How to Fish With a June Bug Spinner

by Kathy Adams

The June bug spinner, a classic fishing lure, is especially useful when casting for fish and comes in a variety of colors and styles. The June bug has been used for many years to catch walleye, pike, muskie and bass in freshwater and Great Lakes fishing. It also can be used for saltwater fishing.

Items you will need

  • Barrel snap swivel
  • Fishing knife or nail clippers
  • 1/2 to 1oz. split shot sinkers
  • Bait
Step 1

Tie the swivel onto the end of the fishing line using your favorite fishing knot. Trim any excess line using a fishing knife or nail clippers. Open the snap swivel and slide the loop of the June bug spinner onto it. Close the snap swivel.

Step 2

Attach a 1/2 oz. sinker to your fishing line about two feet in front of the swivel. Squeeze the sinker on tightly so it doesn't slide or fall off the line. Add a little more weight if you are fishing in rough or windy conditions, or if you intend to fish near the bottom of the body of water.

Step 3

Cast the spinner as far as you can into the water, noting the distance it travels. Reel it back in at a moderate speed, pausing occasionally. Pay attention to whether the lure sinks or skips across the water. Add more weight next to the original sinker if the lure skips a lot or if your cast didn't travel as far as expected.

Step 4

Push a minnow or a portion of a worm up the fishing hook so the hook travels through its body and secures it in place. Make sure the barbed part of the fish hook is exposed after pushing the bait into place.

Step 5

Cast the line out as far as you can in an area you expect to find fish. Allow the spinner to sink a little, then reel it in at a speed where the lure travels just below the surface of the water. Pause from time to time to allow the lure to sink a bit. Jerk your wrist on occasion when reeling in, creating an erratic "swimming" pattern. An erratic pattern mimics an injured food source to the fish. You can practice in clear water at a slower-than-normal reeling speed to perfect your technique and get a feel for the lure.

Step 6

Set the hook when you feel a bite on the line by pulling the rod upwards and backwards. Reel in the fish while holding the rod so the line is nearly perpendicular to the water. Keep reeling without stopping until the fish is out of the water.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can make your own June bug spinners with basic supplies from fishing outfitters and craft stores. The main thing that sets the June bug apart from other spinner baits is the way the spinner is held a specific distance from the hook.
  • June bug spinners can be used with live or dead bait, or even no bait at all if the fish are especially frisky, such as just before sunset. Rubber worms sometimes work as well.
  • Try different colors of June bug spinner blades during different conditions or different times of day. Some days, one color of lure seems to work better than others.
  • Fish at different depths if they don't seem to be biting near the surface. Add more weight and try a zone a few feet down, or add an even heavier weight to bounce the sinker off the bottom and catch fish at that level.
  • Don't reel in too quickly, especially when the lure is near you, or the lure may hit you or your fishing pals when it comes out of the water.