Jerkbaits are one of the most effective presentations in an angler’s arsenal. They feature a lifelike baitfish profile, an erratic action, and mimic a struggling baitfish better than just about any other presentation.
In the early part of the year, from the pre-spawn through the spawn, they are especially deadly – as they allow anglers to rapidly and efficiently cover water to find groups of actively feeding fish.
Here are 7 top jerkbaits you may want to add to your arsenal this spring:
1. Rapala X-Rap
Aggressive bass want a fast-moving bait. It’s fun while it lasts but at some point, the action slows down, and your retrieve has to slow down too. If you’re throwing the Rapala X-Rap, there’s no need to change lures. The X-Rap is versatile—you can use an aggressive jerk-jerk-jerk retrieve when fish are chasing, then slow things down for that classic Rapala wounded-minnow action
The Googan Squad Scout is a hard-bodied, suspending jerkbait that looks and swims like a lively baitfish. This jerkbait is the deal whenever bass are feeding on minnows or shad. With each rip of the rod, the Scout will slash and dance across the middle of the water column, looking like a wounded or fleeing baitfish. Each Scout is built with a lifelike integrated lateral line that adds realism to this bait.
Although most modern jerkbaits feature an internal weighting system to create longer casts, the engineers at Ima Japan purposely didn’t include that feature when designing the Ima Flit. The reason for the omission – internal weights have a tendency to deaden the action of a jerkbait on the retrieve, something the Flit has in spades. With a narrow profile and super realistic finishes, the Flit acts unlike any other jerkbait in the water. When jerked, it reacts instantaneously and no two retrieves will result in the same look, which really appeals to finicky bass.
The 13 Fishing Whipper Snapper is the ultimate baitfish imitator for the middle part of the water column. Its elongated bill helps get this bait down to moderate depths with just a few cranks, allowing for a slow, subtle, twitching presentation in the strike zone. That’s a look that triggers attacks from hungry fish. When predators move in for the kill, the lure’s natural finish and baitfish details seal the deal. After the strike, three chemically sharpened VMC treble hooks take over. When you need an eye-catching bait to show roaming or schooling fish, the Whipper Snapper from 13 Fishing can’t be beat. Add this awesome jerkbait to your tackle box!
The Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait is a suspending lure with an irresistible minnow shape. It’s one of the only jerkbaits designed with “flat sides,” which makes it perfect for stop-and-go retrieves or a pause/jerk/pause technique. The “flat sides” make this jerkbait more responsive, especially when you “jerk” your rod tip. The holographic color patterns reflect light which helps draw fish in from far distances. The deep model dives 8-12ft and the shallow model dives 3-5ft. Combined with the Wave Motion Technology, this bait tempts even the most finicky fish.
This rip bait is an absolute big fish getter. Twitch this bait on a slack line to impart a beautiful, rolling action. It also has an unbelievably slow rising action, which imitates a dying shad. Diving 3′ to 4′ down, the Shadow Rap Shad passes through the water column right where the fish are feeding. Works best in clear open water near cover.
The Persues 110 from Jenko Fishing is a suspending jerk bait that will help you convince sluggish fish to strike. When you’re targeting suspended bass with a twitching jerk bait, the longer your lure remains in the strike zone the better. The Persues 110 has a natural swimming action that gets nearby predators’ attention, but it’s when you stop the bait and twitch it in their faces that really gets things going.
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