How to Fish a Jerkbait for Bass -Includes Basic Tips for Beginners

Jerkbaits are a great way to catch bass all season long. Here are some basic tips, tricks, and retrieves to catch bass all season long on a jerkbait!

Benjamin's YouTube Channel 

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Video Transcript:

Benjamin Nowak:
What is going on everyone. My name is Benjamin Nowak with MONSTERBASS. And in today's video we're going to talk about jerkbait fishing and this is a super effective technique for all three species, largemouth, spotted bass and smallmouth bass. This is a great way to trigger fish to bite all year long. So what we're going to talk about, the colors that I like to throw, some of the retrieves I like to use and the gear that I'm throwing for a jerkbait so that you guys can be successful all season long and that's one of the biggest misconceptions about a jerkbait is that it only works in the spring and in the fall, but I'm going to give you guys some retrieves that you can use and some ways that you can throw this bait to be successful even in the tough months, which are typically the summertime months when a lot of people put this bait down.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now before we dive into all of that information, I want to start by talking about what a jerkbait actually is. A jerkbait by nature is a bait that has a darting side to side action when you use a short jerking action of the rod. Now if you look at this bill you might say, "Okay, but it looks like a crankbait," you might just reel it in. This bait works best when you cast it out, it hits the water and you jerk that bait. What it's going to do, this bill is going to cause his body to roll and kick side to side, and that's what's going to trigger you the bites. This is a reaction bite style of bait. Now, yes, it does look supernatural. It looks like a metal. It looks like a little bait fish, especially when you put it into the water.

Benjamin Nowak:
But what I think happens a lot of times, is you jerk this bait, those fish key in on it and they're like, "Look at that, that nice looking minnow." Then you jerk it again. That fish has to trigger, has to react, has to come in and eat that bait. So in my opinion, most of your bites are a reaction bite with the jerk bait. So with that said, what kind of retrieves am I typically going to use with the jerkbait? Most times I'm going to keep this bait moving. I'm going to jerk maybe a slight pause, jerk, jerk, slight pause, jerk, jerk, jerk. I'm going to try and keep this bait moving in the water, just pausing enough for a fish to key in on it and come over and look at it and tag it.

Benjamin Nowak:
But most of the times I'm going to try and keep that bait moving with quick cadences. Now that's one thing with jerk bait fishing, you're going to hear people say a lot. You need to find the cadence that the bass want. You need to find the cadence that the bass want to trigger on or you need to work the bait with. And so what they're talking about is that jerk, jerk, pause, retrieve, right? So it's jerk, jerk, jerk, pause, jerk, jerk. And that's going to vary depending on the day that you're fishing. But a lot of times I'm using quicker cadences, which means I'm popping the bait, I'm moving the bait a lot.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now when I will slow down the cadence is when I'm fishing deeper diving jerkbaits or in the extremes, which means really cold times a year or really warm times a year. That's what I want to make that bait sit a little bit longer periods of time. During those colder water or super warm water periods, I want that bait to hover. I want that bait to just kind of sit there and those fish to be able to key in on it, kind of focus in and decide if they want to come eat it. The reason for that is fish in my opinion whether the water is super cold or super warm or a little bit more lethargic and that might go against some people's thought process, especially in the summer months, but those fish don't necessarily want to move along ways to come eat a bait.

Benjamin Nowak:
So by fishing a bait more slowly, you kind of coax them into coming out and eating it. So extreme weather months I like to fish with the slower cadence, but most of the year it's a quick retrieve. I'm moving that bait a lot, I'm moving that bait quickly to get those fish to come eat it. Now the colors that I'm throwing, I keep very, very simple. I'm trying to what they call match the hatch or match the real conditions that I'm fishing with the bait fish that I'm fishing around. So one of my favorite colors are just standard style minnow colors like I have here. This is a Pro Blue and this is a Crystal Shad from Strike King. These are two of my favorite colors. The Crystal Shad's going to have a little flash, so I'm going to go with that when it's sunnier. But one efficient, that really clean style of water or clean, depending on where I'm fishing, I like to go with a translucentive style bait.

Benjamin Nowak:
I also like bait fish imitators, especially if I'm letting that bass sit a long time. I want to match the hatcher. I want to match what those fish are feeding on as best as possible. There always is going to be fish that are feeding on bait fish, so don't be afraid to go with like some sort of shad pattern or some sort of bluegill pattern, some sort of pattern that matches what those fish are keying in on, especially in those extreme weather months. Keep that in mind when you're setting that bait for a long time. You want to get matched as close as possible to what those fish are eating.

Benjamin Nowak:
And then when it gets really sunny, I want something with a lot of flash to it. It depends if you're up North, you like that silver flash. If you're down South you might like that gold flash depending on where you're fishing, find a bait that works for you, but I like to bait with some sort of chrome or metallic sides and it's going to trigger a lot of bites that way. Now how I'm going to fish this bait a lot of times like I mentioned, is with a quick cadence and I'm going to let the depth of the fish and the depth of the cover I'm fishing around determine the size jerkbait that I'm fishing.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now if I'm fishing around a shallow body of water that has shallow grass, I'm obviously going to go with the smaller diving bill. I want that bait to dive shallower because I don't want to snag up in the grass. I don't want to catch it in whatever sort of cover I'm fishing over. But if I'm fishing over a 30 foot of water for smallmouth or 15 foot of water for smallmouth, I'll go with a lot deeper diving bill, this is a KVD 300 jerkbait, it dives to about 12 foot of water I believe on a light line. And what I like about that is I can basically suspend it mid column for those fish and my thought process is a lot of times those fish are going to be willing to travel for it, but I like to split the difference.

