With the right lure, any angler can make their big catch regardless of the season or the water body. One prevalent lure amongst beginner and expert anglers alike is the jerkbait. Jerkbaits are slender and slim baits popularly used during the winter season and the star of shallow water fishing. If you’re looking to learn how to fish a jerkbait for your upcoming angling expedition, you’ve come to the right place.
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How to Fish a Jerkbait
Before learning this, you must learn about the types of jerkbaits available and their pros and cons.
Each type fulfills a particular purpose and is ideal for specific depth, while their color variance allows you to angle effectively in any water condition.
Types of Jerkbaits
There are three major types of jerkbaits, and they can be classified according to their retrieval depths.
As the name suggests, floating jerkbaits tend to stay on top of the water until they are jerked.
They are excellent for shallow water fishing and have no chances of getting snagged or stuck in weeds or shrubs.
Floating jerkbaits are excellent for angling around 3 feet of depth and are exceptional for catching bass in that range.
Suspending jerkbaits make up the most common category of jerkbaits.
These jerkbaits will sink to a particular depth of the water body and remain suspended at that particular depth. Despite the jerking of the bait, this type of jerkbait will return to its original suspension depth.
This type proves to be helpful when the angler is looking to be incredibly specific about the depth at which they want to fish or are particular about the fish population.
If you’re wondering how to fish a jerkbait for bass, suspending jerkbaits are your answer.
Sinking jerkbaits require more skill hence are mostly used by experienced anglers only. These baits are weighed down, so they sink at a specific speed and then ascend after being jerked.
These baits come in a variety of weights that descend at different rates. Fast sinking jerkbaits are suitable for summers while slow sinking jerkbaits win in the winters.
Jerkbaits come in a variety of colors, and each color choice gives you certain benefits. The color selection will significantly affect the day’s catch rate based on fishing conditions.
In the case of natural colors, they work perfectly in more transparent streams of water.
The natural blue, green, and silver tones attract the fish and make it seem more realistic. This works great for clear water streams where the fish can mistake it for being a minnow.
Artifically colored jerkbaits make the greatest appeal to energetic bass during the summers or in muddy water streams and local creeks.
In muddier waters, their flamboyant colors become easily recognizable, while in summers they attract the fish because of all their pent-up energy. In either of these situations, colored jerkbaits can be lifesavers.
Techniques for Jerkbait Fishing
Whether you’re looking to learn how to fish a soft jerkbait or how to fish a jerkbait in fall, all successful jerkbait fishing comes down to mastering some fundamental techniques.
With jerkbaits, you need to ensure that you are following the below-mentioned techniques properly. These minute details are what add life to your angling experience and maximize your catch rate with jerkbait. Without movement, the likelihood of catching fish diminishes rapidly but these tips will have you catching fish with jerkbait in no time.
One common mistake made by novice or beginner anglers is not understanding the importance of creating the jerking movements.
Through your jerk and pause motion, you make the bait imitate the movements of a real-life minnow.
By understanding and practicing the jerky movements, you can add life to your lure, making it seem more believable for your catch. Try to practice these jerking movements through the movement of the rod tip instead of the reel itself.
A helpful tip is trying out your movements in shallow waters. If you find an area where you know you cannot get snag you can practice dragging your bait throught he water and observing the movements it makes with your jerks. Identify one that mimics that of a minnow and then use that as your guide when jerkbait fishing.
Rhythm in the Movement
Cadence and tempo make or break your fishing game when it comes to jerkbait fishing.
Try out different techniques such as a small pause and three jerks or one jerk and one pause. Continue to try out different rhythms until you find one that gains more traction.
Building a specific tempo helps the seemingly erratic movements of the fish. The general rule of thumb for building tempos is to add longer pauses as the seasons progress to get colder. This pause can be up to 30 seconds during winters.
Using the Right Rod and Reel
Most anglers prefer to use spinning reels or baitcasters in combination with fluorocarbon lines while jerkbait angling.
Since jerk baiting is predominantly done in clear waters, the fluorocarbon blends in and seems almost invisible to the fish’s eye.
Meanwhile, the choice of reel helps you in controlling the erratic movements of your jerkbait. High-speed reels help you pick up the slack faster, and both inshore spinning reels and bait casters are an excellent choice for jerk baiting.
Beware of Your Line
Always be on the lookout for your line while jerk baiting. Often light biting bass will strike without you knowing, and since jerk baiting requires slack in the line, you will not always see it happening. Maintaining eye contact on your line can help you to determine when there is tension from a fish biting.
Even at the slightest twitch, there might be some light-biting fish tugging at your bait.
Since the windy banks have a lot of commotion throughout the surface area, the suspended jerkbaits seem more realistic, and the windy weather can prove to be perfect for catching the bass or any other fish.
However, beware of your line and rhythm during windy weather as you can quickly lose track of the fishing line and the corresponding twitches during such unreliable weather. Without a consistent rhythm it will be difficult to get the attention of fish. Too fast and fish won’t be able to catch up and too slow and the bait will not look realistic or reflect that of a minnow.
Learning how to fish jerkbait can be easy if you keep in mind the nature of jerkbaits and all the factors that affect the jerk-baiting experience.
Jerkbaits are a great lure to have for shallow waters, especially for winter seasons, and having them handy will always prove helpful for you.