MonsterBass Ambassador Dat Van hails from the great state of Texas, where the shad are on the move and the bass are on their tails. Though lipless crankbaits, underspins, jerkbaits and dropshots are some of Dat’s fall favorites, he acknowledges you shouldn’t sleep on the soft plastic jerkbait either.
“Probably one of my favorite techniques right now would be some sort of soft plastic jerkbait,” said Dat Van.
A versatile bait, Dat likes to fish a sot plastic jerkbait through a large portion of the water column.
“I’ll fish it weightless with an EWG (extra wide gap hook) of course. But you can get what’s called a weighted EWG too.”
With the weightless version, Dat likes a twitch, twitch, pause cadence.
“If they’re schooling, I will cast to the schools sometimes and just try and trigger that reaction bite. Usually you can get them with the bait pretty close to the surface. That’s probably my go to right now.”
If the fish aren’t along the surface and the bite is a little slow, Dat will stick will the weightless version, but adjust his retrieve.
“A lot of times I’ll let it sink a little bit and try to find that right retrieve to trigger a bite.”
“If you’re around really finicky fish, I would suggest going weightless. The weighted hook is for people that are inpatient really.
Though he usually sticks with weightless version, the weighted EWG is not without its advantages for him as well.
“It has more of a wobble action as it falls down.”
For Dat, there are lots of shallow flats and a good bit of vegetation around, offering refuge for several types of forage that a soft plastic jerkbait can mimic.
“We have threadfin shad, gizzard shad and just your classic panfish. Of course when picking a color, you have the go-tos. The classic would be albino or just all white.”
Dat admits though, the same old same old can get a little stale at times.
“Sometimes I like switching up, just because they see that bait so many times. If something’s not working color wise, just change it up and see what they're hitting.”
Using a soft plastic jerkbait to target fall bass gives Dat a versatile presentation that can be used along a 45- degree bank, up on a shallow flat or out over dozens of feet of water. With the fish constantly on the move this time of year, this versatility is what really helps a soft plastic jerkbait standout in Dat’s tackle box.