Fishing with jerkbaits is another one of those techniques from the US that somehow made it across the ditch and was let loose in the hands of Aussie bass anglers. For almost two decades, most tournament anglers have included a range of long, slender hardbodied lures in their box of tricks. Using these lures with the traditional twitchy stop-start retrieve is not only effective when the bite slows down a little, it’s also an incredibly enjoyable and heart-stopping way to target bass.
Whether or not to use a baitcast or spin outfit is totally up to the angler, with many from each camp claiming one is better than the other. Granted, an angler can gain more ‘feel’ and control with a baitcaster, but with the small jerkbaits associated with bass, a light spin outfit is more comfortable and ergonomic. As the reel sits below the rod, it acts as a pendulum and can make long sessions with lots of casting and jerking less tiring on the angler.
When a bass bite gets a bit difficult, especially as it cools down and the water clears up, jerkbaits really come into their own. Working these lures with a series of hard jerks before pausing them and allowing them to suspend - sometimes for up to 30 seconds - can turn fussy fish into aggressive eaters. The pause is often where the strike occurs.
A jerkbait is considered a more natural approach, with many jerkbaits coming in realistic hues and featuring little finishing touches that lots of other lures don’t have.
There are many lures that fit this bill, however finding jerkbaits that suspend in the water column when paused is how you’ll get the most out of this technique.
The Nomad Design Minnow 70mm 3.8g Suspending Jerk Bait, Daiwa Pro Double Clutch IZM Hard Body Lure, Bassday Sugar Deep 90mm Suspending Barra Tuned Lure and the Rapala Ripstop Lure are all proven performers on bass, and all will suspend perfectly in the water when paused.
This technique works well in rivers and lakes, and has won many bass tournaments over the years. Make sure you add a few of these lures to your kit for when the bite slows down a little!
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