Benjamin Nowak:
So if I'm fishing six foot of water, I'll fish a three foot diving jerkbait. If I'm fishing 10 foot of water, I want one that dive, is around five foot. I want to split the difference where those fish are living and the only time that's going to vary is during the extremely, extremely cold weather months. I want to get that bait as close to the bottom as possible because that's typically where those fish are going to be hanging, but most times split the difference. So take the depth there are fish and divided in half, that's where you want your jerkbait running.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now the gear that I like to throw it on is pretty simple. You can throw it on basically any of your standard bait casting or spinning gear with the exception of maybe some of these really deep diving jerkbaits that are pretty heavy. You need to go with a little bit upsize gear, but most often it's a six foot six to a seven foot bait casting rod medium. I like a fast action rod just to standard tape around the rod because that's going to help me keep these fish pin, but it's going to have enough pop to give this bait a good side to side dart.

Benjamin Nowak:
The reel that I like to throw is a medium speed reel. It's a six eight to one gear ratio, lose reel, and then 10 to 12 pound fluorocarbon line. If I want that bait to dive deeper, I'm going to go with lighter line. If I want that big to dive shallower, I'm going to go with heavier line. So use that as your rule of thumb because you can take a six-foot diving jerkbait, make it dive four foot with 12 pound test line, just like you can make a six-foot dive six foot with 10 pound test line. So keep that in mind. You can change the diving depth of your bait by changing the line size that you put the bait with.

Benjamin Nowak:
So if you guys have any questions or comments about how to fish a jerkbait, where to fish a jerkbait, what to do to trigger bass to bite with a jerkbait, please let us know in the comment section below. I'll be down there responding to each of those personally. If you guys want to see more videos like this, hit that like button, be sure to subscribe to the MONSTERBASS channel and we'll let you know when we post more videos like this one. And as always, thank you guys for watching. I'll catch you guys next time.


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How to Fish a Jerkbait for Bass -Includes Basic Tips for Beginners

How to Fish a Jerkbait for Bass -Includes Basic Tips for Beginners

Mar 26, 2020 Fishing Tips

Jerkbaits are a great way to catch bass all season long. Here are some basic tips, tricks, and retrieves to catch bass all season long on a jerkbait!

Benjamin's YouTube Channel 

If you're interested in taking your tackle selection to the next level, our team hand selects perfect tackle & gear based on where you love to fish the most.

Join today and save $10 off your first box. 
Use code SAVE10 at checkout.  JOIN NOW

 

Video Transcript:

Benjamin Nowak:
What is going on everyone. My name is Benjamin Nowak with MONSTERBASS. And in today's video we're going to talk about jerkbait fishing and this is a super effective technique for all three species, largemouth, spotted bass and smallmouth bass. This is a great way to trigger fish to bite all year long. So what we're going to talk about, the colors that I like to throw, some of the retrieves I like to use and the gear that I'm throwing for a jerkbait so that you guys can be successful all season long and that's one of the biggest misconceptions about a jerkbait is that it only works in the spring and in the fall, but I'm going to give you guys some retrieves that you can use and some ways that you can throw this bait to be successful even in the tough months, which are typically the summertime months when a lot of people put this bait down.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now before we dive into all of that information, I want to start by talking about what a jerkbait actually is. A jerkbait by nature is a bait that has a darting side to side action when you use a short jerking action of the rod. Now if you look at this bill you might say, "Okay, but it looks like a crankbait," you might just reel it in. This bait works best when you cast it out, it hits the water and you jerk that bait. What it's going to do, this bill is going to cause his body to roll and kick side to side, and that's what's going to trigger you the bites. This is a reaction bite style of bait. Now, yes, it does look supernatural. It looks like a metal. It looks like a little bait fish, especially when you put it into the water.

Benjamin Nowak:
But what I think happens a lot of times, is you jerk this bait, those fish key in on it and they're like, "Look at that, that nice looking minnow." Then you jerk it again. That fish has to trigger, has to react, has to come in and eat that bait. So in my opinion, most of your bites are a reaction bite with the jerk bait. So with that said, what kind of retrieves am I typically going to use with the jerkbait? Most times I'm going to keep this bait moving. I'm going to jerk maybe a slight pause, jerk, jerk, slight pause, jerk, jerk, jerk. I'm going to try and keep this bait moving in the water, just pausing enough for a fish to key in on it and come over and look at it and tag it.

