Fad or Fact?
I have had to rethink my opinion of jerkbaits. If you have been reading
along for the past months you know what I think about the 'go to'
lure. The silver spoon is still effective. There was a time though
that I tried the jerkbait and decided there was no use for it. There
is no doubt that a jig and grubtail are one of the most productive
lures of all time. In think I recall that a jig was part of the survival
kit for soldiers at some point. Using the jog on the flats will be
reserved for another time.
Even though they are made of similar materials there is a big difference
in the two baits. You know the jig is versatile as it can be fished
vertical in extreme depths or bounced above the grass in shallow water.
The jerk bait offers similar versatility. Bass anglers have been rigging
soft baits for years with a variety of methods. The jerkbait on the
flats has many options for rigging and fishing.
One major difference in the jig and the jerkbait is the weight. You
can have jigs of different weights but you have a weight. Jerkbaits
can be fished weightless. This can be a great strategy for spooky
fish. With the advances in line technology it is possible to fish
at greater distances with a light lure.
Fishing without a slug of weight also has an affect on the action
an angler can impart to the jerkbait. Of the anglers I fish with and
articles I have read there are differing ideas on what action is desirable.
I have no answers but as most lures there are many ways to fish it
and you will need to experiment. The jerkbait can be retrieved causing
it to twitch and dart wildly. It can also be retrieved more deliberately,
surging and sinking to mimic an injured baitfish. I have caught fish
both ways but lean to the latter as a more lifelike action.
Yet another option for jerkbaits is rigging. They can be rigged on
a weight jig head or simply a bass style worm hook. There are saltwater
worm hooks available and for strength I suggest those. As mentioned
you can just insert a hook and fish the bait. For added flexibility
though you can insert weight directly into the jerkbait. You can use
the bass angler trick of small nails. Bead chain is another option.
I have used those after buying a plastic lure rigged with the bead
chain eye. The bead chain may provide some rattle as well.
My preferred method is to visit the fly fishing department and get
lead eyes. These insert neatly and securely into the head of the jerkbait
and offer less to snag than the bead chain. These also come in a wide
range of weights down to almost nothing. I mentioned the rattling
effect of the bead eyes. While you are in the fly department you can
pick up glass bead rattles that will insert into the body.
That is an excellent question. Many anglers use the Mister Twister
Exude. This is a scented jerkbait and has been a good producer. Other
scented options include the Powerbaits and freshwater plastics that
can be used. Storm has some interesting new offerings in their 'Wild
Eye' series. Along with brand there is the decision on color. Popular
colors are a clear or pearl with iridescent flecks. You may also want
a dark color. I have had good luck using the white with a chartreuse
tail. A green color may also be a good option.
Try a jerkbait and give it a chance. The second time around it was
apparent that it is a bait that should be a part of the flats tackle
box. The varieties of ways they can be fished allow them to adjust
to the ever changing conditions on the flats particularly in the winter
If you have any questions on fishing the jerkbait pass them along
and I will find the answers if possible. As well, if you have some
tips, submit them for additions to the new 'Tips
and Tricks' section of the site.
Let me know what you think.