FISHING 101: HOW TO USE JERKBAIT LURES
Jerkbaits are a popular choice for anglers because of their ability to catch fish all year round. They’re able to mimic dying baitfish and produce an erratic action that’s very irresistible to fish. As such, this type of lure is definitely something every angler must have in their arsenal. Read on to learn how to use jerkbait lures when fishing.
WHEN TO USE A JERKBAIT
You can use jerkbaits throughout the year, but they’re most effective when used in cold water. In terms of depth, they ‘re suitable in shallow water until about 12 to 15 feet. Since a jerkbait is a visual lure, you get the best results in clear up to slightly stained water. It’s important for the fish to see the jerkbait’s movement, even from a distance. You can still use this lure in dirty water, but you should use a jerkbait that produces a rattling sound to attract the fish.
Colour selection is important for a visual lure like jerkbaits. As with any lure, it’s important to choose a jerkbait that can match the hatch. It should resemble the baitfish present in the water as much as possible. In clear water, you can use a jerkbait with a natural pattern and a translucent finish. The colours green, brown and blue are able to resemble shads or minnows. Meanwhile, in dirty water or low-light conditions, you should stick to darker and opaque colours.
Anglers typically use jerkbaits with a 6 to a 7-foot light rod with a fast action tip. This allows the lure to produce a good jerking movement.
You can use a spinning or baitcasting reel. If you’re using a floating jerkbait, stick to an 8lb monofilament line. You should opt for a 10 to 12lb fluorocarbon line when using sinking jerkbaits. In the end, the choice of line is yours. I often also use braid as it is very sensitive and doesn’t offer much stretch.
RIPPING AND RETRIEVING
Ripping and reeling is the most common technique when using jerkbaits. When casting, introduce a slack line between the lure and the tip of the rod. Use your wrist to rip the jerkbait through the water. Do this as you retrieve the slack. This will produce an erratic action. In between jerking movements, you can introduce a pause. As you suspend your bait, it’ll look like an easy meal for the fish. This will trigger the fish to strike.
Another technique is when your jerkbait has caught the attention of a fish, quickly rip it away. This makes your lure look like it’s fleeing from the fish. This, too, will trigger the fish to strike.
DIRECTION AND CADENCE
When ripping and retrieving, most anglers prefer to point their rod at the bait and rip the rod downwards. See what speed works best for the fish in the water. In colder water, slow jerks and long pauses in between strokes are more effective. However, in warmer weather, bass are more aggressive, so you can have produce faster jerks.
When learning how to use jerkbait lures, it’s important to learn the basics. However, a large part of your success will also depend on how much you experiment. Introduce some variety into your technique, especially if you’re fishing in a new location. After a while, you’ll start noticing some patterns. Once you find out what attracts the attention of the fish, you’re guaranteed to produce a lot of strikes. I simply love jerkbaits because they are great for a wide variety of fish.
Is there anything else you can add? Share your thoughts below.