The jerkbait is undoubtedly one of the best bass fishing lures made. Most anglers reach for them early in the year when the water is just starting to warm up, but they are top bass fishing lures throughout the year. With so many different colors, sizes, and diving depths available, choosing the right one comes down to the conditions.
Match the Size
One of the easiest ways to know that you have the right size jerkbait is to see the size of baitfish that bass are eating. If they are eating small shad, use a smaller jerkbait. While the size profile generally comes down to the forage size, using bigger baits is an excellent way to appeal to monster bass that wants a full sized meal.
For the most part, the color selection should also be based on what the fish are eating. Some variables come into play, though, and water clarity is another crucial factor for picking the right color jerkbait.
As a general rule, clear water calls for natural or transparent jerkbait colors. When fishing more stained water, solid colors and those with a little flash tend to do better. Muddy water is one situation where jerkbaits are not the best choice since they often draw fish from long distances to strike.
While these are the norms, sometimes a bright or flashy bait will do better for clear water. This is especially true when smallmouth bass are present.
Diving Depth and Suspension
Jerkbaits typically come in different diving depths, and some suspend while others will float back to the surface.
For picking the right depth, it often naturally comes down to how deep you are fishing. Most jerkbaits will dive around five feet down so those will do in water that is as deep as ten feet. For deeper water, a deep diver can be a great choice. Jerkbaits appeal to suspended bass and also those looking up for their next meal, so having a bait that dives shallower than the depth you are fishing is important.
Most jerkbaits suspend, and that adds to the appeal as the bait stays in one place during pauses in your retrieve. For shallow water fishing or when bass are near the surface, floating jerkbaits can produce as they can be fished right at and just below the surface.
Jerkbaits are one the best bass fishing lures because they catch fish. Knowing when to pick the right jerkbait for the conditions will increase your odds at catching monster bass.