Jerkbaits offer one of the most natural and versatile fishing presentations around and are widely regarded as one of the best go-to lures any time of the year. A slender, life-like body and realistic paint jobs offer bass a very tempting target all year round. Choosing the right bait can be hard with the endless amounts of options in color, size and manufacturers.
Jerkbaits are designed to be as life-like as possible, with life-like profiles and highly detailed paint jobs. Often, trying to match the hatch is the best thing to do. Research what baitfish live in your local waters and start there. Having a realistic color as well as one with brighter colors for stained water is helpful to cover different conditions. If you are looking for life-like baits, the Megabass Vision 110 offers a full lineup of proven fish-catching colors.
When fishing these hardbaits the most important thing to think about is the water temperature. During the heat of summer, water temperatures will be warm and typically the water is clear. A fast retrieve is a good place to start as this will trigger a strong reaction from fish which are going to be far more aggressive compared to colder months.
In the winter, the opposite is true. Long pauses between retrieves gives slow lethargic fish a chance to locate and swim up to your bait with short quick twitches triggering the reaction bite. The longer you wait between twitches the better as fish usually bite on the pause. The Rapala Rip-Stop is a jerkbait which is designed to be twitched and stopped on a dime with its unique tail design. Give this bait a try when working the lure extremely quickly as this stopping action triggers reaction bites from bass that are chasing it.
Water depth is also a factor as it dictates which type of jerkbait you want to be fishing. Most often fish will swim up to your lure as opposed to swimming down to it and you want to make it as easy as possible for the fish to come up and grab an easy meal. Fishing a lure which allows you to stay in the strike zone longer can make the difference between getting bit and not at all.
In recent years most manufacturers have produced both standard depth bills (4-6ft) and deeper bills (5-12ft) to help you fish the perfect depth for those active schools of fish. New to the market, the Megabass Vision 110+2 is one of the deepest diving jerkbaits available to anglers. Having one or two of these in your box can help you reach those finicky deep-water fish.
Silent Versus Rattle
The easiest way to determine whether to use loud jerkbaits with rattles or to use silent baits is the water clarity. Clear water calls for a more stealthy approach as most anglers choose silent or very quiet rattles which gives your lure the most life-like presentation.
On the other hand, louder rattles will help attract more fish and help fish locate your lure in dirtier water. The Lucky Craft Pointer and Lucky Craft StaySee have oversized rattles and are incredibly loud underwater. If you are fishing murky water give these baits a few casts.