Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Jerk Baitin' For Bass
There are "Two" basic types or styles of Jerkbaits that are sold on the bassin’ market today, and they would fall in the categories of "Hard-Jerkbaits" and "Soft-Jerkbaits." The "Soft-Jerkbaits" type or style would cover the soft-plastic baits such as; Bass
Assassins, Squids, Slug-O’s, Dartin’ Shads, Skuirmin’ Jerks, Flukes, Flappin’ Shads, Etc...... And the "Hard-Jerkbaits" type or style would cover the hard plastic or even wood types such as; Rapala’s Husky Jerk, Jointed-Minnows, Floating Minnows, Smithwick’s Rogues, Bomber’s Long-A’s, Rebel’s Minnows, Bagley’s Ratlin’ Twitcher, etc...... and there many, many, more of these same type of baits made from different manufacturers that would fall under this category.
Jerkbaits, without question would definitely fall in the "Top-10" category of all artificial baits used by Tournament Anglers in today’s bass fishing mostly because these types of baits have proven themselves over and over to not only catch bass in numbers, but they catch quality bass as well. One of the primary reasons that these baits are used by so many anglers is because Jerkbaits are considered to be one of the more versatile types of baits on today's market and can literally be fished just about anywhere at any time. There are many different techniques and presentations you can use when fishing with a Jerkbait, I’ll explain a few of the more popular presentations in hopes to help you increase your success rate when it comes to catching bass.
First of all, I’ll cover some of the more popular techniques for "Top Water Fishing" while using these Jerkbaits. Let’s say that you pull up into a area where you would find thick floating vegetation in about 1 to 6’ depth of water, and this vegetation is covering the surface with very little exposed open water pockets, a "Soft-Jerkbait" would be the preferred Jerkbait to use in a situation like this simply because of the "Weedless Rigging" it allows you to use to keep from getting caught on the vegetation. In a area such as this, you would rig the "Soft-Jerkbait" without any added weight at all and rig it as a "Texas-Rig" using a wide gap hook. Now you’re ready for business!..... Cast the bait into the midst of the vegetation and make short twitches periodically letting the bait lay still on top of the vegetation, then keep repeating this technique all the way back to the boat. If you don’t have any vegetation on your body of water, then cast the bait over submerged structure areas.
Now, let’s say that you are into an area that has scattered vegetation with pockets of open water at the same depth, you can use either a Soft or a Hard Jerkbait!, but keep in mind that a "Hard-Jerkbait" has exposed hooks already fastened to the bait (which means it is easy for the bait to get caught-up on this vegetation). With either bait, cast it into these open pockets of water, make a couple of small sharp twitches, then let it lay still for a moment. Usually after the bait lays still, usually the first twitch after this still period is mostly the time when a bass will strike!, so be ready. Or in this same area (using a Soft-Jerkbait), add a little weight to the bait to where the bait will slowly drop to the bottom. Again, let it lay there for a moment, then make a couple of small sharp twitches lifting the bait back up to the surface and let it drop again. You will find that this technique can be very rewarding if you give it a try. This technique will work around structure, rip-rap, docks, fall-downs, bank edges, trees, stump areas, and just about any areas fishable.
Now, let’s move out into deeper water areas to where you may have 6 to 10’ depths. These same techniques already mentioned for surface and sub-surface patterns will work just as well in this deeper water (especially around and on top of submerged structure and vegetation), but now let’s fish a little deeper with these baits. In the case of the "Hard-Jerkbait", select one that suspends and or has a diving-bill on the front of it to get it down under the waters surface. Most of these "Hard-Jerkbaits" will be made for the depth of water you choose to fish (the bigger the front bill, the