Quiver 4.5 and 6.5 in various colors. The Quiver 4.5 has a more subtle vibration on the Jack Hammer, which can be key sometimes. The 6.5 just goes crazy on the back of that Jack Hammer. I only have one tournament experience using this combination but catching 4 of my 5 keepers on this combo on day 1 of the Bassmaster Classic while weighing over 21 pounds is a good start. I also caught a 6-10 giant on this combo on that final day of the Classic when trying to run down the eventual winner, Hank Cherry. There is no doubt I will be using the Quivers along with Shockwaves as a trailer on my Jack Hammers going forward.