Fishing tip of the week

Jerk bait bite is near
by Mike Gerry

If winter brings out anything on most bass lakes it once again proves that a jerk bait is an effective winter bait.
Winter success and jerk baits go hand-in-hand especially in chilly water temperatures as my memory serves. I start to remember the success I have had fishing jerk baits over the many years they have existed. I can easily state that jerk baits have been a consistent performer of my fishing over many years, especially in the cold-water conditions.

To me, there are some important tips that make a jerk bait work for you. There is, without a doubt, some specific performance issues you must overcome with jerk baits. Many of these are subtle, so as you choose your favorite, make sure your jerk bait has plenty of side-to-side movement, that it responds to subtle tip movement, and that you can cast it into the wind. Make sure your choice of jerk bait is curved enough to slide through the wind where you can get long casts and great movement while fishing it.

The key performance of a jerk bait is all controlled by your rod performance, reel speed, and wrist action. You must make sure you’re rigged properly with a medium-heavy rod, a 6:3:1 reel speed, and the ability to move your wrist sharply, quickly, and precisely. The next key is your pause. I find that the colder the water the more patient you need to be with your pause of the bait. I have seen days in the coldest part of the winter that you should pause it ten seconds. I also make sure that I vary the tip action so the movement changes constantly through the retrieve process. Often, I do quick snaps in a row, then I leave a pause in-between the snaps and I vary the pause allowing two to ten seconds giving the bait time to attract a fish. Lastly, I change the depth of the bait with tip presentation. The higher you hold your rod tip the shallower the bait will go. Hold it down, it goes deeper, keep it up it stays shallow, all part of finding a retrieve that catches fish! Jerk baits perform in the winter if you understand its movement.
Captain Mike

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