Fishing tip of the week

Cold water jerk baits
Mike Gerry

With this winter of 2022 being some of the coldest we have had in ten, or more, years I start to remember the success I have had fishing jerk baits over the many years they have existed in the coldest of winters.

I can easily state that jerk baits have been a consistent performer of my fishing over many years especially in this type of cold-water conditions.
To me, there are some important tips that make a jerk bait work for you.
There is without a doubt some performance issues with jerk baits, many are subtle so as you choose your favorite, make sure your jerk bait has plenty of side-to-side movement and that it responds to subtle tip movement, also, that you can cast it into the wind. Many of today’s jerk baits are exceptionally light in weight and make winter winds a tough day casting into them. Pick one that is heavy enough to control your cast into the wind.

Having patience with a jerk bait is also key to catching fish. The winter use of a jerk bait is vastly different than summertime fishing. Mainly it must be fished slowly and precisely to make it an effective winter bait.
The key performance of a jerk bait is all controlled by your rod performance, reel speed and wrist action. You must just make sure your rigged properly with a medium heavy rod, 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 some days in the coldest part of the winter that you should pause for as long as 10 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 and I leave a pause in-between the snaps. 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; be precise, change speeds and work different depths.
Captain Mike

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