Let’s try to take some of the mystery out of jerkbait fishing, by eliminating some of the myths and misconceptions. As we do, we will provide some tackle recommendations and tips that should help you land more fish on a jerkbait, whether you are just beginning in the sport or a seasoned tournament pro.
WATER CONDITIONS vs WEATHER CONDITIONS
SOFT vs HARD
SHALLOW vs DEEP
BIG vs SMALL
SLOW vs FAST
WHAT SEASON vs WHERE
EARLY SPRING PRESPAWN – Here you are really thinking about intercepting bass on their structural highways as they move from their wintertime deeper haunts to their shallower spawning areas. Bass are moving now more than ever so you need to focus on fishing transitional intersections parallel, keeping your jerkbait presentation over the top of the bass for as much of the cast as possible, of course varying your cadence to the pace dictated by your water temperature.
SPAWN – A suspending jerkbait is one of the most under-utilized but extremely effective bed fishing tools a clear water sight angler has in his tackle box, and for stained water, one of the best spawning bass search tools, as well.
POSTSPAWN – Two concepts where jerkbaits are dynamite for postspawn bass but are rarely considered; one, when females go deep after spawning, suspending in the tops of standing timber tree tops. Here a deep suspending model like a Strike King KVD Slash 300D is terrific. Secondly, to match the hatch, when bass stage just outside spawning bluegill/sunfish bedding areas or during the threadfin or gizzard shad spawn, both scenarios which occur typically a couple weeks after bass have left their spawning beds.
SUMMER – Typically you would think summer would be your toughest season to catch bass on a jerkbait, but not so true. Ask Kevin Vandam. He has won many a tournament on a jerkbait, when no other competitor even thought to pick one up in the summer. A couple ideas to ponder and apply; think about using a jerkbait with schooling bass that you can’t get to eat a topwater, but you know are there. Or maybe during those hot “dog day” periods when the wind picks up out of no where just prior to a storm and you are sitting on your favorite deep ledge, grassbed or rock strewn flat. We have had tremendous fish catching flurries by just switching from typical deep soft plastics to jerkbaits under these conditions.
FALL – This is one of the easiest times to catch fish on a jerkbait if you just think about ambushing opportunistic bass chasing baitfish, off staging points. A general rule would be to start half way back in any creek you see baitfish activity and work the points either way till you find the bass. The key here is to cover water as you are fishing for reaction strikes.
We know that this is a lot of information to absorb but don’t get too bogged down in the details as you tackle mastering the art of jerkbait fishing. Apply some of the simple rules we have given you and we can guarantee jerkbaits will become a trusted tool in your arsenal, in all four seasons, no matter where you live.