Benjamin Nowak:
But most of the times I'm going to try and keep that bait moving with quick cadences. Now that's one thing with jerk bait fishing, you're going to hear people say a lot. You need to find the cadence that the bass want. You need to find the cadence that the bass want to trigger on or you need to work the bait with. And so what they're talking about is that jerk, jerk, pause, retrieve, right? So it's jerk, jerk, jerk, pause, jerk, jerk. And that's going to vary depending on the day that you're fishing. But a lot of times I'm using quicker cadences, which means I'm popping the bait, I'm moving the bait a lot.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now when I will slow down the cadence is when I'm fishing deeper diving jerkbaits or in the extremes, which means really cold times a year or really warm times a year. That's what I want to make that bait sit a little bit longer periods of time. During those colder water or super warm water periods, I want that bait to hover. I want that bait to just kind of sit there and those fish to be able to key in on it, kind of focus in and decide if they want to come eat it. The reason for that is fish in my opinion whether the water is super cold or super warm or a little bit more lethargic and that might go against some people's thought process, especially in the summer months, but those fish don't necessarily want to move along ways to come eat a bait.

Benjamin Nowak:
So by fishing a bait more slowly, you kind of coax them into coming out and eating it. So extreme weather months I like to fish with the slower cadence, but most of the year it's a quick retrieve. I'm moving that bait a lot, I'm moving that bait quickly to get those fish to come eat it. Now the colors that I'm throwing, I keep very, very simple. I'm trying to what they call match the hatch or match the real conditions that I'm fishing with the bait fish that I'm fishing around. So one of my favorite colors are just standard style minnow colors like I have here. This is a Pro Blue and this is a Crystal Shad from Strike King. These are two of my favorite colors. The Crystal Shad's going to have a little flash, so I'm going to go with that when it's sunnier. But one efficient, that really clean style of water or clean, depending on where I'm fishing, I like to go with a translucentive style bait.

Benjamin Nowak:
I also like bait fish imitators, especially if I'm letting that bass sit a long time. I want to match the hatcher. I want to match what those fish are feeding on as best as possible. There always is going to be fish that are feeding on bait fish, so don't be afraid to go with like some sort of shad pattern or some sort of bluegill pattern, some sort of pattern that matches what those fish are keying in on, especially in those extreme weather months. Keep that in mind when you're setting that bait for a long time. You want to get matched as close as possible to what those fish are eating.

Benjamin Nowak:
And then when it gets really sunny, I want something with a lot of flash to it. It depends if you're up North, you like that silver flash. If you're down South you might like that gold flash depending on where you're fishing, find a bait that works for you, but I like to bait with some sort of chrome or metallic sides and it's going to trigger a lot of bites that way. Now how I'm going to fish this bait a lot of times like I mentioned, is with a quick cadence and I'm going to let the depth of the fish and the depth of the cover I'm fishing around determine the size jerkbait that I'm fishing.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now if I'm fishing around a shallow body of water that has shallow grass, I'm obviously going to go with the smaller diving bill. I want that bait to dive shallower because I don't want to snag up in the grass. I don't want to catch it in whatever sort of cover I'm fishing over. But if I'm fishing over a 30 foot of water for smallmouth or 15 foot of water for smallmouth, I'll go with a lot deeper diving bill, this is a KVD 300 jerkbait, it dives to about 12 foot of water I believe on a light line. And what I like about that is I can basically suspend it mid column for those fish and my thought process is a lot of times those fish are going to be willing to travel for it, but I like to split the difference.

Benjamin Nowak:
So if I'm fishing six foot of water, I'll fish a three foot diving jerkbait. If I'm fishing 10 foot of water, I want one that dive, is around five foot. I want to split the difference where those fish are living and the only time that's going to vary is during the extremely, extremely cold weather months. I want to get that bait as close to the bottom as possible because that's typically where those fish are going to be hanging, but most times split the difference. So take the depth there are fish and divided in half, that's where you want your jerkbait running.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now the gear that I like to throw it on is pretty simple. You can throw it on basically any of your standard bait casting or spinning gear with the exception of maybe some of these really deep diving jerkbaits that are pretty heavy. You need to go with a little bit upsize gear, but most often it's a six foot six to a seven foot bait casting rod medium. I like a fast action rod just to standard tape around the rod because that's going to help me keep these fish pin, but it's going to have enough pop to give this bait a good side to side dart.

Benjamin Nowak:
The reel that I like to throw is a medium speed reel. It's a six eight to one gear ratio, lose reel, and then 10 to 12 pound fluorocarbon line. If I want that bait to dive deeper, I'm going to go with lighter line. If I want that big to dive shallower, I'm going to go with heavier line. So use that as your rule of thumb because you can take a six-foot diving jerkbait, make it dive four foot with 12 pound test line, just like you can make a six-foot dive six foot with 10 pound test line. So keep that in mind. You can change the diving depth of your bait by changing the line size that you put the bait with.

Benjamin Nowak:
So if you guys have any questions or comments about how to fish a jerkbait, where to fish a jerkbait, what to do to trigger bass to bite with a jerkbait, please let us know in the comment section below. I'll be down there responding to each of those personally. If you guys want to see more videos like this, hit that like button, be sure to subscribe to the MONSTERBASS channel and we'll let you know when we post more videos like this one. And as always, thank you guys for watching. I'll catch you guys next time.

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