3 Reasons Why Jerkbaits Dominate In Spring

If you take a peek inside many of the top bass angler’s tackle boxes in the springtime, you’d find a lot of jerkbaits (sometimes called stick baits). The reason for that is simple; they catch bass like no other from the cold of winter all the way through the post-spawn period.

Why is that though? What is it that makes jerkbaits outshine so many other presentations for early season bass? Here’s the inside scoop;

1. They look like food

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Bass are predominantly visual predators and prefer to see their prey before they eat it. Jerkbaits are built with the same long, slender body that many minnow species share. They also come in a huge variety of colors and sizes to match the hatch in your local lake.

2. They act like food

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In many lakes and reservoirs, cold temperatures in the winter cause massive shad die-offs, which in turn create easy pickings for hungry bass. When a shad dies, it doesn’t just instantly stop moving. Dying shad just gradually slow down and occasionally twitch while falling out of a school. A jerkbait twitched slowly emulates this “death dance” perfectly and results in massive strikes from hungry bass.

3. They are versatile

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Unlike a crankbait that only runs at one depth, anglers can easily adjust jerkbaits to effectively fish in a variety of situations. To adjust the running depth of a jerkbait, try rigging it up on rods with different pound test lines, the thinner the line, the deeper it will run. Weighting jerkbaits using lead tape or wire will also change their action and allow anglers to fine-tune their presentations.

That versatility comes in handy in the spring, when the conditions change almost every day. One day you might catch them on a suspending jerkbait worked slowly around deep docks, and the next you might have to slowly twitch a smaller model around bluff ends. Experiment and pay attention to the results, you’ll become a better jerkbait fisherman in no time.

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