How I Choose the Right Jerkbait for Bass

News & Tips: How I Choose the Right Jerkbait for Bass...

It is time to start throwing a suspending jerkbait; the water is cold and the fish are sluggish. These don't sound like the best conditions, but it will become your favorite time to fish if you give it a chance.

Choosing the right jerkbait can be a daunting task. With prices ranging from $5 to $35, dozens of sizes and hundreds of colors to choose from, I understand why people get confused.

Here are some of the most-asked questions I hear, day in and day out.

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First and the most popular:

Are those $20 baits worth it? The answer is yes. I'm not saying that the cheaper bait will not catch bass -- just not as well. Now, you don't have to get a loan or start selling blood to get started.  

Second is Color :

What color should I get? If the majority of water you fish has 4 feet or less of visibility, you should stick with bright or reflective baits. My go-to colors are table rock shad or clown. Now, if the water is between 6 and 10 feet visibility, I go with more transparent or natural colors. The most reliable single color is ghost minnow. There are many other good colors for clear water and different conditions, such as chartreuse shad on overcast days and chrome ayu on windy days.

Third is Size:

What size jerbaits do I get?
As for size, it is best to go with a medium-sized bait around 3 to 4 inches; a Lucky Craft 100 is a good start to keep the budget down.

You will also see a lot of deep-diving suspending jerkbaits. These are good if the water is especially deep -- 25- to 40 feet -- and visibility is ok -- 4 to 6 feet. If the water is very clear -- 10 to 20 feet -- the shallower baits do better.  

Please remember that this is a guide to get started, not a guide to fit every bill. There are days when a smaller or bigger size will do the trick, or days when a certain shade of purple on the back is the ticket.

I am a tackle junkie and have way more jerkbaits than I could fish in a day or two (maybe three!), but feeling that strike makes it all worth it.

As for rod, reel and line, it is easy. A 6.5- to 7-foot rod with a medium action and a moderate or fast tip, spinning or baitcasting. A spinning reel that can handle 8- to 10-lb test line or a baitcaster with a 6.4 or more gear ratio. And 8- to 10-lb line fluorocarbon line works great, and a good copolymer works also. I use fluro fishing
line unless I am trying to keep my bait shallower.

That sums it up! Just remember -- the most important part of jerkbaiting is the PAUSE!!

by Dustin Evans